Great info as always, I hope to see a much different team this week.
Maybe they establish the run game to start the game off?? I can only hope to see some more 'Zeke nice and early (like what's pictured above).
Then lets toss it around and make them choose where to cover.
F#@k 'em, Run 'em over! - Woody on tTUN
However, this is possible -- the Nose Tackle/Guard "intentionally" blocks the progress of the Center, impeding his movement to his "assignment."
Smart play by the Nose guy, yes?
“Save yourself and relax during every game. I recommend a fine bourbon.”
I have not understood the lack of the counter trey, that play was 6-8 yards minimum a pop against Oregon's 3 man front....yet nowhere to be seen this year. Like having a lottery ticket and not cashing it, makes no sense. Braxton in motion would require so much attention...ugh. Hope we see it this week.
Been saying the same thing. Why did we switch what made us so successful?
Great article. Go back to who we are please.
I don't think our wide receivers are blocking as well so it would get chewed up and maybe Vannett isn't blocking well either.
"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best
I thought so too, but Vannett is the one blocking in the first play and they ran this play towards Michael Thomas in both GIFs. These guys have done this before.
All blockers were not executing their assignments last week -- re-watch the game to see for yourself.
Definitely not "Evan Spenser" quality blocking, IMO.
This was addressed in one of Kyle's earlier articles. I believe he said you need to establish the threat of the inside run game before the counter can be effective and we haven't been able to do that
This week will give us a good opportunity to get back to the norm that we saw last year. Teams have changed their defense to stop our run b/c our threat of WR's is lacking. Give it time - it'll come together.
It's not a rivalry .............. it's a wreckoning.
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Unless we have 2 slightly dinged-up QB's (pure conjecture on my part). If that's the case, then I'd run that half-baked pro-set til the wheels come off (or until the Michigan State game - whichever comes first).
Zone6, with rotating WR's, will have 1000+ yards at all 3 WR positions this season
So the two keys for why maybe he hasn't called these as often is no Heuerman and no Devin, two great blockers as you can see in those plays.
Still worth calling in my view. They have to learn somewhere.
Vannett made a lot of good blocks vs Oregon.. The WR do need to step up their blocking.
I would say it is more on the WR's. If you watch the Oregon game Vannett was in there most of the game. He like the rest of the O has not lived up to expectations this year.
Are the WR blocks really that necessary? In both the zone option and the counter trey examples above, the key blocks are by the O line and the tight ends. Seems Zeke could run for 5-10 yards easy without WR blocks. For 20 and more yards? Yes, the WR blocks on the secondary are needed. But this year, even the shorter "7 yards and a cloud of pellets" is not there.
Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.
Vannett was the tightend in the first graphic, played the majority of the game against Oregon, and made some great blocks. I don't think the issue is on him not playing last year, rather he and the o-line are under-performing a bit.
excellent point. I think we know our playmakers and their heroics well, but most coaches know the real strengths and weakness of a team and that often lies in the simple blocking and tackling.
Thanks for the excellent breakdown Kyle!
Thanks Kyle - It's good to remember what this team, minus the ones who aren't here this year, can accomplish when they are executing at a high level. What is your take on how VT, Hawaii, or NIU deployed their linebackers against us versus how Oregon deployed theirs? Seems like Hawaii LB's were pretty aggressive (and they had some safety blitzes as well). Just looked like the LB's were really clogging running lanes in the last two games.
It is like UM has said it all starts with the O line if they are doing what they are suppose to things will open up. This is why the defense is playing at an elite level. The 4 guys upfront are taking care of business and freeing everyone else up. The linebackers are making plays because they are not being blocked. Same principal for the O line if they are making the right calls it is freeing up others to make plays. Everyone is all up in arms about the qb position when they should be worrying about the O line. imo.
True point and I agree. But what has me concerned is at times, is fundamental breakdowns from the qbs. Cardale has been inconsistent with his footwork which has led to passes with less velocity and less accurate. He has overthrown players.
There was a play with to Vannett from Barrett on a screen like play against NIU where Barrett threw it below his knees. It's an easy completion but Barrett doesn't step into his throw and it was sloppy fundamentals.
At the end of the day, that is a preparation and coaching issue, especially when it is a regression from what we saw last year. Say what you will about Beck, but he is not a qb coach by trade and Martinez at Nebraska was not known for his qb fundamentals.
Mahalo Cpt24. I'm relieved I'm not the only one noticing the QB's footwork. Cardale seemed to be standing and throwing flatfooted, so his throws were off. The finest QB coaches are meticulous about the precise stepping of their QBs.
In the nfl, footwork is a requirement to play in it. There's a reason why scouts and coaches focus on it so much. The very best qbs have excellent footwork and it sets up basic mechanics.
I agree that there is a downgrade in blockers from 2014 to Vannett and the young WRs...but how are they supposed to improve on it without even trying the play in games?
Urban and Warriner may not want to break out some plays just yet. These two plays and the Braxton pass are probably being saved for the right time. Just my uneducated guess though.
When you are losing to NIU at home, its not time to hold all the cards to your vest.
I agree. They must have a good reason for not using them though.
I know that game was close but in all reality it wasn't in doubt after the first offensive series in the second half.
I doubt they ever felt compelled to "pull out all the stops"
Hard not to notice number 3 with some great downfield blocking on both plays
Great breakdown. I always enjoy these reads. However, Braxton's spin is not infamous unless you are talking from Va Tech's perspective.
I think it's safe to say that OSU's TE blocking was phenomenal during the stretch.
But again, whatever the defensive front and whatever the play call, the ultimate responsibility falls on these players to do their jobs. It's easy to see in the videos how, if one person fails, the play isn't a huge success. Not every play needs to be a huge success, but rather we need to limit the negative plays that put us behind the chains.
At this point, I'm not convinced that the opposing defense has had much to do with our struggles. It's all mental errors and execution mistakes. I hope to see them build some confidence and right the ship this weekend.
Read my entire screen name....
Interesting that you mention that. In the second example, all the blocking is pretty much textbook. The first run is well blocked too, but Zeke turns a good play into a great one by beating both of the safeties pretty much all by himself. That's what we haven't seen so much of this season, mainly because Zeke hasn't been able to get to the second level because of the breakdowns up front, and the WR blocking. Blocking from WR's is what turns 7-8 yard gains into touchdowns.
Exactly. But again, there's nothing wrong with 3-4 yards per carry. What kills drives are penalties for negative yards, fumbles for negative yards, completely whiffing a block, missing a wide open receiver, running the wrong route, etc. All of those plays typically go for less than 3-4 yards and put us behind the chains and all of those plays are mental mistakes that can be easily corrected.
This exactly. As Kyle explained in his last Film Study, mental mistakes are really killing any offensive momentum. Multiple bad snaps by the center, or a good snap that is mishandled/fumbled by the QB, have thrown off the timing of plays. Illegal motion, holding, and false start penalties have negated positive plays or put the offense behind the chains seemingly every drive. QBs have missed open receivers, everyone is missing blocks, receivers are running routes short of the first down.
Mental mistakes of all kinds, from every position, are what is slowing this offense right now.
Best part is that they are correctable. I just hope they get corrected before they really hurt this team.
Bingo Opti, for example, OSU started off on the wrong foot when the in-motion receiver Campbell went up field before the ball was snapped-- negating a 20-yard gain by Samuel on the 1st play. It all seemed to go downhill from there. We'll get em on Saturday tho'!
Correct. It almost looks like they are taking turns to miss an assignment or screw up. It adds up.
Great read. Thanks Kyle
Vannett gets a huge wham block on the nose tackle in the first clip which essentially springs Elliott. He is a fantastic blocker so we can't use that as an excuse. Also in the second clip it looks like Corey Smith or perhaps Jalin making the key WR block in the left slot... I't seems very easy to blame perimeter blocking on our troubles which is quite clear to me not the main issue. That's the difference between a 8 yard run and a 25 yard run. Our offense currently would kill for some 8 yard runs. The issue starts up front and with play calling not making the consistent adjustments needed to outscheme our opponents.
Need better blocking on the outside. We're seeing a lot of 3-4 Hidden Bear fronts this season which moves the DEs inside. That should open up the outside a little bit more
It really comes down to spacing the odd formation out so our blockers can block in space. Which can be achieved motion, sweeps, counters, options, pitches, misdirection, etc. So force the odd front to spread out and not stack the box.
Yet it's perplexing why our scheme has not done that. I know the blockers on the perimeter lack experience but we need to give them a chance. We are definitely the faster team on the field. So it comes down to missing assignments and poor play calling. We can't keep ball between the tackles and not have the correct gap assignments. It's even more frustrating knowing that we have the perimeter speed with Dontre, Braxton, and Marshall to do that.
This is the core principles of the spread offense and yet we have gotten away from that.
Agree - that's why I asked the question above about the LB's.
Great breakdown, Kyle! Here's the obvious follow up: why haven't we been calling the counter this season?
Kyle, this is just great work and is an example of why 11W is the best site going! Thank you! Now, let's hope for an effective offensive game this weekend!
"You don't win when you're too damned happy, and I like to win"--Woody Hayes
If we have beat the odd man front at a high level for a national title anp put up 42 points, then why is it a big deal when Hawaii or NIU do it?
"Life is not about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. THATS HOW WINNING IS DONE!!" - Rocky Ballboa
Not sure if that was rhetorical, but that's the drum I'm beating. It's not a big deal when Hawaii or NIU do it. The big deal is that we're not executing those plays to the same extent/perfection as we did in the NCG. The mistakes that we're making are the biggest difference.
Just a thought... Maybe coach is trying to limit QB runs early in the long season? This would limit plays that give the QB a run option. Many teams are eliminated from playoffs due to key injuries during the season. It's a challenge to keep the team healthy and fresh for November and later.
WHAT WOULD (insert one: Woody, Earle, Coop, Tress, Urbz) DO?
Not wanting this to happen obviously, but we do have a decent backup in the event the starter gets hurt this year...
Some solid blocking in those two examples!
“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
You're forgetting the most important play call: The Annexation of Puerto Rico.
I wish the real world would just stop hassling me...
Surprised Gus Mahlzan hasn't tried this one yet.
I had to watch that 5 times. Is that a legal play?
I don't know, but if it is I can see Harbaugh doing it.
Yes it is. The center actually hands the QB the ball from the side, which is legal, as long as the ball actually goes backwards. You can technically snap the ball down the line as long as it goes backwards.
On Mike & Mike this morning they were discussing the Eagles running game and the problems they are having. They brought up the Cowboys running game from last season and stated it was predictable as compared to the Eagles but the Cowboys didnt care. They were simply better than their opponents and executed well. I compared this to OSU and our games with Hawaii and NIU. We are better than them clearly but struggled with execution. I am starting to think maybe some of the guys either bought into their own hype in the offseason or arent treating these out of conference games with enough credit and arent getting up for games (i.e. playing down to their competition).
Exactly, plus I do wonder about the effects of the 2000 rep club as well as offseason injuries and hesitancies and with a long season in mind. We have an easy schedule this year and a talented team and you have to wonder if normal operating and execution has been delayed by a few games.
The 2000 rep thing only got them out of initial practicing. They still did some training and they still participated in everything during the summer. Given that most of the 2000 rep guys had the most experience it is doubtful that they needed that as much as the young guys. They had time to gel as a group during training camps and so on. Just in my view it is better to do that and not risk them needlessly.
I agree. It's not that I'm arguing for or against anything, but merely stating that there's evidence out there that the staff has been trying to prepare for a longer season. Perhaps some of these measures have held the team back by a few weeks compared to where they could have been. in addition, with evidence that the staff is aware of the wear and tear of the season, perhaps they are also currently taking precautions with playing calling and schemes. I have no idea, but thought it was an interesting though and addition to hotsauce's comment.
The cowboys were mainly executing though. If OSU is not blocking than the plays are not going to work out great really. The Cowboys and other teams are great blockers. OSU is usually a great blocking team too. But really everybody has looked off. It could well be they are not taking these games as seriously as they should, because they looked better against VT. That said, they were not able to employ their standard running attack against VT given the front they showed.
Who knows, so long as it gets fixed it does not really matter much after still being 3-0
3-4 is the new Bear. Trendy in the beginning, exploited at the end.
Goes back all the way to the NFL in the 70's to boot.
so if we aren't running the plays that we know will beat these "junk" defenses, I believe the obvious question is why? Meyer and Warinner didn't forget what plays won them a championship and haven't all of a sudden become incompetent play callers.
Also a couple of other plays seem to be missing, which are classic constraint/extension of the run game plays: bubble screen, tunnel screen, halfback screen.
And doing those sets up this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTz8mTs4NNw
The play right before that was the screen to the WR. This is a fake screen. Throw the first play to Miller. Then run a counter. Then run a fake screen to someone other than Miller, who can run vertically as fast as possible.
Great piece as always, Kyle. I certainly understand some of the confusion over why we're struggling so much with an odd front - especially, considering how much success we've had against it in the past.
One thing I haven't seen mentioned however is our opponent's personnel. A lot of this may have something to do with who those 3 men are in that 3 man front. It looked like we really struggled with Hawaii's nose tackle. Thomas from NIU gave us some trouble, too.
On the other hand, we all saw how tough Oregon's nose tackle was when our 250lb quarterback met him head on. That didn't do much to quash the Ducks reputation for being "soft", incidentally.
Western Michigan's starting nose tackle, David Curle, is listed at 6'1"- 262lbs. Messrs Boren, Price, Elflein, and company may have better luck handling him.
If we don't make the proper adjustments now, however, this could continue to pose a problem down the road -
Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers
Agree with the WHO over our center is. It all starts there. Both the Samoans from Hawaii and the bigger NTS from NIU seemed to give Boren trouble and affect the snaps.. he stated yesterday he was having problems with the snaps(probably because of being overmatched one on one and trying to adjust his stance). I don't see anybody on WMU's roster affecting the snap because of size and strength...so Sat. I expect us to look good up front no matter what defense WMU lines up in..
Someone will need to be up in the box to help with the play calling. Can't have the QB coach and OL/OC down on the field together. Coach will get this fixed. Go Bucks!
"If can....can, if no can....no can."
I'm curious to see what Urban does with play calling now. If Warinner stays on the field, I have no problem with Beck calling plays from up in the booth. There's a reason Urban hired Beck to begin with. If Warinner goes upstairs and Beck comes downstairs then I just hope the O line does okay with Warinners absence on the field since that's where he's been since Urban took over.
Hit the right people!
"I think Alabama would beat Ohio State if they played next weekend!" Clay Travis Fox Sports Post Championship Show 1.12.2015. Needs no explanation.
I assume this comment was intended for the Florida Gators?
Shandy is not beer
Can you get a holding penalty against your own teammate?
3 85 yards and a cloud of dust.
"Against the Ducks, Elliott was the one dancing into the end zone thanks to the counter-trey. But although he ran found pay dirt four times that night, we've yet to see him take the hand off on the concept since. "
That is simply mind boggling to abandon something that was so effective to include the TE trap block on the DT. The play calling is exceptionally puzzling right now.............
Saban on a cart eating cold pizza
Is this the same counter trey that Zeke ran for a TD against Mich after JT was injured?
Thanks Kyle, another fantastic writeup! At the end of last year, everybody knew their blocking roles, and it was amazing thing to watch...
"When you're part of a team, you stand up for your teammates. Your loyalty is to them. You protect them through good and bad, because they'd do the same for you." Yogi Berra
It's true that the team at the end of the season wasn't the team at the beginning of the season, but one has to hope we're getting into the transitional part where new guys start to figure this stuff out. It was AWESOME watching that blocking carve up good defenses. This is game 4 coming up -- let's start to see it THIS year!
And great write-up Kyle. The X's & O's stuff is always some of my favorite, and I really think it sets 11W apart. It's not just a bunch of fanboys wearing scarlet-colored glasses. The content is informed, insightful, and well-written. Thanks!
"Well-prepared players make plays. I have yet to be in a game where the most prepared team didn't win.” - Urban
"... the team at the end of the season wasn't the team at the beginning of the season..."
And yet this IS the sane team, the exact same team that was the nat'l chanp: same QB, same RB, same TE, same line except the RT. It's perplexing what's happening this year, or as Urban said, "discombobulating."
The thing that bothers me is why is Urban wanting to switch offenses? The run zone/read worked so well, it won a national championships last year. With Urban being linked to the NFL, I'm beginning to wonder if there is another reason for him wanting to change to a pro style attack.
I played o-line in high school, and counter and power plays were my favorite plays to run, because it meant I got to pull around and knock some guy on his ass. That's what the Slobs should live for! Pull around, get some momentum, and obliterate someone. That springs Zeke free and all of us sitting on our couches jump up and celebrate the resulting TD
We're all a bunch of nuts
'Odd' front is any defensive alignment that places a down linemen directly over the center and leaving the guards uncovered, often leading to either a three or five-man line (hence the name). However, it's entirely possible for an 'Even' front team, such as one running with basic 4-3 personnel, to line up this way too.
Is the converse to that true? If the nose were in a 2 technique, a tackle in a 6 on the weak side and the other tackle in a 1 with a LB head up on the TE, would that be considered an even front?
Yes, although it's rare to see one side of the line '2-gapping' like the 2-tech tackle and the 6-tech end would seemingly be doing in the alignment described. The Seahawks and Patriots do it a bit, but it's not common at all at the college level. If OSU ever saw that look though, they would seemingly have a pretty easy running lane to the strong side, with the tight end sealing the LB while tackle gets to the ILB.
Seems to me what is happening here to a large degree is simply a team that is taking advantage of the schedule and is working to do some different things. Some have asked "Well if the counter trey was so effectve against Oregon why haven't they used it against these odd fronts?"
Maybe the answer is that their "answer" to Oregons front is all out there for everyone to see and if you don't think other D Coordinators arent already reacting to that answer form last year you are crazy. No one is going to let that barrage go unanswered. There is nothing new under the sun and Urban showed he knows one good way to counter that front. Maybe this years personnel strengths aren't fully suited for that answer and they are looking at others. They have the luxury of not having to show/do too much this early. This going to end up being a 4 game season essentialy, Minnesota (looks like a good D right now) MSU, Mich and B1G title game. PSU will require some effort too, I particularly expect their defense to give us some periods of trouble, but those others are the biggies.
Urban looks like he is wanting to save the QB runs to a degree, which is smart but we will see them in the big games I think. Its too much of a numbers advantage to not use them, especially when you have an unselfish back like Zeke
Im much less concerned about the state of our team than many. The O struggled Sat but I think they were real close to breaking a few. Bad snaps, fumbles and penalties really killed some momentum. They are going to be fine. We will have to live with some TOs though. They did it last year and it seems to be the one weird thing about this and last years team...... they give the opposition a lot of extra chances. But this years D can probably over come a couple a game. They are looking downright nasty.
Everything covered in one comment.
Thank you! ^1
Fantastic, Kyle, Mahalo for sharing your knowledge of football alignments and making it easy for me to grasp concepts with video clips that are right on point.
PS. A note from my expertise: Infamous does not mean famous, it means disreputable, shameful, disgraceful. i.e. well known in a negative way. I don't think Braxton's spin move was dishonorable.
Great article Kyle! One thing I picked up is how important the role of the tight end is.
It seems to me a big part of the bucks problems the last two games is not necessarily opponents schemes but a lot of miscues. Cut back on some of those and the bucks would have had at least a couple more scores each of those games IMHO.
When the slobs wake up and start playing some smash mouth football look out folks.
The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes
That split zone option is the wham trap play we saw in the first half right?
Problem with 3-4 vs 4-3?? This is incomprehensible to me. The 2 most oft used defenses in football. Our playbooks had complete and comprehensive blocking schemes and assignments for both. Yes there are variations to both, but the coaches would cover the possible differences for every team in our scouting reports for each game. Only on occasion were slight halftime adjustments necessary.
Great breakdown. On the first film clip, Mike Thomas had a huge block. Vannet killed the center, and Zeke did the rest.
I think all three of those guys still play for us. Hopefully we find our groove again Saturday.
I've been wondering for these first three games why we haven't been running these plays, the counter and the split zone. Vannett is an excellent blocker, and Baugh has been coming along as well. My hope is that Warinner and the Slobs are working on other things in an attempt to diversify their attack, and soon we will revert back to what has worked so well, maybe once the conference schedule starts(?).
"We gotta go win this next game and make the State of Ohio proud!"-UFM
Lot of science being discussed here, but bottom line for me is that we are a turnover machine.
No different than against Alabama and Oregon. Jones is careless with the snap, hand off, and passing on the run, and that hasn't changed. Yards after the catch fumbles are common, Corey Smith vs Oregon, Samuels vs Va Tech and vs NIU. Add to it the penalties, and you have total discontinuity.
Does anyone have Tom Herman's number?
I have found our play calling very confusing. Defenses are being very aggressive and we seem to be playing right into their hands. No defense can stop everything and we have not appeared to try and make these teams pay for being so aggressive. Urban has stated they were unprepared for the odd fronts sine UH and NIU did not usually run them. That may be true but I wonder. After the VT game last year, the coaches knew they would see the bear defense again and immediately had plays to combat it. The teams that employed the bear did not usually run it but coaches knew the teams would add it since it stymied our O. Now this season we struggle with odd fronts and Urban is surprised teams that don't usually play it are playing it? I find that hard to believe. I think UM is the best coach in college football so to be caught off guard several times is not consistent with his track record.
The conspiracy theorist in me thinks UM is doing this on purpose to create adversity. This team had such a magical run last year and has been receiving such relentlessly gushing press every since that UM has been worried about complacency. One of the best ways to counter complacency is with adversity. The play calling does not appear to be putting people in a position to be successful, but since we were so much better than the other teams, it was not a gamble to do it that way. By not punishing defenses for running odd fronts, UM has the teams attention and complacency is not an issue. Now I am not saying this is actually happening, just offering a different take which is most likely wrong.
Well, the players are doing their part with poor execution, so .... Coach Meyer's plan is working