Film Study: How the Trojans Made It Tough to Move the Football in the 2017 Cotton Bowl

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steveoz49's picture

My opinion is that, first off, USC has some serious talent up front and they won some battles.  Secondly, I think that once our boys got up, Wilson's play-calling went from aggressive to "nothing stupid here".  It almost felt like "it's ok to punt, our defense is playing lights out".  Finally, I think that we weren't able to hit on those couple deep passes where there was opportunities.  Once we missed on those, I feel like the play-calling became predictable and that made it easier for USC to defend.  Again, just my opinion...

Oz

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Bamabucknut's picture

Play calling in the 2nd half of the Big 10 Championship and the Cotton Bowl.....coaches crawled into a hole and pulled the dirt in over the top of themselves. Exactly the opposite of what we did to Wisconsin in the Big 10 championship a few years ago(that powered us into the final 4 and NC.). Hope we get over the "Tresselitis" by August.

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CarolinaBuck's picture

Coaches obviously didn't have confidence in the offense to not screw it up, so they battened down the hatches

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NorthBerg's picture

I was going to make a snarky comment about UFM being stubborn and refusing to allow his staff to make offensive adjustments in the second half .  After reflecting on your post and elevating my opinion of the USC front seven after rewatching the game over the weekend, I am now of the opinion that Meyer made the correct adjustment by going Tressell on the Trojans.

Too much time spent at the North Heidelberg rather than the classroom. SSD 68-72

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CowCat's picture

That was my take on the game as well. Meyer went full-on Tressel with the lead.

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

Great post, OZ.

Unlike the Wisconsin game, JTB was ON passing. 11/17 (2 drops). 88 yards rushing.

Unlike the Wisconsin game, the Oline was OFF. It was their worst game collectively since the VT Bear front fiasco. 

The end result of this lack of alignment in our last two games was... Tresselball. 

Against Wisky, JTB could barely pass. So we went into a shell and held on.

Against USC we couldn’t block, so we went into a shell and didn’t even need an offense after we went up 24-0. As you said, Wilson went “nothing stupid” and it was boring but it worked. 

I want to know why we got out coached. Our Oline and RBs weren’t ready. 

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

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SilverHaven's picture

Mahalo, Shawnee, as you and Kyle pointed out, the same old narrative of JT not hitting his passes, etc., does not fit the facts.

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.

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IGotAWoody's picture

I want to know why we got out coached. Our Oline and RBs weren’t ready. 

I think in this case you give the opponent credit for gambling and blitzing with a number of stunts and new twists. As others have said, the playcalling and strategy went the way of "the D is dominating, we're not going to do anything crazy or stupid here unless the Trojan O starts having some success". With the way the D was playing, I was actually OK, even during the game, with how it was playing out. The only thing I was even remotely upset with was the poor 3rd down conversion rate.

But after analyzing the game, I'm quite OK with how our players played that night.

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

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dwcbuckeye's picture

Great article.  I see much more clearly the troubles the offense had in the Cotton Bowl.  More on the OL than on JT.  However, perhaps it is because we all overly follow the Bucks at the expense of other top teams, but it seems this continually happens.  Members of the OL are not prepared/coached to make the necessary plays and do not make the half time adjustments.  You just don't see this with Alabama (do you?).  That is what is frustrating.

On to next year

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Kyle Jones's picture

Alabama has played exactly one game since scoring only once in the second half of a loss to Auburn. This happens to every team.

The reason bowl games are exciting is due to the talent matchups on both sides. Getting upset because guys who will get drafted in the next few months (Nwosu #42 and Green #94) beat a guard making only his eighth career start seems like a bit of a reach to me, at least.

ShawneeBuck74's picture

Kyle, why do you think we didn’t attack the flats more with jet sweeps, toss sweeps, outside zone runs, screens and slants? As you noted... we had success on the outside and JTB was throwing well.

USC sold out on stopping inside zone and with blitzes.  They usually had their corners playing 10-12 yards off the ball.  Do you think it was just because we decided to play it safe and not give Darnold time to come back? We didn’t need any offense the way our Dline was playing.

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

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NutBuckz's picture

exactly tresselball, we didnt have to. 3 score lead, protect the football and play field position

It's 2018 and TTUN still sucks!!!

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NutBuckz's picture

absolutely right, i would UV thsi but it wont let me

It's 2018 and TTUN still sucks!!!

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Prickly_Pete's picture

I wish the Buckeyes would do more deep throws. I understand JT struggled a bit on these, but it keeps the defense a little more honest and not allowing them to crowd the line. I'm hoping next year's QB will have a better deep ball.  

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SilverHaven's picture

There was no time for deep passing, Pete.  USC was blitzing and our OLine was leaking.  The key would be getting off quick passes.

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.

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Turban Meyer's picture

My kingdom for a screen pass or quick slant! 

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

Amen.

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

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ChristianHaven's picture

+UV Turban for the succinct reference to a kingdom for a nail.  Well done. Very well done.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

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nickel beer's picture

Yes, a person clearly gets the impression by now, that the consistent potential for a bom threat changes everything for the opponent defense.  Without it (for whatever the reasons), an opponent defense, athletic and well coached, has no reason not to go risk on--in fact, way more risk on.   QB selection should be interesting this spring and will obviously weighted in favor of a skill set (including the quickest read ability) to compensate for any weakness in the other areas of the execution complex.  Three years now, it's a complex.  No other word for it.

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saltybuck61's picture

I have watched quite a bit of Alabama over the years since they have been one of the best programs in college football, and it is more of the same. Their fan base shares a lot of the same concerns that we have. Alabama doesn't have the most dominant offensive line, and rarely does. Alabama's receivers seem to be better prepared on the offense, but that is about it. On the defensive side, I don't see a huge difference. Maybe their linebackers, but that is really only this year. The two programs are closer than you think. 

I was thinking about it, and Alabama got the benefit of the doubt many years where Ohio State did not. In 2011, they got a rematch with LSU. They should not have won the National Championship that year. In 2012, Ohio State's bowl ban is the only reason they won. In 2015, that Ohio State team would have won the NC easy with Elliot, Bosa, Thomas, Lee, Bell, Apple, Conley, and Barrett. Yet that team didn't get in because the playoff committee had different rules back then.

If Alabama had not won the 2011, 2012, and 2015 championships, we don't talk about them as a dominant power. They have skated on their reputation more than you think, and it is my belief that they will not be much better than Ohio State for the foreseeable future. Their notoriety has helped them win national championships that they frankly didn't deserve. 

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Sanantonefan's picture

Glad Bowen will be back--it's like having 4 returning starters. Some of our young studs that redshirted last year should be ready to contribute as well. With JT gone, I think the OSU offense will have a different look/feel to it, no matter who wins the starting job. However, it all starts up front with the slobs!

You Got Barbecue Back There!?!?!?!

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SilverHaven's picture

Me too, San Antone.  The Samoan Bowen seemed to be teachable, a quick study,  who was fast to catch on.  Brains as well as brawn.

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.

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wpbbuckeye's picture

This was very good.  Thanks for the education!

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NorCal Buckeye's picture

Top notch as always. Best part of the site.
 

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GoNutz27's picture

This was the Oline's worst performance as a group all year.  Knox really struggled.  Didn't help that the playcalling didn't adapt to help offset the blitz.  If ever a time to throw some quick passes to the outside, this was the game, especially when defenders were playing 7 to 8 yards off the line.  

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cledaybuck's picture

Didn't help that the playcalling didn't adapt to help offset the blitz.

If you think that was bad, how do you think USC fans felt?  They didn't seem to adapt to the pressure we were bringing all night and didn't have an excuse to stay conservative.

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Seattle Linga's picture

Predictability will have to cease so Wilson can be creative with the tools he has to work with this next season. It'll be a much different team and line up so they will figure it out and I am encouraged. 

Go get'em Cal Poppy - we are behind you !!

It's not a rivalry .............. it's a wreckoning.

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Hovenaut's picture

The offseason reads we need...

Eager to see how the offense moves forward in year two under Wilson and company. The TCU reference is spot on...going to need some new wrinkles against the Frogs.

I'm not around that much, running exhausted and lost...

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steve-OH's picture

The final 2 games of this season were a microcosm of the whole of the season.

Both featured some exciting and explosive play that made you feel like this team could play with anyone. (both 1st halves)

And both featured some head scratching disappointment and made you realize that this offense was still mediocre and the play calling odd. (both 2nd halves)

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danmas's picture

I thought that this excellent analysis showed that it was not playcalling but poor execution.  Those routine stunts and blitzes on third down killed this line.  Weber was also a culprit.  But Knox and Prince and Price made mistakes in the plays shown above.  

Still, I blame that on coaching before game day.  These are routine things that defenses do.  

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SilverHaven's picture

Mahalo, Danmas, sometimes I wonder about reader's reading comprehension.  Kyle's big point was that it was not the usual suspects of JT and the play-calling, but rather the OLine execution.

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.

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Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

Confirmation bias, SH. If you come to this post thinking JT can’t throw, you look for tidbits that reinforce your engrained perspective. Same thing with play calling.

Football, for all its violence, is the most intricate sport because every offensive play requires solid execution from 11 guys. It’s usually tough to see where the breakdown is. That’s why Kyle’s film study posts are so great. I wish more people would wait to see what went wrong instead of immediately going to their bias.

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Turban Meyer's picture

" If you come to this post thinking JT can’t throw"

Except this has been proven on more than one occasion where the OL does play well. 

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Extramedium's picture

Except it wasn't a factor in the USC game.

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SilverHaven's picture

Football is the ultimate team sport.

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.

HS
Sanantonefan's picture

Wait, what are you saying? You're saying us fans have bias? Really? Could that be true? Naaaah...you must be biased against us. /s

You Got Barbecue Back There!?!?!?!

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Berg2004's picture

Seems like WR screens and quick hitters on slants would've caused USC to hit the pause button on their slants and stunts.  Or even RB draws.  Oh well.

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

Meh, I still think the reason the offense got conservative was because of Hill's miffed punt return. USC did some things to limit our ground game but there were still openings. The team not having played a real game in a month probably didnt help the offensive timing either. The defense can just go after it and smash them but the offense looked like it did to start the IU game, out of sync.

"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine

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FormerBuck's picture

It still comes down to play calling for me.  Watching the Oklahoma/Georgia game was so frustrating. To see the types of plays that Oklahoma used and making a really good Georgia D look horrible, yet we don’t have any plays like that. I wish we would just watch that tape and run the exact same plays that Oklahoma ran. With our talent, no one could stop us.  

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

I felt the same way... until OU lost. The downside is getting too cute and trying to do too much. Their mistakes allowed Georgia back into the game. Basically, Tresselball is boring but often works. 

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

HS
teddyballgame's picture

Sooners rely on their offense and we rely on our defense.  Neither team is particularly balanced.

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Silver Sniper's picture

Of course I agree with you in premise. However, breaking down what actually happened, I felt Okie kind of blew it late trying to run the ball too often and not being creative as they were earlier in the game.

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Turban Meyer's picture

Oklahoma played not to lose, and lost. 

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FormerBuck's picture

Of course they blew it late but you guys are missing the point. Oklahoma scored 50 on a team with a better D than anyone we faced this year

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Silver Sniper's picture

Yeah, that's why I said I agree with you. I just went into why I believe they lost in the end despite the amazing offense.

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southalabamabuckeye's picture

Great explanation, Kyle.  I do enjoy these Film Studies more when they are outlining how Ohio State dominated in some fashion though.

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ChazBuckeye's picture

Love your breakdowns with the film clips. Can't wait to see them next year with a hopefully new and retooled style of Ohio State offense. I for one am tired of QB runs...
Go Bucks!

It is time!!!!!

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danmas's picture

I just learned that those who have observed practice believe that Tate Martell is even BETTER than JT at making the right decisions in the read option.  And he has a stronger arm.  And without a doubt, Tate is a faster, better runner.  (Where JT might pick up a big 7 yard gain, Tate might get 27)  

Whether Haskins wins or Tate (or Burrow), I want to see Tate on the field with a package of read options and RPO's.  Just preparing for him will aggravate opposing defenses and inhibit other preparations they could have for our offense as a whole.  

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

You’ll see Tate in the relief role for sure. He is more developed out of HS than JTB was. He’s run the read option/RPO stuff for a long time. 

He will run the read option plays and also take over the role of 3/4 short yardage.  

Urban has shown for 6 years that he basically wants to use his QB on short yardage situations.

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

HS
rlyon's picture

It’s clear that strudawa is out of his league. Bring back Ed Warriner as line coach only! We’ve struggled in pass protection since he left!!

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Silver Sniper's picture

Rlyon, DV was not me but I disagree. I thought the O-line played pretty solid this year especially given all of the injuries. I can recall JT having all day to throw when he dropped back (not against USC of course). Anyway, just see it differently than you. I also think Warriner had a bunch of recruiting misses that put us as light on the O-line. 

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ChazBuckeye's picture

Love your breakdowns with the film clips. Can't wait to see them next year with a hopefully new and retooled style of Ohio State offense. I for one am tired of QB runs...
Go Bucks!
"While many fans have criticized the coaching staff for leaning too heavily on Barrett as a ball-carrier in close games instead of the many play-makers around him, the senior quarterback was the most dynamic part of the entire offense in his final game in scarlet and gray."
That's got to change in order to beat the teams that are playing tonight. Without Cardale's arm, Eze doesn't run for 200+ yards. Since when has an OSU running back had that kind of a day (let alone three games in a row)? Think about that for a minute...it's not just Tom Herman's play calling. It's the players...and style of offense that's becoming easy for good defenses to figure out. Which is what worries me about TCU in Jerry World. Changes must happen or OSU will be left in the cold again bc of a lose that shouldn't happen (Iowa this year, Lord only knows what game next year). Trust in Urban...I hope he sees what we all see.

It is time!!!!!

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

Since his days coaching at BG, Urban’s offense has relied upon the QB run. This will never change for better or worse.

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

HS
cledaybuck's picture

Interestingly enough, while looking through past box score I noticed the number of carries for Cardale in 2014 were 8 vs Wicy, 17(!) vs. Alabama, and 21 (!!) vs Oregon.  In 2015 when we "didn't adjust the offense" his carries were 13 vs. VT, 6 vs. Hawaii, 2 vs. NIU, 9 vs. WMU, 6 vs Indy, 4 vs. Maryland, and 12 vs. Minnesota.  It seems some of the narrative on this site about Cardale, Herman, Beck, 2014 vs. 2015, etc. are wrong.  Makes you wonder about how a Haskins led offense would (will?) really look.

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

Yep. 

Im convinced (especially after watching Houston when Herman got there) that he really is a great QB coach and very good game play caller. 

He simplified the offense for JTB in 2014. He called plays like slants to the WR.  Essentially, on passing plays, Herman had JTB go “read-read-run.”  He kept JTB from overthinking.  He simplified things even more for Cardale, and maximized his arm strength.  He used tempo the best, even better than Wilson did this year. 

Warinner and Beck’s offense was complicated and they always tried to call the perfect play. JTB regressed in his mechanics under Beck and he defaulted into overthinking and worrying about making the perfect play call himself. They stopped using tempo. I don’t think Urban trusted those guys. It affected everyone.  

If Wilson and Day go to playing fast and not complicating the offense, I think Haskins can succeed. Let him zip some slants and outs around. Play action passes would open up. I mean, NE and NO do this with Brady and Brees.  

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

HS
BuckInNashville's picture

Shawnee

you are brilliant. This is a great capsule of the offensive performance woes from the coaching perspective. It amazes me how commenters will single out a unit or a player to place blame for the trend, when the facts support that the system is the key factor. 

Look at the Patriots. They won with Matt Cassel who flamed out after leaving them. They win when they start Jacoby Brissett or Garopollo. Not saying Brady isn’t the top QB in the history of the world, but the system works. 

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RedQueenRace's picture

Since his days coaching at BG, Urban’s offense has relied upon the QB run.

His Florida team that beat Tressel's Bucks for the NC only ran the QB 13 times (out of 43 rushes total).  Leak threw the ball 36 times.

I remember the Gators dinking and dunking on the Bucks all night long with short crossing routes in front of the LBs.  Their longest run was 17 yards, the longest completed pass was 20 and probably involved some YAC.   Nothing spectacular; they just steadily moved down the field.  I thought we'd see more of that type of offense at OSU, especially on 3rd and medium.

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

That's true, but that game was more of an anomaly in terms of run/pass balance. And part of that was because they had so much more speed than us. We were made to stop the run, but not those quick passes.

However, he still used Tebow in short yardage situations to run the ball. 

Leak was the QB Urban inherited, Tebow was the guy he recruited (along with Cam Newton). There's a reason why an RB never had 1,000 yards under Urban and that's because he runs the QB.  It wasn't until Tom Herman came along at OSU and got Hyde the ball more that he found a new appreciation for running the ball. 

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

HS
cledaybuck's picture

Dobbins did have 174 yard on only 17 carries against Wisconsin.  Dobbins and Webber combined for 286 on 27 carries against MSU.

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

Dobbins best three games this year: 

181 yards against Indiana

172 against Army

174 against Wisconsin

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

HS
cledaybuck's picture

I wonder how many yards he would have gotten had he received 36 carries like Zeke against Oregon.

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SilverHaven's picture

Cardale started 2015 with Zeke, and couldn't deliver, looked terrible.
What happened?  Tom Herman left.

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.

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OSUBias's picture

It all worked out this time but I’m still amazed at how easily teams scheme us out of our comfort zone and how ill prepared we are to adjust to those strategies. Iowa dropped guys into our throwing lanes in a zone defense, how were we shocked by that? USC brings the heat (or not) but confuses our oline. The A gap blitz was an MSU favorite under Narduzzi, and stifled is a number of times. 

Braving the long dark of the offseason

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ibuck's picture

 I’m still amazed at how easily teams scheme us out of our comfort zone and how ill prepared we are to adjust to those strategies.

Adapting is important—but so is executing. This doesn't just happen to OSU and it doesn't just happen in football. It was apparent in OSU-MSU hoops game yesterday when MSU was frustrated by OSU's play against their big guys. They did not adapt and lost badly.

We may not be all that thrilled with the Buckeye offense in football the last few games, but they were Wins.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

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Duccivespucci's picture

I still think this offense needs to be updated. It feels a bit stale to me. It doesn’t need to be overhauled but Urban needs to let go a little bit. The QB run game is an effective weapon but sometimes less is more. Urban needs to self scout, he’s gotta know in big games he runs the QB too much. 8-11 designed carries is the sweet spot. I say Urban because Wilson never ran the QB much in his history, all the sudden he’s running him like crazy? We also have a lot of long slow developing passing routes. I see these other teams were the ball is out of the QB’s hand asap. Little slants, our routes, 5 yard stop routes. All good things when the line is struggling. How about a traditional screen play to our backs? Haven’t had one in six years. 

Overall, I felt that this year was poorly coached on all sides of the ball. It just seemed off and a lack of attention to detail really bothered me. Anybody else feel that way? That’s harsh, they had a great year in my opinion but sometimes it seemed the talent took over. They really did accomplish a many great things and I am grateful. There’s always things to improve in us all.

Michael

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danmas's picture

The "problem" with the read option is if you do it too much or it is too expected, it is like any play, it can be stopped or slowed down.

That's why:  1) it has to be combined with RPO's and good constraint plays;  2) you need a stud running QB because the defense can always make the choice to select to tackle the RB or the QB, not both.  Teams could let JK Dobbins gash them or let JT keep the ball.  Easy choice.  If Tate is as good a runner as it appears, that will no longer be an easy choice.

Still, Martell has to be able to make the throws, including deep passes, for the offense to improve next year (and top 10 in the nation isn't too bad as a starting point!) .

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Silver Sniper's picture

Great post, Ducci! I think a lot of fans feel this exact same way. Like why can't we even run screen plays for crying out loud?

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GOOMBAY's picture

So -- you're saying vitriolic one-liners from fans aren't the answer?

Many thanks for the continued analysis. This is one that I was really looking forward to -- at least in the sense of a post mortem with a strong dose of reality.

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buckeyepastor's picture

Great breakdown of things.   While I understand that an offense can’t prepare for every possible scenario, what USC did to stymie our run game seems like the first thing that would come to mind against that blocking scheme.  “Oh, the Center doubles on the NT inside to open up a hole?  What about we bring up LBs to disrupt that gap.”  Disappointing that we could be thoroughly confused and overwhelmed by probably the most likely and obvious “counter-punch” a defense would employ.   Seems like a situation where an offense that trusts its pass game would take advantage big time of all that crashing down to stuff the inside and fire something over the top of it in the short middle.  Even with one LB showing pressure and then dropping off, the play fake alone would slow his drop enough to open the middle.  

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

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GlassCityBuckeyes's picture

This offense scheme is expired. It still works against Kent St and Akron but most of the elite schools have seen this dinosaur so many times it's second nature.

18 Saturdays till kickoff

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Barfolomew's picture

Great read, thank you. I like to think (hope) that the coaches could have called some more aggressive plays to help the O-line out if the Buckeyes didn't have such a comfortable lead, but that wasn't necessary. In any case, USC had some strong players on it's D as always.

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blocko330's picture

The way our defense was playing I could have called the plays in the second half and the good guys still would have won...

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

- TruthTeller

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Clay Moore's picture

Chris Holtman is proof that a superior coach can inherit underperforming talent and make them winners.  Likewise Studrawa has failed to transform good talent into a dominant unit.... and has also demonstrated a failure to recruit new talent compared to his peers. Time to upgrade. 

Clamor

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Nutinpa's picture

Gee.  That's funny.  Before the USC game, Studs was being hailed as OLine coach who molded an underperforming unit into one of the dominant O lines in the country. 

So.....he, Wilson, and Meyer have the off-season to make adjustments to the scheme USC used since TCU is bound to do the same thing.  It should also be clear that as we went into our "we're not going to lose this game by giving you turnovers" that USC loaded the box and dared us to throw.  We obliged by running and ping-ponging our backs and JT into the line.   

It was also clear that the blitz schemes had poor Billy Price not knowing whether to shit or go blind. Some of that is on the coaches, but at the end of the discussion, it was clear that after KJ muffed that punt, Meyer was willing to win the game 24-21 if he had to. Hard to blame Studs for any of that. 

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Buck68's picture

thanks for the diagrams, descriptions... and perspective, Kyle.  

Buck68

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Buckeye24's picture

Give me a QB that can drop back put his foot in the ground and deliver strikes downfield, on time, "IN STRIDE" and you will cut out a lot of the crap these teams scheme up to stop your zone reads and running game. No fear of JT going off,over the top and behind the LB's. Again everyone talks about JT's numbers - but he didn't do any better throwing the ball 10+ yards downfield this year. He kills the behind the line to 4 yard passing but his pct downfield is not that good. No fear in the LB's coming and secondary blitzing....just keep coming at the line of scrimmage all night to out number us and so on.....

Artthedart

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

You, ummm, didn’t read the article or analyze the game film, did you? 

Contrary to some narratives, Barrett actually had a solid night throwing the ball despite limited opportunities. Though he only connected for 114 yards through the air, his 11-for-17 performance matched his season-long completion rate of 64.7% thanks in large part to the efforts of sophomore Austin Mack, who reeled in 3 receptions for 53 yards. 

Even the most basic line stunts seemed too much for that right side of the line to handle, as Knox failed to pick up edge rusher Uchenna Nwosu on this basic loop stunt. After initially sealing off the 3-technique tackle through the 'B' gap with Prince, Knox never even looked for a second rusher coming back through the 'A' gap, leaving Barrett completely unprotected.

Not all the failures were on the line, though. Perhaps due to his time splitting practice reps with Dobbins, Weber failed to pick up Nwosu right through the middle on an early third down, even though Price appears to think he has help from the back through the left 'A' gap

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

HS
SilverHaven's picture

Mahalo hou, Shawnee, reading comprehension for some is a challenge.

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.

HS
ShawneeBuck74's picture

Those dang predetermined narratives, though, SilverHaven... #amiright

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

HS
SilverHaven's picture

URrite#. It was very clarifying for me, Shawnee, to have Kyle take an objective look at what happened against USC, and provide some insights and video proof to back them up.
Aloha.

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.

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Trebor40's picture

They also would NOT have sold out to stop zone reads with Haskins at QB so we have no idea what dilemma USC would have put our offense in!  

I would rather be on hand with 10 men then elsewhere with 10,000 - Timur Lenk

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ChristianHaven's picture

Of course they would not.  Opponenets would have sold out to stuff the running backs because Haskins never keeps the ball (well once out of 20 times).

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

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Spirit's picture

 Great work, Kyle! One of the most informative pieces I've seen on any site, showing our opportunities. It will be interesting to see how we take advantage of them. GO BUCKS! Show your spirit!

Spirit

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OldTownBuckNut's picture

I don't really care what factors played into things. This guy did this. They moved that scheme over there. Whatever. The bottom line is that our offense was stopped after getting the big lead. If 11W can identify these issues, why can't the millionaire coaches at OSU? Now, I'm not saying we need to be one of these offenses that can't control the ball/clock, but we should look like we're a team that can move the ball at will whenever we want. Call the victory formation playbook at halftime? Fine. Just flex every now and then with a scoring drive. "Prove" to the doubters we can impose our will at any time. None of us feel that we did that comfortably hence this article vs the ones right after OSU curb stomped NDU in 2015. 2 cents. Fix it. Leggo. 

Round on the ends and "HI" in the middle. O-HI-O.

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Go1Bucks's picture

All any team had to do to stop our tired offense scheme, was watch the last 3 seasons and the games we lost.

Barely anything had changed. Make JT throw and find a way to stop the run.

Go Bucks!

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cledaybuck's picture

Apparently most of the teams on our schedule are coached by idiots then.

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Turban Meyer's picture

Or they just don't have the talent to actually stop the run?

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

Kyle's article and the game film contradicts this narrative in this instance. 

Contrary to some narratives, Barrett actually had a solid night throwing the ball despite limited opportunities. Though he only connected for 114 yards through the air, his 11-for-17 performance matched his season-long completion rate of 64.7% thanks in large part to the efforts of sophomore Austin Mack, who reeled in 3 receptions for 53 yards. 

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

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Donny T's picture

Would be curious to know how many of those passes were either behind the line or within 5 yards of it. I recall JT completing one pass that he threw further than 10 yards. That's not passing, that's a glorified running game.

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

All of the passes to Austin Mack were intermediate passes. The announcers were talking about him zipping the ball and throwing guys open. 

JTB was actually throwing the ball very well in the USC game, unlike the Wisconsin game. That's always been JTB's biggest problem IMO... elite consistency. Sometimes he's on and he looks locked in.

Other times, he's just off...and that's when you see him throw the ball behind people and then he starts holding the ball longer to compensate. 

You can usually tell by the end of the first quarter if he's on or off. Against USC he was on. As Kyle showed, he was really the only good thing we had going on offense. We just didn't need to do anything on offense after going up 24-0. 

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

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MDBuckeyes's picture

I never played the game (ice hockey is my sport) so I've never been around any coaching. Really appreciate these write-ups Kyle!

I am not sure I understand why this defense that USC played was different than the VATech "bear" front... in the "bear" it was 3 technique or tackles over the A gaps; USC used LBs.....  so the speed is different?  Both seem to take away the zone blocking and force man to man blocking?  

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Kyle Jones's picture

Great question, and the best answer I can give without having been at practice or on the headsets is that I never saw USC show this look very often in other games, meaning the Buckeyes didn't prepare for it. Credit to Pendergast and his unit for installing and executing this new look in the weeks and catching the Buckeyes off guard. He gets paid $850K each year for a reason.

I think one of the biggest misconceptions fans make is that "second-half adjustments" mean coaches will call different plays based on what they saw in the first two periods. In reality, coaches make a game plan, practice only the plays on that plan in preparation for that opponent, and then the adjustments made during a game are to trim that plan only to the plays that seemed to work. Other adjustments might be to execute a combination block between two players in a slightly different manner or to alter a wide receiver's route by a step or two, but coaches don't just try something new in the second half as if this were Madden.

Trebor40's picture

Given that USC needed to stop the run in order to compete with tOSU's style of play offensively combined with our pass rush, a 5-2 defense was likely given that they already have the personnel on the field to do so. Our non zone read power plays seemed to have effect why do you think the offensive staff did not go to these for the TB since they worked for the QB. I expected to see Berry in the second half blasting their LB's while Price did the same! Admittedly in small college ball, yet I was walked up to the line of scrimmage in the A gap as a safety against option teams to force them to adjust. This was in 1991-92 for heaven sake! It is a common ploy against a foe that is a strong running team with heavy option influence!

I would rather be on hand with 10 men then elsewhere with 10,000 - Timur Lenk

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MDBuckeyes's picture

Thanks for the explanation Kyle. I haven't logged in the last few days... got this thing called a job.... but I really appreciate the way you explain the nuances of this game to non-players like me.  

Great insight on half-time adjustments, but honestly never gave that issue much thought.  It makes perfect sense - if a team hasn't practiced something recently, it's not likely that the 12 minute conversation in the locker room is going to give everyone enough time to be able to implement a whole new strategy. Maybe I will stop yelling at my TV so much next season!   

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SilverHaven's picture

Mahalo nui oe, Kyle. 
Great read, great insight.  Sometimes our tired old narratives don't fit the game realities.
Aloha.

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.

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Keze's picture

I think Urbssel ball at it's finest again.

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simpsonlegal's picture

Great stuff!

It is exciting to read and view the points that are described and discussed, and to be able to do it over and over, so that you can look at all of the different things going on.  Thank you SO VERY MUCH for these articles!   They are truly amazing!

Michael Simpson

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buckeyeinWI's picture

looking forward to this year's offense...

GO BUCKEYES!

16-2 is SWEET!

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Trebor40's picture

I am looking forward to this years offense as are others yet I feel this way simply because I wish to see how UFM coaches without a safety blanket like JT or a video game athlete like Braxton at QB! This will tell me how much he trusts his staff and his own evolution! I am hopeful that Urban brought them in as a two year tandem, not for JT's last year yet for Haskins second as an actual option on offense!

I would rather be on hand with 10 men then elsewhere with 10,000 - Timur Lenk

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Timbucktoo's picture

I would imagine some concepts are in every team's playbook every game, such as slants, flare routes and pop passes. As many commenters observed, if USC is playing soft coverage behind blitzing linebackers to jam up the line of scrimmage, it seems more slants or passes to the flats - screens would be too radical a departure from OSU's playbook, unfortunately - would be in order. Yet, the coaches often resort to slower-developing routes regardless of the circumstances.

Also, it is widely-observed by fans and reporters, alike, that JT often throws late which allows defensive coverage to recover. While football is a thinking man's game, players thinking too much mid-play significantly diminishes any talent or speed advantages they might possess, and throws off timing of plays. Thus, while JT often gets knocked for his arm strength, imo, his biggest weakness is he doesn't appear to be sufficiently instinctive in the pocket mid-play and thinks through every action before committing to one.

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Bigmarty's picture

OLAY  OlAY OLAY blocking will not work for JT or Haskins.  Nor will the inside run game if there is no movement.  Our OL was period.  overwhelmed...JT has survived because he has had escapability.  Tell me Haskins has the same and we will be alright. 

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Timbucktoo's picture

I'd say Haskins has escapability: In limited action he generally escapes sacks by throwing the ball on-time.

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ChristianHaven's picture

Kyle, I add my accolades, although belatedly, to all those posted above.  You truly deserve them. 

As an OLine guy, I was sickened by watching USC dominate our OLine.  What happened? There were the usual suspects-- 78 Knox and 79 Prince and 85 Baugh who makes up for poor blocking by dropping passes-- but also some stalwarts like 54 Price had their problems.  Watching your video analysis clarified and reinforced what happened.

I have my pet peeves about JT and playcalling, but after your video demos above, it was clear that that narrative did not fit the USC game.  it was plain that the issue was right there on the beloved slobs of the OLine.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

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Nikkibucksfan's picture

Realistically, We would have had a hard time with any of the playoff teams. So,the fact that we were challenged and stopped with our run game is not a surprise. We still have a ways to go. The defense against the pass, lack of imagination with the run game (example) 2 headed monster at Georgia is amazing). Yes, I know they lost tonight. 

We have a long way to go before we can consider ourselves on their level. 

If Urban wants better results, focus even more on development. I know we do a great job at that .let’s be honest...we are not at the level we saw tonight.

Elite program? Yes. Better athletes...not yet.

sorry#GoBucks let’s get better.

Nikki emmerson

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Buckeye_Empire40's picture

Sorry if this has been asked before and I not see it Kyle, but what kind of software do you use to make these film studies? iPad Pro, Surface Pro, etc--and within that, what program? Thank you!

 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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