Film Study: Despite A Major Change in Technique, Ohio State's Defense Failed to Live Up to Expectations Against Minnesota

Comments Show All Comments

RunEddieRun1983's picture

It's been difficult to watch this defense take opposing offenses best shots and give up massive chunks of yardage. If not for the turnovers against Minnesota, that game looks even worse than it did, and we won by 16 points...

Purdue is a pretty high powered offense and they score a lot of points. The defense has to be ready, and has to show it's teeth and get Purdue's offense off the field.

Urban Meyer left an incredible legacy. 12/4/18 Ryan Day begins his.

HS
a.buck's picture

I agree with you but one thing that is stuck in my head is how vastly different the defense looks after half time. It seems like all of the yards, points and big plays are happening in the first half. I would love to see someone break the defense down statistically by half. Nationally where would this defense rank if you take its first half stats projected for a whole game and where would it rank if you took its second half stats projected over an entire game

HS
BuckeyeinFlorida's picture

Late 1st quarter during a TV timeout, Make needed corrections and adjustments. Call a full timeout and improve immediately. At halftime further adjust and improve.
Looking forward to an impressive and effective game plan Saturday. Time to improve is now.

HS
chibucks's picture

agreed.  i may be missing something, but can we make adjustments on the fly instead of at halftime?  on offense, why don't we give isaiah prince a TE to chip the DE that was pretty good...  on defense, could we have made the adjustments earlier to stop the slant / deep post - drop the LB, etc?

HS
IGotAWoody's picture

Because on the sideline, you don't have the luxury of gathering all of the defensive coaches together for 10 minutes to share what they're seeing and make the necessary adjustments. That opportunity doesn't come until halftime.

I know people are worried about the defense, and much of that worry is justified. But I watch a lot of college football, and I see a lot of defenses that give up a ton of yards and points in the 2nd half. But consistently good defenses adjust and often play much better after halftime.

“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

HS
Northbrook's picture

With the money these guys are getting paid we shouldn't have to wait until they huddle at half to make adjustments. Get somebody(s) in the both that can make a accurate and quick diagnosis and get it communicated to the sideline pronto.

HS
Poe McKnoe's picture

Right?

There should be some time allotted to do this.  If only they had time between drives to convene while the opposing defense is on the field and get on the same page oh wait that’s exactly what they have.

HS
IGotAWoody's picture

Have you guys played football? Or been on a sideline and watched how this goes down? When the offense has the ball, each position coach is busy talking to his players. And making small adjustments to their position group. And the coordinator is going around to each of them and talking. At times he's able to talk to all of the starters and make small adjustments.

But BIG adjustments don't happen until halftime. That's when all of the coaches have 10 mins of uninterrupted face time to make changes. That's how football works.

“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

HS
Hellcat317's picture

Agreed, I've noticed the same trend for the past 2-3 years now. The defense slowly tightens throughout the course of the game. Seems to follow the same trajectory throughout the course of the season. I know it must be October when the offense suddenly starts worrying me more than the defense...

AJ

HS
Josh P's picture

I agree with your comment and I (as a sane, rational person) agree that our defense has been struggling.  But I can't stand when people say "if it wasn't for turnovers" as if that's not part of the game.  Our defense forced turnovers, adjusted at halftime, and made stops when it counted.  There is obviously room for improvement, that's just a pet peeve of mine.  

A couple years ago when we beat Michigan in OT a lot of Michigan fans complained (and still do) about the refs/the spot/etc and they say "if we didn't turn the ball over you wouldn't have had a chance in OT."  Well yea, but we did force turnovers, and that's part of the game too. 

I'm done ranting now.  

HS
Silver Sniper's picture

Agreed, very annoying when ESPIN tries to throw in how the game was already this close imagine if Minny had not turned the ball over three times! Uhhhh, unless I missed something, the Buckeyes forced those turnovers. That’s a skill of our defense, not some random thing that didn’t happen to go their way. 

HS
KENTACOHUT's picture

Kick rocks ichigan , you tried to throw the  ball in the shadow of your end zone  and one of the greatest osu ball hawks took that pass to the house ! Shit happens bum juice ! 

"Vitalum Vitalis "

HS
baddogmaine's picture

Some turnovers are forced. We didn't force turnovers, any more than we forced a missed short FG. A freshman walk-on QB threw two bad passes and a receiver coughed it up on minimal contact. Especially on the INTs if the QB holds the ball, as Haskins is doing, MN keeps the ball and maybe continues marching. We are not intentionally using risk-and-reward, we are struggling and hoping. That's a bad recipe.

HS
IGotAWoody's picture

Sheffield's INT was 100% a forced TO due to perfect technique. The freshman threw that pass because he trusted his WR to get to the spot, but Sheffield was in better position and faster than the WR.

“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

HS
Silver Sniper's picture

LOVE these film studies and this was the one I was waiting for! Very well done, Kyle. Wished I had your level of knowledge when watching the games. What a benefit it is to have Wade who can play safety and corner and who had the skillset to disrupt their slants. The last second shift by the Dline to throw off the blocking assignments was just what we needed on that. Loved Chase Young’s beast mode grabbing of the RBs jersey to fling him to the ground. That takes absolute man-strength to pull that off with just a finger grip on an RB’s jersey.

HS
JMeadows's picture

Yeah it's kind of weird how the turnover god just seems to favor some teams with a win.  So here's an equally stupid comment for you believers in the supernatural, if it wasn't for OSU outscoring Minnesota, it would have been a different game.   

Never place a bet on anything that can talk.

HS
NavyBuckeye91's picture

Buckeyes: +7 in turnover margin

Purdue: -1 in turnover margin, including 9 INTs

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

HS
IGotAWoody's picture

Yeah, but those teams we've played so far just GAVE us those TOs! The teams that Purdue has played simply haven't been as generous...

“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

HS
EvanstonBuckeye's picture

Great breakdown. Thanks, Kyle. 

HS
Geraffi's picture

Came here to say the same thing, and to ask, shouldn’t the coaching staff intocopate that less talented teams will be generating creative game plans  to exploit weaknesses, and shouldn’t we be able to partially game plan against that by showing different defensive looks, dropping defenders into coverage, or simply shifting gaps prior to the snap as we did in the second half? Why did it take so long to make that adjustment?  Why aren’t we planning to confuse a walk-on freshman quarterback?

HS
Knarcisi's picture

I think we tend to ride the “this is who we are, this is what we do” thing way too long. 

HS
dvo45's picture

Ironically...they would have had a better plan, in my opinion, if they had stuck to "this is who we are, this is what we do" against Minnesota 

HS
Silver Sniper's picture

Knarcisi, that’s one thing that drives me nuts about this staff is their level of stubbornness.  I’m more of a sell out where needed and win at all costs kind of guy. I even saw Nick Saban doing a double reverse flea flicker for a huge gain and it made me wish we would swallow our pride on things like that from time to time. 

HS
LawClub's picture

Hmmmm, maybe Satan learned that after a certain team pulled it off against him in a big game not long ago.

HS
JMeadows's picture

Couldn't agree more.

Never place a bet on anything that can talk.

HS
Geraffi's picture

I kind of feel the same way It’s like we don’t game plan for the teams we’re facing. We just game plan for ourselves. This is who we are and how we’re going to play and we’ll adjust to what the team across the field just did to us at half time, kind of thing. 

HS
dvo45's picture

Snakes in the grass...

The more you do...the more chances you have of something to come back and bite you 

HS
Hovenaut's picture

This read should come with a 'NSFW' warning...

Ugh.

Appreciate the halftime adjustments, I do...but could I get a helping of player development, with a smidge of start to finish game planning as well?

Respect, KJ - I wish I had the disconnect to watch some of this objectively.

I had to run away high, so I wouldn't come home low...

HS
BUCKEYEZ's picture

Bittersweet. I am both really glad to see Schiano change the scheme coming into this week and yet horrified that we have to do that to stay competitive on defense. For now, I’ll take the high road ,enjoy the win, and hope these guys get healthy.

HS
IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

Good, use this defense against Purdue because Brohm's offense is going to slant-pass the hell out of us with Moore.

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

HS
milhouse4588's picture

Is there any commentary on our coaches' seeming inability to adjust before halftime? I understand implementing scheme change mid-quarter, between drives would be tough but is there a way to make these adjustments earlier and more quickly? If we get down into a 14-21pt hole against Purdue, not sure we'd be able to get out of it.

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.

HS
Buckfrombirth's picture

I wonder that too.  Is there some rule of thumb that frowns upon adjustments during the game at the college level?  I’m seriously asking this, as I’m not a coach, but I see in-game adjustments all the time in the NFL, albeit with far better and more experienced players, of course.  

I survived Cooper, and I hate Tai Streets.

HS
ANOTHERMICHIGANLOSS's picture

I agree 1000000%.  I can appreciate the halftime adjustments that have been made.  But my god these guys are paid way too much to see something that is torching the defense and just say hey, we will just let the next quarter and a half play out and we will adjust at halftime.  My other argument, they have not coached these kids well enough to pick out these things and adjust themselves.  Between Schiano, Davis, Johson, and Grinch they have almost $3.3 million locked up...don't blame the kids, blame these guys for not earning their paychecks so far this year.

HS
Molandisi's picture

I agree it has been frustrating to watch much of this, but I too have noticed the stark improvement after halftimes, and I’m grateful that the better adjustments are always on our side.

One thought about the player development aspect... frequently in my dealing with youth (albeit admittedly younger youth in my case) that challenges leaders is the receptiveness of the youth to instruction...  they have to be able to understand and internalize what you’re telling them.  Have you ever said the phrase “that’s what I was trying to tell you” to your children?

Sometimes it takes adversity to “get their attention” sufficiently to effect a change.

HS
Frimmel's picture

That is an excellent point but still suggests having a coaching problem because they're not getting these kids to have the "Oh, that's what you're trying to tell me" moment in practice. 

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

HS
ANOTHERMICHIGANLOSS's picture

I hear what you are saying.  The comparisons between 18-22 year old kids and real youth is kind of lost on me though.  My kids that are under 9 years old, of course I use the phrase daily.  But I expect that at their age.  Kids that are "adults" have to be able to pick this stuff up if the information is presented in the correct fashion.  And that's why we have all this money invested into the coaching staff. Most of the starting guys that are struggling also have 1-3 years in the program watching and learning from some great guys that now play on Sundays.   So my opinion is that the coaches let them get this deep into their careers without learning the way they should have been.  Now maybe you are right though...what if after this weekend giving up that much yardage and playing a close game late against Minnesota will be the wakeup moment for everyone involved?  That works for me as well haha, I'll take the change any way I can get it.

HS
Sanantonefan's picture

I agree with the coach that the "being young" excuse is over. We need to improve a lot very quickly.

I loved seeing Chase grab that running back by the back of his jersey and flinging him backwards. What a beast!

Go Bucks!

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

HS
Blue Eyed Buckeye's picture

Super underrated moment! That was a hulk move!

HS
ponder10's picture

Can we also talk about how poorly Borland and Browning played against the run? It was awful!

“In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.” ~ Baba Dioum

HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

To me the bigger issue was our defenders not getting off the blocks.  Once they started doing that, plays were made.

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

HS
Buckfrombirth's picture

That definitely seemed to be the case in several of the examples above.  So, my question is, if you know that you have to shed blocks, and you do it well in the second half, why can’t you decide to shed blocks in the first half once it gets pointed out as a problem?  

I survived Cooper, and I hate Tai Streets.

HS
OHinTN's picture

It seems to me the LBs don't read plays very well which gets them out of position and then they struggle shedding blocks.  What Kyle said above about Hilliard not attacking with the correct shoulder and keeping his outside arm free is a perfect example.  They react a split second too late giving the blocker a chance to get a better angle.

HS
Buckfrombirth's picture

Thanks for the analysis, Kyle.  This goes a long way in explaining to this non-coach how halftime adjustments affected play in the second half.  It was also nice to see Grinch’s name appear as a positive contributing factor.  The bye week can’t get here fast enough to get some guys healthy.  

I survived Cooper, and I hate Tai Streets.

HS
LB U's picture

Schiano has been outcoached the last couple of weeks in the 1st half.. It just makes me scratch my head.

HS
Frimmel's picture

It is like he isn't asking what they're going to do to beat us. He is just concerned with what he has seen and puts no thought into what he will see. Or he is and is getting it wrong and this is confusing the guys and causing all of that "over-thinking." There is something the defensive staff is getting very wrong in practice it seems. 

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

HS
flying-banana's picture

This is the content I most look forward to every week on 11w, keep up the excellent work,

That being said, I do think injuries are starting to show as some inexperience in key positions is rearing its ugly head. I think the staff should honestly think about Pryor and if it makes sense to keep him where he is. In our defense I just don't think he's being put in a position to succeed despite his athletic talent. I'd also like to see an opponent forum that has a breakdown where they say, "OSU did something we just weren't ready for", because it never seems like we're innovating.

HS
SaltyD0gg's picture

Add in the fact that three starters were absent (Harrison, Nick Bosa, and Jonathan Cooper), and three others are battling nagging injuries (Dre'Mont Jones, Robert Landers, and Damon Arnette), and it becomes a little easier to see why the unit has struggled recently. The healthy return of those players should go a long way toward correcting the issues Buckeye fans have grown tired of seeing.

I don't think it can be overstated how much injury has impacted this defense. You're looking at 3 of our top 5 defenders being hampered by injury. We're talented, but young and that has showed up in spades. I just wish we could figure out out after 2-3 drives, not 2-3 quarters.

Pain of Discipline

Pain of Regret

Take Your Pick

HS
Davep160's picture

I don't recall seeing Dre'Mont jones even play in the first half.   

The lord of brevity.

HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

I just wish we could figure out out after 2-3 drives, not 2-3 quarters.

Agreed. I don't understand why it takes them so long to adjust. I understand, to a certain extent, struggling early because the opponent has departed from formations and tendencies that you've seen on tape, but why do you need an entire half to adjust to those calls? Playing that poorly for a half, and sometimes even three quarters, may be something you can survive against Indiana and Minnesota, but it's something that will kill you against teams with more talent and/or even better coaching.

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing." - Abraham Lincoln

HS
Afonzai's picture

Because it is a chess game. I believe the author did a great job of explaining adjustments throughout the first half. The opposing coach though has the ability to adjust to that adjustment. Show something new a few times, defense adjusts...throw in a wrinkle. Cat and mouse that lasts about a half and then you have seen pretty much everything they are going to show you. At halftime, you have time to look at photos, video, notes from the box that can pick out small variances that you can now adjust to on the fly. Each and every team we play is putting most of, if not all of their preparation for the year into this game so that they claim "We Beat the Buckeyes". And I, think this team and coaching staff has responded pretty darn good to that and have showed how good we are by doing so. 7-0 about to be 8-0.

Thumbs up

HS
PhillyNut's picture

I am sorry, but against teams like Minnesota and Indiana our backups are as talented, if not more, than the starters on those teams. While they are not as experienced they still should be able to get the job done. I think how the defense has played in second halves tells you it is not a talent issue with the backups that have been forced into starting roles.

I don't buy one goddam drop of gas in the state of Michigan!

HS
NavyBuckeye91's picture

but against teams like Minnesota and Indiana our backups are as talented, if not more, than the starters on those teams.

Which is why the Buckeyes ultimately won.  But there's no substitute for experience, and the Buckeye defense is severely lacking in that category with so many injured players out. 

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

HS
ShawneeBuck74's picture

I am not sure I trust our defensive coaches to be able to outcoach Brohm and Purdue's creative offense. 

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

This Purdue game has the Iowa nightmare all over it... Please coaches and defense - BE READY FOR THIS GAME! 

And the offensive line as well.  Rushing for barely 100 yards last game!??  That is NOT ACCEPTABLE.  I don't fault Weber and Dobbins, the O-line needs to man up and start kicking some ass.  Got to want it more than the D-line does, plain and simple.

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

HS
Silver Sniper's picture

To me, Dobbins has always been a better runner in open space and he’s really not that fast. I agree that the line is the primary problem, but Weber, injured, has a far better yards per carry than Dobbins right now. 

HS
TXNut2488's picture

Late to the party, but the lack of running game to me comes down to play calling. They insist on zone-reads through the A-gap when everyone and their dog knows Haskins ain't running, so they have the entire defense focused on one gap.

Seems like off tackle and more counters would be beneficial

HS
Silver Sniper's picture

I agree with that as well but Dobbins does not seem to be himself this year. Dancing around behind the line, not hitting any holes. At least Weber has the wherewithal to bounce the run outside and gain a few yards when the middle is clogged. 

HS
buckzilla1's picture

Sheffield on Moore where ever he is on the field. Speed on speed. Put up or shut up time.

Hey Cancer! This ass kicking is brought to you by the Guernsey county mafia. Give it Hell 84!

HS
Buckfrombirth's picture

I wonder if OSU’s game plan for Turpin translates at all to Moore?  They’re similar-style players and both play all over the field. The Bucks shut Turpin down for the most part.  Perhaps tying Moore’s shoelaces together would be useful strategy.  

I survived Cooper, and I hate Tai Streets.

HS
js2378's picture

What's your best guess on what Pryor was doing on Sheffield's interception? Was it man and he thought he had to switch to Sheffield's man? Either way, he's clearly lost on the play. 

Edit, in the first play, what other responsibility does Werner have after he realizes it's a fake? Shouldn't he just continue to attack the QB to try to make him hurry the throw? Seems odd for him to stand there 3 yards from the QB doing nothing. 

HS
Triv's picture

Given where Fuller was on that play (playing center field) I actually think Pryor likely was in the (relatively) right position there. Looked like a standard Cover 3, where Pryor lined up over the inside receiver, and filled the flat when Sheffield had to bail deep with the outside receiver.

Sorry Urban, Woody is still my favorite

HS
DarrylJenks's picture

That was very informative and has brought me back down from my football analysis pedestal.  Glad to see Schiano made some adjustments...seems like opposing offenses are singling out Pryor.  Do not know how you protect from that, other than give some more PT to Wade.

Darr

HS
Cincybuckeye's picture

Seems pretty clear to me that Pryor just isn't a good cover safety. If that's the case, and Schiano continues to run this scheme which requires our safeties to be solid in man-to-man coverage, I feel like Wade has to be the answer there.

HS
BucksLover0214's picture

This article is excellent.  It really explained to me where the changes are being made, for the better.  I'm as frustrated as anybody else watching the first halves.  I also wonder why some of these adjustments can't be made in between quarters.  God knows there's enough TV timeouts that you should have enough time to show these kids what you want them to do.  It's really sad we don't have a second safety.  What are we going to do next year when Fuller is gone?

They hate us cuz they aint us!! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

HS
buckzilla1's picture

he takes on the blocker with both hands, turning his shoulders away from the gap. 

Every single play that has been shown above, watch as every single linebacker runs into a gap and finds a lineman to hit. This has been the constant problem the whole year. (This is called getting caught up in the wash) Linebackers doing their job and allowing for the next guy to do their job. This is lunacy to continue to fire your gap (gap integrity) and not look for the ball. It makes it easy on offensive lineman as our linebackers run to them and not to the ball. (Watch Werner on the Chase Young tackle for loss). The 5-7 yard void would be filled up by the other 2 backers on a read and react defense letting the linebacker respond to gap attack based on seeing which way the ball is going. Trying to reinvent the wheel by Shiano is just dumb and is not working. Less is more in our case in the first half. Make the adjustments at halftime and roll from there. 

Hey Cancer! This ass kicking is brought to you by the Guernsey county mafia. Give it Hell 84!

HS
TXNut2488's picture

Borland is trash, watching him play is so frustrating.

HS
crackthewhip's picture

Nice read Kyle. I missed some of those subtle changes during the game. I was most likely throwing my remote, yelling at my wife or kicking the dog. This defense (or lack thereof) is making me crazy at times.

HS
buckeyepastor's picture

Is our tackling technique different than in years’ past?  Asking because I don’t recall a defense of ours giving up so much yards after contact.  So, so many plays that where the runner was met for no gain at the line of scrimmage, but finally pulled down four yards later after dragging the tackler.  I know some times guys just lose the battle and they can’t all be highlight tell plays, but the number of times guys have struggled to bring down backs and receivers really makes me wonder.  

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

HS
buckeyepastor's picture

What I see in our LBs is a bunch of very strong, talented guys that are slow to react, thinking too much, and too often wrong when they do commit to fill a gap.  No reason for this.  They can’t keep saying these guys are young.  They’re not.  

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

I agree, Pastor.  So my question would be, who is to blame, the coaches for not correcting this or the LBs for not making the right move/read?

I also think we need to seriously reconsider Davis for next year.  Through 2 years, our LB play has been suspect, to say the least.

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

HS
Frimmel's picture

I put it on the coaches. I know I heard Coach Fickell say on more than one occasion, "We don't want them to have to think." There is an overall understanding of the Coach's role as teacher that I think Fickell "got" that the current staff doesn't. The troubles all look very similar to early in Coach Meyer's tenure then I frequently heard the talk from Coach Fickell about not wanting them to think after the first Clemson debacle. Defense seems squared away. Coach Fick leaves and the defense starts to have the sorts of troubles it had early on in Coach Meyer's tenure. 

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

HS
Silver Sniper's picture

Great post, Frimmel. I’m 100% with you.

HS
Buckeyepaco's picture

I also think we miss Red Bull and Combs.

Section C1, Row 1, seats 1&2; Thanks Mom & Dad, September '61

HS
Frimmel's picture

So is the evident failure to anticipate what the opponent is going to present us a failure of scouting overall in properly evaluating the opposing team or just a failure of imagination? 

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

HS
TXNut2488's picture

Neither IMO. You gameplan for what you see on film. When the teams don't show it, well then, good thing for adjustments.

Similarly, I think we are very much holding back on a Tate package for the team up north.

HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

I've said it once before and I will say it again:

Wade needs to start in place of Pryor, period.

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

HS
Blue Eyed Buckeye's picture

Shaun Wade is one of our 11 best defensive players and Pryor is not. It's time for a change in starting personnel. Don't over think it, just put the 11 best players on the field.

HS
Homey1970's picture

We call it 'red teaming' in the military.  As any good tactician knows, you must anticipate the 'surprises' of your enemy, plan for it and adjust, as events unfold. 

HS
dvo45's picture

Minnesota's offensive coaches won the Red Team over Ohio State's defensive staff 

HS
kjonesATX's picture

I remember when Pryor was a recruit in HS, there was talk he could 'grow' into a LB in college. I'm starting to wonder if that could be a better option for him, kind of like a Jerome Baker type LB, or the hybrid S/LB you see in a lot of schemes nowadays. Kid has talent, but I'm not sure it's being used properly when he has to line up in man coverage 10+ yards off the line of scrimmage against a slot receiver. 

HS
Trebor40's picture

I really LIKE this concept! Hopefully the staff does as well! 

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

HS
Knarcisi's picture

Kyle, can you please answer for me what we are doing with our LBs so much at the line is scrimmage?  We gotten caught several times this year with 2 getting caught in the wash, leaving one to make an impossible tackle.  Seems like we want them to come up and play gap assignment and not sit back 4 yards off the ball and read. Frankly I don’t like it.  Even above in your 4th gif above on the slant, we seem to be settles with all 3 LBs coming to the line of scrimmage to dance with their blocker while one back into the curl zone could have gotten into the passing lane in that slant that was killing us. 

HS
dvo45's picture

"Havoc Plays" 

Force combo blocks to come off right now and let your NFL defensive line go one-on-one with the other teams offensive line...which is the biggest advantage or mismatch Ohio State has Week in and Week Out...why force them to take double teams...turn them loose 

I saw it somewhere this week, but Ohio State's Defense is top-10 in the county in creating negative plays (Sacks, TFLs, QB Hurries etc.) That gets lost with all the consternation over the big plays they give up 

HS
Frimmel's picture

That is clearly the philosophy. They don't want the DL to keep the LBs clean so the LBs can make plays. They want the DL to get big plays and leave the LBs on an island to do it. I ask what good is it to get a TFL and sacks if you just give all the goodness back next series by giving up a big play? Or needing the defense to get takeaways and big plays because they've given up a 90+ yard run from scrimmage for a TD? 

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

HS
dvo45's picture

You answered your own question...

They believe, or philosophical approach, if you will, is that they will create more Havoc plays than the offense can create big plays to beat them. 

Re. Linebackers..they are not on an island...they have a one on one match up at the LOS...whip a 1/2 man in front of you and make a play 

HS
Frimmel's picture

I guess I was just trying to figure a way to say I don't care for the philosophy. To me a three and out is a three and out sacks or TFLs or crys of "Havoc" and letting slip the dogs of war or not. Stop 'em and get the ball back. Don't give up homeruns especially to teams with equal talent that can drive the field on you. 

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

HS
Kyle Jones's picture

This is also how OSU is 3rd in the nation in sacks. The DL is looking to shoot gaps and get in the backfield to make the havoc plays, which means the LBs must do the same, otherwise, there will be open gaps everywhere. This is converse to the Heacock style that asked the DL to occupy blockers and leave the LBs free to make tackles or drop in coverage more conservatively. 

As we've seen in many different forms this season, be it the aggressive, press-man coverage outside or this decision to shoot gaps aggressively, there are always risks to any philosophy. For years, fans freaked out about how many screens and short passes the defense gave up, only to get upset when Schiano switched philosophies to take those away. Now, people don't like it that the LBs are up near the line, which is what allows guys like Chase Young to play with his hair on fire. 

Moral of the story: you can't have it both ways.

ISURVIVEDCOOPER's picture

Thanks Kyle for this clarification. That said, obviously 'the next man up' on injured DL isn't working as well so one has to wonder if I need talent will come along in time to shore up the injuries and make Schiano's philosophy truly sing OR would this be a good time to revert back to the Heacock/Fickell brand.

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

HS
Frimmel's picture

I was never one of those guys freaked out by the screens. I have a more conservative bend don't break don't give up the homerun outlook. I'm not going to go for a takeaway or a sack in a still close game on the road at the risk of 90 yard runs if I can make them punt from their own endzone. 

We're third in sacks but we've also given up the second longest rush and fifth longest pass of the whole season. We're third in sacks and 24th in pts/g and 38th in points. I'd rather be top ten in both of the latter. The object of the defense isn't to get sacks. It is to keep points off the board. Be best at that first is my preference. 

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

HS
Knarcisi's picture

Good response, thanks. Then as I stated a few weeks ago, high risk, high reward. The reward plays have been less and less. And the DL, as good as they are, are not winning those one on one matchups most of the time. 

HS
buckeyepastor's picture

Okay.  I understand that in theory.  But the moment you see that a team is utilizing a quick pass-RPO,  that strategy becomes a waste of time.  You are gambling that the DL can get to QB before a three count or even a two count because if they don’t, the short middle is as open as a 7-11.  That is beyond high risk/high reward.  It’s downright futile.  

And in light of that, all the more credit to our corners, because slants and short crosses into the middle when the LBs are engaged with blockers at the LOS is damn hard to defend without giving a step to the receiver.  Props for the passes we have still managed to break up in those circumstances.  

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

HS
dvo45's picture

Fleck, or whoever calls plays for Minnesota was a step ahead of Schiano's Defense all day

if 'Sota had a little bit more accurate of a QB they win this game

2 TDs that resulted in missed FGs came because of an inaccurate throw...not great defense 

When Ohio State started to put their 3 technique to the field 'Sota was ready and flipped the Y-Off, kept the same read, and hit the Y-Off instead o the #2 WR 

HS
Tulsinator's picture

I always love reading the film studies. Everyone on this thread brings up a valid point: The team that can score enough points before these second half adjustments (plus has a defense) is the team that is going to beat us. Purdue might not have the defense to stop us, but can certainly put up points. Not that they can't upset us, but there is a mitten state team in Lansing that is going to give us everything we can handle... Here's hoping our pass rush can offset some of the big plays given up by the back 7 this week.

I think a big key to this game is Damon Arnette. If he is not healthy, you have 3 corners in Sheffield, Okudah, and Wade rotating in or playing nickel. As many have pointed out, Pryor has been lost at the second safety spot and has been exposed. If Arnette can play effectively we will probably see Wade more at the safety spot which significantly helps our defense.

Oh, and I miss Fickel and Coombs...

UNDISPUTED

HS
JSH0717's picture

Kyle,

Awesome break down per usual.  

GO BUCKS!

HS
PapaJoe's picture

DGreat clips and analyses Kyle!

One suggestion if I may:   Please slow down the GIF speed.

Buckeye Forever!

HS
Earle's picture

Maybe that's the trouble with the LB/Safeties.  The GIFs are too fast for them.

Axe leukemia!
#Poppystrong

HS
HotSauceCommittee's picture

Excellent work. The question is, can it be fixed? They need this BYE week. Beat Purdue.

HS
Silver Sniper's picture

If we can get to that Bi-Week undefeated, I see our stars getting healthy and a lot of coaching up and us coming out ready for the rest of the year and a possible run at a Natty. That’s a big IF

HS
bornbredbuckeye's picture

How about we go ahead and give control of the defense to Grinch. I've never been fond of Schiano's defensive tactics and if he's already "borrowing" from Grinch, just give it up.

GO BUCKS!!! *ichigan sucks!!!

HS
GoNutz27's picture

It looks like some of the safety issue is a lack of trust that the linebacker is going to do their job, so they aren't staying with their own assignment and are anticipating they might need to help out the linebacker.  This also looks like it gets the safety out of position and compounded by taking bad angles trying to play catch up.

HS
Silver Sniper's picture

THIS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^!!!!!!!

Everyone is forgetting last year when we had the same issues at LB and Pryor wasn’t there yet for everyone to dump on. Everyone forgetting about how the LBs got TORCHED and exposed by Baker Mayfield and again by Iowa. This isn’t a new phenomenon, it happened last year too. A safety should never be a team’s leading tackler ever. Fuller has been our leading tackler for two years in a row now. Meanwhile everyone keeps dumping on Pryor as if the LBs haven’t been playing awfully. It starts in the trenches, behind them, the LBs should be the playmakers, corners on the edge and a safety should be just that, a safety valve, not the leading tackler.

HS
Trebor40's picture

Yet in our scheme the DL are the play makers leaving the LB's to fend for themselves!  

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

HS
Frimmel's picture

It goes back the philosophy above about "Havoc plays." Might not just be a not trusting the LBs but the "big play" philosophy overall. They want the DL to create havoc more than they want the DL to keep the LBs clean. The safeties "know" they're needed for run support because good RBs can make linebackers miss even when the LB is where he is supposed to be. 

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

HS
Silver Sniper's picture

Frimmel, what’s your opinion on that? Do you agree with it? 

HS
Frimmel's picture

I'm a bit torn but mostly not a fan. Kyle mentioned above how folks didn't like all the screens and such we gave up and I was not one of those guys. What we have now can be a very exciting style of defense. I won't deny the importance of turnovers. I'm sure to some not small degree (primarily it is probably Coach Johnson) the style is responsible for all the DL talent we've been getting here. Sacks and TFLs and such stats win awards and move you up the draft board. Games are won in the trenches and such. 

But I suspect the corollary is the style isn't getting us the best LB talent. When things go wrong the LBs are the ones most likely to end up looking foolish. I'm of the opinion that LB is the place where you need the guys who are the most "football fast" as opposed to simply forty fast. The place you're most likely to turn three stars into five stars but not in this system. Everyone needs to be elite talent performing at elite level. LB is where you have to be smart without thinking in my opinion. I think that is also where you need the coach to "get" what his guys need. 

It also would seem to get you in trouble when you're digging deep on the depth chart. Your entire DL room isn't going to be full of Bosa. 

This article certainly suggests that we are not a disaster on defense but having given up the fifth longest pass play and second longest rush play of the  entire college football season makes it hard to shake the idea that a disaster looms. I don't like fearing that the defense is always about to give up a huge play. 

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

HS
Silver Sniper's picture

Appreciate the thoughts, Frimmel.

HS
ISURVIVEDCOOPER's picture

I think that this havoc philosophy on def is nice when you have a fully operational deathstar def but it is a battle of how to gamble when weak essesare exposed. What I am trying to say is that given our injuriesand youthon def, wekeep hearing Urbz say that we need more out of the DL. Si that tells me that indeed we are a DL driven defense so would you rather scheme and coach this def for the DLs weaknessorthe LBs weaknesses... The answer has clearly been DL first in all planning ... Hopefully we can find a way to mix it up where LBs can showcase,too and not get burned over and over again out of stubbornness to be DL first in everything

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

HS
TXNut2488's picture

Our most talented unit is the line. You tell the line to clog up lanes for the LBs to make plays and the defense gets burned even more. Our LBs (whether it be scheme, development, or talent) are not good, though I think Harrison and Browning could be special.

Glad to see the press-bail technique, we were getting too many ticky-tack PI calls going against us in press-man

HS
Silver Sniper's picture

I also prefer press bail for the simple fact that the DBs play the ball instead of the receiver. I prefer having our back to the goal line than having our back to the QB. It resulted in two INTs instead of more PI calls.

HS
Buckeye_Wizard's picture

No other site does it better than this one and no other writer explains concepts better than Kyle.  The examples he gives and the concepts he explains are very high level. Personally, I do not know of any other site that comes close to the level of knowledge demonstrated here.  Forever grateful for the breakdowns.  Thank you!

Quote from ttun fan: "It is not a rivalry anymore. It is a yearly execution."

HS
Buckeyepaco's picture

Great defensive analysis, I hope to see one for our offensive run blocking schemes getting torched so we can identify what to look for from Purdont.

Section C1, Row 1, seats 1&2; Thanks Mom & Dad, September '61

HS
TXNut2488's picture

It's called stubborn playcalling. Add in some off-tackle runs and some toss sweeps away from the TE and then the middle will open up.

The fact that every team knows we are running into the A-gap of the TE side with a QB who won't run makes it INCREDIBLY easy to defend.

It's also why KJ and Parris have been exploding though.

HS
oztintacius's picture

I think we'll be OK if we can make it to the bye week and get some of those 5-6 defensive starters healthy.. I don't care who you are, that kind of attrition takes a toll.

HS
BuckeyeJAK's picture

This is a troubling trend. Two years of linebacker issues. They need to take a long hard look at coaching and talent. Different players are on the field so look harder at coaching.

Mark May is a mental midget

HS
dalbuck's picture

After reading this, I feel more confident in what our defense is doing. I like seeing the adjustments (i.e. stemming the DL, switching to press-bail, bringing in Wade). I'm not savvy enough to know what all is happening during a game. I don't have a trained eye for all the Xs and Os. I really appreciate these articles and feel like I learn a lot each week about play strategy. Thanks for the great article.

DB

HS
Nikkibucksfan's picture

The Big Ten Network Just tore us apart. The lack of running game offensive line getting dominated and just not looking like a playoff team . They rank TTUN as the best in the Big Ten. Hard pill to swallow...reality check? Are the injuries starting to get to this team? Maybe...you can only get thru so many of them.I love my Buckeyes...this was hard to listen to. #hope we show up soon...

Nikki emmerson

HS
TXNut2488's picture

Love this, TTUN has beaten who exactly? A bunch of nobodies and a team with a QB who completed 7 passes all game. We beat Penn state and tcu on the road. We will smoke the heck out of TTUN.

HS
Tvcamper's picture

Why not throw something different at Purdue? What about going to the bear defense and put five on the line and keep two linebackers off the line. I think this effectively controls the RPOs and makes the defense less vulnerable. Plus its something Purdue hasn't seen on film.

HS
WildBear Buckeye's picture

Synthesizing what I've read about defensive struggles this season, they seem to be putting LBs into very tough assignments that maximize the effects of any shortcomings in playing according to "base rules" -- in other words, lack of fundamentals. Specifically, they are putting the LBs very close to the LOS and requiring them to diagnose disguised passes quickly and drop back. Any screw up in fundamentals then stacks on top of slow diagnosis to make them that much slower to react. Obviously we hate Bill Davis because he's failing to teach LBs the fundamentals, but to what extent should we blame Schiano for continuing to ask this much of the LBs? With the exception of Borland, the LBs best quality is athleticism. Why not place them a few yards farther back and let them use that athleticism to close the gap ahead of them when they need to play run support?

To a certain extent this is true with Pryor at Safety as well. They were forced to go with a young starter at Safety because they played a multi-year starter Damon Webb last year and didn't develop experienced depth behind him. Clearly Pryor is unprepared to play in coverage. Unfortunately, there isn't much they can do here because safeties always have to cover either deep or short routes. Pryor may have a bright future at Safety, but at this moment are there any aspects of the Safety position at which he does much better Wade? Wade won't be perfect either, but seems like Pryor needs to take a break from starting and focus on coverage fundamentals with a GA in charge of CBs.

HS
TXNut2488's picture

I partly agree with the LB statements. I don't think they are asking LBs to do anything except for attack which sucks because 2 of the 3 are not good. I don't think they want the LBs diagnosing anything because of their lack of ability to do so.

HS
NEBuckeye's picture

Always look forward to these! Would it be too much to ask for a two-fer this week because it seems the OL role in the running game needs a post mortem as well. 

HS
Hellcat317's picture

I think they should worry less about scheme and more about technique.

AJ

HS
Gobucks2112's picture

The biggest thing I have seen, from a standpoint of someone who has some football knowledge but not at a player or coaching level, but it seems a lot of the time, and I think if you watch the 5th gif, our LB's seem to come up to the line too fast without really diagnosing the play. I know in that, Hilliard does get swallowed by the block and his technique is bad trying to get off of it, but I think if he waits and forces the back to make a cut out or in, the play gets stopped about 5 yards up field and not 20 or more. It was the same thing that happened against TCU on the 93 yd run, they just come up into the open gap too fast, the RB see this and cuts to the outside or another gap and then there's no one there. I would rather give up 5 yard runs than 25 or more yard runs. Just seems its either over eagerness or over agressiveness instead of a little more patience to make the runner go the way you want them to. 

"You got barbecue back there? Hurt my feelings!"

HS
ddilley2000's picture

This year's team has scuffled at almost every level. I understand Bucks are 7-0. I think the overwhelming concern is when is the other shoe gonna drop? I'll probably get down-voted but, generally, most don't believe Urban is the best tatican or having the team prepared. Helluva job with coming behind in the "fire drill" exercise though. Urban will go as far as the talent takes him. His, overwhelmingly, best coach trait is recruiting. That has zig zagged this year with some positives but alot of head scratching and questions surrounding how this class ends. This year just feels like a compass without a needle. Thank you Dwayne Haskins for doing a unbelievable job at leading....and passing Hey, maybe this year is a year we do better than our questions think we'll end. Beat Michigan and the rest is gravy

PumpHandleSlam

HS
SamOgilvie's picture

The linebacker position is notoriously difficult to learn, because it's so difficult to read all the keys quickly, and respond before all the blockers arrive, good instincts are almost essential, and the popular spread offenses make athleticism far more essential than it was with traditional offenses.  I can recall when relatively small, and relatively slow guys with a nose for the ball or good instincts and key reading skills could thrive, but that does not appear to be the case anymore. I can sympathize with the players and coaches these days.
Thanks for the great analysis.  All the scheming and adjusting makes the game interesting.  As others have said, it's a pleasure to see adjustments, regardless of their timing, working and allowing for success or wins.

Sam Ogilvie

HS