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How Penn St. Defended Ohio St. on 1st Down

+24 HS
Buckeye_Wizard's picture
October 24, 2017 at 4:13pm

I like to watch college football.  Hence, I spend some time watching replays of Ohio State's games and their upcoming opponents.  I love the strategy of football.  If you love the strategy of the games, you might like this too.

Last year, in the first half of the game against Penn St., the Lions brought pressure against the Buckeyes on first down 6 out of 13 times.  Every football team likes to gain a good chunk of yards on 1st down and Ohio St. is no exception.  Clearly Penn St. was trying to do something on first down to combat Ohio State's success on first down.

But, it is not like they did any exotic blitzes or anything.  Penn St. just did normal run of the mill kind of stuff.  Below are a few examples.

Will LB Blitz

Sam & Mike LB Blitz

Sam LB Blitz

In the second half, Penn St. completely changed their strategy on first down.  They did not bring pressure at all.  They left their Sam in coverage but brought the Strong Safety down for run support.  I saw them do this 4 different times in the second half.  At one point, the score was 21-7 in favor of the Buckeyes...so they didn't change their strategy because they were winning.  Check out below.

Against Michigan this year, Penn St. did not blitz very much at all on first down.  Also, when they did bring pressure, it was with a safety or corner...generally not a linebacker.  Below you can see Free Safety #2 Marcus Allen come off the edge.

Since Michigan's offense is so different from Ohio State's offense, I checked out the game against Indiana.  I wouldn't say Indiana and Ohio State run the same offense, but they definitely run some of the same formations.  Interestingly, the Lions did not blitz much during the game.  They mostly rushed four and played zone. The score may have something to do with this since it was 28-0 at the end of the first quarter.

I am very curious to see how Penn St. will play the Buckeyes this year.  It will be fun to watch the coaches play the game within the game.

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