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The 3-3-5 Rushman Defense

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Cottonswab's picture
May 20, 2020 at 10:40pm

What are your thoughts on the 3-3-5 rushmen defensive package that was used last year and are you hoping it will return this year?


Last year, it seemed that this package usually involved these changes:

- Both DTs would sub out for Zach Harrison and a DB

- Zach Harrison would line up over the center.

- Baron Browning and Malik Harrison would become OLBs and line up on the LOS, outside the defensive ends.

- Pete Werner would become the MLB


The strangest aspect of this package was that the nose guard (i.e., Zach Harrison) would never actually rush the passer.  It almost seemed like his main job was to spy the quarterback and swat any passes over the middle.  

Personally, I never really thought this was a good idea.  It seems to me that getting pressure up the middle and preventing the QB from stepping up in the pocket is probably the most important thing you can do in an obvious passing situation.  Interestingly, when OSU ran the 3-3-5 in 2018, Taron Vincent played this position and always rushed the passer.  

The main beneficiary of this scheme was clearly Baron Browning.  I believe he had at least 2 sacks from this formation.  Conversely, I think this scheme negatively impacted Chase Young, as he had to line up inside the offensive tackle.  I don't recall Chase getting any sacks from this formation.

While I don't recall OSU giving up many big plays from this formation, I never really liked it.  I personally feel that they should have stuck with a 4-2-5 formation, with Baron Browning lined up on the opposite side of the formation from Chase Young.  

In any case, I am curious to get your takes on the 3-3-5 scheme that was used last year and what you want to see this upcoming year.  



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