Yes, I believe that personnel point wholeheartedly. He elected to attempt to keep everything in front of his defense and hope Fields simply had an off day instead of betting on his DBs to keep up with the OSU receivers. Additionally, I bet he played so much zone so everyone could have eyes in the backfield and help against the QB run.
A couple of you have called this out and though the action is similar and uses a similar read (using the inside receiver to clear the underneath defender), it's a slightly different concept. As you can see below, Dixon is running an option route where he can settle in the middle of the field vs. 1-high coverage or run down the seam, going OVER the linebacker vs. 2-high (as he does for a touchdown). Good eyes, but slightly different:
I don't really buy the notion that Urban wouldn't "let" Day run the offense he wanted, since the offense has looked pretty different in each of the 3 seasons Day has been on campus. The biggest difference has been the way the offense has changed to fit the personnel. In 2017, that meant an option-based running game with mostly intermediate throws from 11 personnel. Last year, it was a lot of 10 and 11 personnel throwing it downfield. Now, it's more 12 personnel with some option runs and a lot of play-action, including more roll-outs due to the QB's athleticism. It'll be interesting to see what direction they go next year assuming Dobbins and 3 senior WRs are gone.
I think that's a little unfair to compare the two, given that Haskins got 2 full years in the program before starting a game, and had spent a full season being tutored by Day directly. Fields has still only worn a Buckeye uniform six times, and is playing in his third system in as many years. He and Yurcich deserve a ton of credit for the work they've put in to get him to this point already.
There is no difference. Some coaches (including Mattison) who call it Cover 5.
Excellent question, and honestly one I'm surprised hasn't been asked more. Withers relied on a lot of Cover 6 (Quarter-Quarter-Half) match coverage which utilized pattern-matching techniques instead of pure zone drops. I didn't study OSU tape back then as much as I do now, but based on what I recall, there were problems with 1) the installation and execution and 2) the predictability of these play calls. In theory, there is really nothing wrong with any style coverage, as the idea that zone is better than man, or match is better than both misses the point entirely.
To be successful in any system or coverage, defenses must be comfortable in executing it because of countless reps (the old adage of 'reacting' instead of 'thinking') and be unpredictable. What Hafley and Mattison are calling on early downs is EXTREMELY vanilla schematically, but they're mixing up match and man coverages from the same pre-snap look and the players are comfortable executing them. The players themselves said that they hardly mixed up coverages until last year when the staff would try to install new ones on the fly during the week, which led to breakdowns. Now, the unit seems to have the base scheme (C3) down, they're getting there with C1 man, and I'd bet we start to see one more coverage come out more as the season progress, just so they've got options if/when they get to the playoff/bowl game.
It was the same, 2TE set with the 2nd TE in a wing alignment that’s shown in the PA clip. Fields under center in both. Only difference was the TEs were flipped toward the boundary on the play prior, and they ran that direction behind them.
As for Teague, he still looks a bit raw in pass pro, unlike Dobbins who seems very comfortable in these scenarios.
The LB should fill his run gap, as Shaun Wade will likely be trailing that slot receiver who would be running the slant, while Jordan Fuller should also be there to make a tackle if/when the catch is made. RPOs like the one you described were designed initially to beat these kinds of defenses, but over time, defensive coaches have learned to anticipate such packaged plays and have drilled the defense over and over to handle them.
The real threat these days comes from using the threat of that slant to remove Wade as a potential force defender against an outside run to that side. The never-ending chess match continues.
I want to pin this comment to the top of my Twitter profile
This looks very little like the Michigan defense of the past few years under Don Brown. Personnel-wise, there are some similarities, but scheme-wise it's the complete opposite. Brown relies heavily on press-man coverage while mixing in 2-trap, which is a derivative of the old Tampa-2 coverage and isn't commonly taught. On top of those, Brown blitzes on 65-70% of snaps, since both of those coverages can easily be played behind extra pressure.
Conversely, OSU is playing a 3-deep zone-match with some press-man and the occasional blitz mixed in.
That all said, what separates Brown from his contemporaries is the focus on technique and aggressive attitude. Michigan always has 5-6 guys rallying to the ball and doesn't miss a lot of tackles, and in that sense, it could be that the influence from AA is being brought in by Mattison and Washington.
I don't think it was all that different, as they still relied heavily on Inside Zone-read, Duo, and Outside Zone handoffs in the run game. The only difference was they ran Duo and Outside Zone from a pistol look more than straight under center, which allows the QB to read the backside edge. That resulted in more keepers for Fields (which he looked quite comfortable doing). There was definitely more of a spread feel, though, to your point. I think that had more to do with the opponent, though, as Cincy was very stout up the middle last year, and teams like UCF gave them trouble by spreading the field and getting the ball to speedy players in space. That's why we saw more quick outs and WR screens.
The biggest takeaway for me was how good Fields looked. He seemed calm and comfortable all day, even when pressured. He made very few mistakes as a passer and threw some absolute darts. Day called out the touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson, as he was rolling to his left and still put it right through a small window, but he was completing deep outs to the opposite side of the field without any hesitation or trouble, showing a combination of accuracy and arm strength. As a runner, he made a few cuts upfield that probably didn't get celebrated because of how big he is, they didn't look quite as fast, but he left a couple defenders in the dust and still showed the smarts to slide or get out of bounds before taking a hit. The only thing people were upset about was the 4th down run he didn't pick up, but I actually think that was on Wyatt Davis, who was pulling on the play and missed the end he should've kicked out, allowing that guy to wrap up Fields at the line.
I agree that we may see more coverages this week against a conference opponent, but Hafley admitted that they showed a lot more this week than last, especially on third downs. This week we saw zone blitzes with 3 deep-3 under zone coverage, and straight press-man coverage in addition to the Match-3 coverage in those passing situations. The constant theme was 1-high safety looks, though. It's been surprising how little we've seen from 2-deep looks, especially since we saw it in the Spring Game, but that may still be to come.
The one thing that has been a bit overlooked, in my opinion, is the use of different personnel. Though they're consistently running the same schemes, the defense has done a good job of substituting to match the offense:
- Against 11 (1 RB, 1 TE), they've used the base 4-3 with Wade in as a slot corner
- Against 12 or 21, White has subbed in as the slot defender (Bullet)
- Against 10 (4 WR), both White and Wade have been on the field, usually with Harrison and Werner as the 2 LBs
- Against 22 (heavy) like we saw when UC was backed up to their own goal line, all 4 'starting' LBs come on the field in a 4-4-3 alignment (Fuller is the only safety)
This allows the defense to match whatever they expect from the offense, but keeps everything pretty similar for the other 9-10 guys regardless of who is playing as the slot defender.
You're correct on the idea that Fuller should be there to help. If the offense runs 4 verticals, as many have mentioned here, the 3-deep coverage would essentially turn into Cover-4, as Wade would run with #2 to his side all the way deep, allowing Fuller to pick up #2 weak after the LB initially disrupts that route (you can see Harrison do so in the first video). So, in this instance, the corners would run with the outside receivers while Wade and Fuller would take the inside receivers, meaning Fuller isn't splitting the difference as would happen in a traditional, Cover 3 spot-drop zone.
I believe you mean this one: https://www.elevenwarriors.com/ohio-state-football/2014/11/44174/film-study-scouting-indiana
I got more into Wilson's schematic heritage here: https://www.elevenwarriors.com/ohio-state-football/film-study/2017/01/79314/film-study-the-schematic-heritage-of-new-ohio-state-offensive-coordinator-kevin-wilson
...and his play-calling at IU here: https://www.elevenwarriors.com/ohio-state-football/film-study/2017/01/79473/film-study-analyzing-kevin-wilsons-style-of-play-calling
I saw almost none of the Oklahoma State scheme in this week's game plan, which isn't a big surprise. As far as I understand it, Yurcich is there to be a QB coach primarily, helping execute the scheme set forth by Day as the play-caller.
What impressed me was how much more polished Fields looks as a passer, compared to just a few months ago during the Spring Game. When his first read was there, the ball came out quickly and accurately, without hesitation. That wasn't happening in April. There's still room for improvement, however, as Justin looked a little lost when that first read wasn't there, so that's where Yurcich can make the most impact.