This is correct. JT running the ball was the only thing that consistently worked throughout the entirety of this game.
There's a free safety sitting in the middle of the field who bails out of the screen just after the snap, which is why the defender has outside leverage.
Sometimes, yes. There were plenty of runs that went nowhere in the second half once the option element was removed. For instance, the third-and-short in the fourth quarter was a "Power" concept that had no read element and was stuffed for a loss, forcing a field goal attempt that was missed.
Whistler is amazing no matter the season. I've heard the seaplane trip from Vancouver is worth it, but the drive up through Backwater Bay and Howe Sound is unforgettable. Highly recommend it to anyone spending time in the pacific northwest.
Yes, it was a perfect example of the "4 hands - 4 eyes" principle that's taught for combination blocks like this. Both the center and guard get all four of their hands on the defensive tackle while keeping all four eyes on the linebacker behind them, and based on the movements of both (i.e. the tackle pushes to the right while the LB goes left), it's clear to both blockers who should disengage and take on the LB. It obviously takes lots of practice, but these guys clearly have it down.
Honestly, Michigan State tried a few things (like running some unbalanced formations with the tight end covered up and ineligible as well), but three things made it a very different result:
- The OSU Linebackers seemed to have learned from their mistakes and were far more sound in their run fits than the week prior, thanks largely in part to a scheme that was very basic and didn't ask them to make many adjustments on the fly.
- MSU's OL is nowhere near as talented or as well coached as Iowa's, and the Buckeye DL had a field day
- Lewerke didn't hit throws the same way Stanley did the week prior. Probably because they were facing so many long-yardage situations and had pressure breathing down his neck, but he had a few open receivers and just couldn't connect.
I try to just post the narrative that I think is the most interesting this week, and the defense's afternoon was really pretty straightforward. That said, you can find these and other random thoughts I had from the game in a thread I tweeted yesterday: https://twitter.com/Jones/status/929759892168167426
Click the Film Study giant banner at the top of the article and you're all set. Or go here: https://www.elevenwarriors.com/ohio-state-football-film-study
This is a pretty good explanation: https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/01/12/patriots-receiver-eligibility-tactic-could-catch/eTiRiTUbQaECsPGF4e8APJ/story.html
One thing to note is in the NFL, a player wearing a number not in 50-79 (i.e. an eligible receiver) must be the end man on the line (this was done to make the game more fan-friendly and easier to watch/understand, as the ends will always be eligible). In college, though, an ineligible number can be the end man, as we saw with Jamarco Jones and Isaiah Prince lining up on the ends of the line with the unbalanced sets. This means the unbalanced formation that was so successful for OSU would've actually been an illegal formation in the NFL.
One reason might be that they haven't seen the same thing from one team as much as they've seen of MSU's defense under Dantonio, meaning they felt more comfortable basing a game plan around what they expected to see than normal.
Often, OSU gets all the wrinkles a team has saved all season (i.e. Iowa), so they can't get too in-the-weeds with what they can anticipate seeing each week.
It's very difficult to tell who is parallel to the line from a player's perspective on the field (and without the added line of scrimmage now standard on TV). But, just to make sure the defense didn't figure it out, Wilson/Day did a good job of mixing which receivers were on and off the line along with the tight end so Michigan State couldn't adjust with a call that immediately told everyone on the defense that one of the receivers wasn't eligible.
The MIKE might make the initial call in the huddle, but once lined up, everyone has the ability to make checks based on what they see from the offense. The issue was that check from Fuller didn't make its way past Baker to Worley.
Part of the explanation for a lack of pressure from the DL was Iowa's breaking of their own tendencies, specifically throwing on first down when Schiano was positioning his front seven to defend the run with slants and C-gap run blitzes from the SAM LB. Additionally, though, Iowa wasn't spreading out to throw with 4 receivers, but was throwing from the I-form and double TE sets that often gave Stanley 6 or 7-man protection against a 4-man rush.
Sure, there were two inexperienced tackles out there, but they were helped greatly by backs and tight ends chipping the rushmen whenever possible. Add the back-seven's inability to run a basic coverage structure correctly, and it's no wonder why Schiano didn't want to send extra rushers on a blitz, fearing what kinds of holes might show in his pass defense.
I love this sentiment, as it's fundamental to coaching. There have been a number of comments above stating that the players deserve some blame as well as the coaches, and if the issues were isolated to one or two players, then that might be a good explanation.
But since these issues seem to be systemic across entire position groups, it's hard not to wonder how much of the info has been simply presented instead of taught, at which point the onus falls on the teacher to ensure their point gets across.