I had the opportunity to do a Podcast with Rich over at BuckAround, and we chose to look at an update of Wisconsin's 3-4 One-Gap Defense. So go ahead and listen to Wisconsin and Michigan accent clash as we get in-depth with the Wisconsin defense.
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It has been a fantastic resource for me, especially as my own DVR fills up with some combination of football games and classic movies off of TMC (and whatever reality show from TLC is on there because my wife). Missed a great game? It'll likely be on Noon Kick within a week. Remember a play and wanted to watch it again? Noon Kick. Just want to watch college football because college football is the best? Noon Kick.
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Minnesota’s run defense played pretty well against
Northwestern. Mostly utilizing Cover 4, they were able to maintain numbers
advantage inside the box for most of the game. When they did get gashed though,
it was mostly because the backside was slow in pursuit. In Cover 4, the LBs,
particularly the backside LB, must flow fast. If he reads the play immediately,
he can tend to read “cloudy/clear” and shoot off the butt of a pulling OL or
beat a zone blocking OL across his face and blow up the play in the backfield.
If he can’t do that, he must scrape over the top quickly to get to the
A great addition to any playbook is a concept known as flare
control. Flare control is a RB route intended for the primary purpose of hold
and/or manipulating the underneath coverage. It can act as a block on a LB, it
can force defensive flow, and it can prevent the underneath coverage from
sinking into downfield developing routes. Likewise, “bubble control” can be
used in much the same way. Indiana, along with many other teams, use flare
control and bubble control as a part of their screen action and double screenpackage.
The most common application of flare control is to hold underneath coverage to prevent them from sinking underneath deeper routes. It helps prevent that defender from bringing pressure, it forces them to respect the underneath threat, and it doesn't allow them to gain depth.
On this play, the RB is no more than third or fourth in the
QB’s progression, depending on the QB’s read of the safeties. He is not
intended to be a primary receiver, instead, he is supposed to draw the
underneath coverage away from the mesh routes and hold the outside leverage
defender (in this case, cloud leverage) from sinking underneath the corner
This flare route works to control and manipulate the defense
in either situation.
This is a concept that is used for a lot of downfield
passing attacks. Many teams that utilize outside zone run schemes or run
inverted veers or sweeps will utilize flare control in the same way. Here, OSU
uses it to run a Sail Concept. Here’s an example of Baylor utilizing flarecontrol in their play action attack off of inverted veer.