Urban Meyer is one of those coaches that, if you sit in a coverage and don't mix it up, he's going to take shots and he's going to put up points. Buffalo did mix up their coverages a bit on Saturday, but they did it in runs for some odd reason. Starting in Cover 1; getting burned. Move on to Cover 0, get veer read to death. Try to put two deep safeties and mix in Cover 4, yeah, alright,;show it a few times and a TD is going to happen. Well, that's what happened on Saturday. In this post, I want to look specifically at OSU's first TD this season; then, in the next piece, we'll look closer at how Kenny Guiton was able to come in and quickly throw a TD himself when Buffalo switched a two-high look.
A play that Meyer has run for as long as I can remember is a Sail Concept with a play side Post to hold the safety. A lot of teams will have a similar concept in almost any kind of offense, and it will almost always come off play action. One of the reasons it is so successful for Meyer and OSU is because, well, you blitz Braxton Miller at your own risk. Mistimed blitzes or blitz on the wrong side and roll back the playside defenders and you're going to pay the price. So most teams play straight up coverage – at least on down and distances where OSU can have run-pass balance. Here, it's second and 8. OSU has had some success on the veer read option. Buffalo has gone to some Cover 1 to try to get bodies up to the line of scrimmage and the defenses has started peaking in the backfield. This is what ensued:
(Blue is offense, red defense, green the passing window)
But now let's say the FS goes over the top to defend the fly. It's a simple read for Miller, and he hits the post route with even more green grass in front of him:
Conveniently enough, this play will also be successful against Cover 2 as long as you have time to let the play develop. That's for the same reason as described above, only the X-WR is running off the safety, and the QB will pick on the flat CB:
But for now, let's focus on Cover 2 man under:
"Cab Concept", where the TE clears out the underneath coverage and the Z-WR runs into that void). Against some sort of zone blitz, he can run his in and settles into a zone. Against man, he'll simply beat his man straight up. Threaten him deep, close the gap on his back peddle, make him flip his hips, and break in at about 8 yards. This also makes for an easy hot route against pressure.
In essence, this play to be utilized against any defense, as long as you don't go to the well too often. Against Cover 1 or Cover 0, well, as long as you're running the ball successfully, it's likely to end in a TD.