Wednesday, November 25, 2015

LINKS: Ohio State vs Michigan, 2015

The Game

Ohio State

Tunnel Screen and Slip Block - Big part of OSU's lateral attack (along with 2-back offense). Puts stress on DBs to communicate during the play.

OSU's Tight Split Zone - Base run play of which much of their offense is based around

60Y Curl - Tight Split Zone is primary run play; 60Y Curl is a primary way they isolate receivers on DBs

Wham Play - A change-up from their tight split zone. How UM had a good chunk of run success against MSU.

OSU 2-Back Offense - They like to motion in the H to get speed to the edge. Zeke is a great lead blocker for QB sweeps as well which killed MSU in the redzone last year.

OSU Pin and Pull - Another way for OSU to get to the edge if MSU commits DEs inside. Like to run counter action with Barrett off of this look

OSU Speed Option Package - Another way for the Buckeyes to get to the edge, typically a check based on defensive numbers.

OSU Pivot Follow Concept - How OSU works to get open underneath routes on what initially looks like the mesh concept

Sail and Cob Concepts Combined - A favorite way for OSU to attack down field with the pass. Puts a lot of stress on DBs to cover for a long time and communicate across the field.

7-Ins Concept - How OSU likes to attack with their slot, particularly in the red zone

OSU also plays a Cover 4 base and has a similar blitz package, but OSU will play more MOD (though MEG is still their primary) and play their safeties deeper than MSU.

Cover 4 Coverage - MSU has been mixing up their coverage away from MEG more this season; still primarily MEG

Cover 4 Front 7 Leverage - How MSU Adjusts Front 7 to give easy keys and play fast

Cover 4 Safety Play - The rules of playing Cover 4 Safety

OSU Cover 4 Solo Adjustment - How Ohio State plays trips sets

OSU D-Line Drills - One of the best DLs in the B1G.

And as always, more links with the OSU Tab


Jim Harbaugh Primer - Going over the basics of a Jim Harbaugh coached team

Michigan Rushing Attack - Going over in detail a number of the Michigan run schemes

Threatening Width with Tight Formations - How Michigan spreads the field despite heavy sets

Weakside Flood - A look at the triangle reads often given to Rudock on one side of the field


Cover 1 Fundamentals - Michigan's Base D, though they also run Cover 3 and Man Under

Cover 1 Adjustments - How Michigan adjusts within Cover 1 to certain looks

Attacking Michigan's Defense in the Hole - Also expect a lot of jet action from OSU's 2-back offense

And there's always more at the Michigan tag

Many iterations of Power O - A look at how Power O is used out of a variety of looks

Wham! and Return of the Trap - How both teams use trap and wham blocks to their advantage

Utilizing Pulling OL and FBs to create extra gaps - More UM than MSU, but both do this quite a bit

Tunnel Screen Fundamentals - How Michigan utilizes the smoke screen in their offense and OSU the tunnel screen

Press Coverage Technique - Applies to both teams, but is from an Ash (OSU) presentation.


  1. Some thoughts:

    I expect OSU to take bits and pieces from three games for how they want to play offense: MSU, Minnesota, and Indiana.

    MSU showed some of the struggles Michigan has with jet motion, something OSU utilizes with their H position. Michigan tends to lose players coming out of the backfield because they are LB responsibilities and LBs also have run fits to worry about. I expect quite a bit of that from OSU.

    1. From the Minnesota game, I think they'll look at how they attacked the middle of the field. OSU hasn't done that nearly enough this year, including going away from it in the MSU game, but I expect them to use their TE a bit more in the passing game and try to get into the intermediate middle a bit.

      From Indiana, it's obviously the stretch and pin and pull scheme, both of which OSU does, though more as a change up. OSU can run stretch with the H (having the RB lead block), the QB (again, with the RB lead blocking), and with the RB because Zeke is a good all around player. I expect them to try to use all three to their advantage. Michigan's weakness in the run game is getting to the edge, though they've made it difficult for most teams to get there with good DE play against the run. But spreading out the front tends to create gaps and there aren't DBs to help as much in run support.

    2. I do expect Michigan to play more zone in this game to get Peppers and Hill/Thomas more involved off the edge in run support. That will help even out the box against what looks like an offense that isn't comfortable passing the ball a lot right now. It will be important to keep the zones tight on the back end though to keep OSU from regaining some of that lost confidence. Easy throws will open up the playbook for OSU, the last thing Michigan wants is for them to get in a rhythm.

      On defense, OSU needs to look no further than MSU and Minnesota, both of which play Cover 4 (similar as OSU). Though OSU tends to play their safeties deeper, I expect them to move them closer to the LOS as Michigan plays heavy, and as almost all teams have done to Michigan lately. My question is, how much zone will OSU play, as they tend to play more MOD than a team like MSU, though their base is still man coverage on the outside. I expect more man coverage in this game from OSU so that Michigan can't exploit the gaps as much provided by their heavy use of play action. This means Butt will be key as he takes advantage of the safeties focusing more on run support.

    3. For Michigan: run into the boundary and you shall have success. But twins or even trips into the boundary, force Perry to play outside the box and force Lee to play inside the box. Teams have repeated gotten chunks on OSU's defense by attacking the boundary because OSU lacks numbers there based on their scheme. Michigan can take advantage of that with formations and play calling. Don't attack Lee in space, make him fight through the wash. He's too big and athletic to win against in the open field, so force him to keep his eyes (and most of the time, his position) inside, then get outside of him with some smoke screens or attack right at him, going quickly down hill. Traps and whams can work great because it gets the OL into the 2nd level quick and takes advantage of OSU's very aggressive front 4.

      In the pass game, play action has been Michigan's favorite all season, and I don't expect that to change. Force OSU to move in their coverage and play the run, and attack the gaps in coverage. You have to protect, and the RB position coming off their run action and getting into blocks is essential. Being smart with stunts and twists in passing situations is a must, and never, ever ever ever, get beat inside.

    4. This is an interesting match up that's made more of a toss up with how OSU will react. Now that the pressure is mostly off of them, do they play with a nothing to lose attitude? Does that free them up to play up to their potential, or cause them to fold? Or have the folded already? MSU showed how you can attack OSU on the ground with a similar run game, and while Michigan's OL isn't quite MSU's current, healthy OL, they can do a lot of the same things. Both teams can score, both teams can defend, this is a high variance game in which I could see either team coming out on top. To me, Michigan's offense against the OSU defense is the greater known, you can expect 17-30 points from that group. What's the question is the other side of things, where OSU could be held to 14 points or score well into the 30s. That's what I believe the game comes down to.