Showing posts from May, 2014

Inside the Playbook: Minnesota's Run Attack (Preview)

PREVIEW Minnesota is one of the most run heavy teams not only in the B1G, but in all of college football. And not only are they just heavy in terms of how much they run the football, but they are the true essence of a team that wants to be a powerful running force. The majority of their runs come between the tackles in the form of inside zone, Power O to the RB, or Power O from the QB. With so much power on the field though, they tend to lack the speed to threaten the edges. Their way of getting the football to the edge then, isn't by subbing in different personnel or by running WR screens, but utilizing in a variety of ways their WRs to run sweeps. Not only has this become prevalent in their offense, but they have used it very well to set up other runs as well. In this article, we will look quickly at the Golden Gophers base run game, and more how they work off of that to set up the rest of their playbook. Power O The base scheme for the Golden Gophers is the traditional Powe

Inside the Playbook - Going 4-3 (Over) MSU's Front 7

Originally posted June 27, 2013 at Maize n Brew Introduction When looking at Michigan State's defense, there are two things that will be seen on almost every single play: 4-3 over front and cover 4 behind it. Unlike the coverage portion of the defense, the front 7 plays fairly similar to most of their 4-3 over counterparts. In this part of the series, I want to look at what a 4-3 over defense is, what some of the weaknesses to the front are, and how MSU adjusts in an attempt to mask the inherent weakness of the front 7 scheme. For reference, here's the gap scheme: 4-3 Over Side Align Tech Key Run To Run Away Pass Strong 9 tech TE D Gap C Gap - Chase Left Outside Contain Strong 3 tech OG B Gap B Gap - Squeeze A Gap B Gap Weak 1 tech C A Gap A Gap A Gap Weak 5 tech OT C Gap C Gap - Chase C Gap Strong 60 tech OG to RBs C Gap A Gap - Slow Pursuit* Strong Strong 00 C to RBs A Gap B Gap Weak 40 tech OG to RBs

What I've Been Watching May 2014

So a lot of football blogs present a semi-regular "what I've been reading" post. I've thought of doing this, and while I enjoy reading the occasional book, I don't read quite enough to present more than a half dozen books. What I do do outside of football, is watch a ton of movies. In this post I'm going to detail some of my favorites, both new and old, domestic and foreign, that I've watched in the last half year.

Film Review: Illinois Spring QB Competition

PREVIEW Replacing Nathan Scheelhaase isn't going to be easy for the Illini this upcoming Fall. But in this article, we'll take a quick look at Illinois's QB situation, which involves three players: Senior Reilly O'Toole , transfer Wes Lunt , and Dual-Threat Aaron Bailey. The Offense The Illinois offense is mostly an offense that operates from the shotgun. While they did go under center at times - mostly with Bailey at the helm - it was few and far between. They appeared to do so to improve the downhill action of their zone run game, though they incorporated some Sweep G and reverse plays into their playbook from a similar look. But their QBs have work with their footwork, ball handling, and reading the defense from under center to make it more than a single dimensional group of formations. They have some talent at RB, though no one that stands out. Their offensive line is hard to judge, as their units were split, but also because the defense did a poor job keeping

Inside the Playbook - Michigan State Triangulates the Open Receiver

Previously we looked at how MSU began adjusting their routes and advancing their pass game with the “Switch Concept” . This time, we’ll look more closely at Cook’s progression as a QB, and his ability to read safeties in order to determine where he decides to take the ball. In this case we’ll look at a play that incorporates two triangles, one based off of a Mesh concept, and the other off of a China concept. The Play What’s interesting about this play is that it incorporates two common pass concepts in an effort to defeat either both single-high and two-high defenses. While either concept within itself can be adjusted to beat either coverage, here, the concepts will only be used for their optimal coverage beater. It just so happens that by combining the two concepts, two triangles are formed, giving Cook three options in each of his progressions. More after the jump

Inside the Playbook - MSU's Switch Concept

Previously I talked about how MSU offensive coordinator Dave Warner simplified the passing game with easy to read pass concepts for the then inexperienced Connor Cook. In this post, we’re going to look how MSU progressed their playbook, so that later in the year, Cook was trusted to make more advanced reads, and so defenses had a harder time stopping the Spartan’s offense. In this article, we’ll specifically look at MSU’s use of the switch concept. The Switch Concept During the second half of the season, perhaps the go to play for MSU on third downs was what is known as the “switch” concept. Dating back to the run and shoot, the switch concept has been a bit simplified, but still relies on one of the core tenets of the run in shoot, albeit to a lesser degree: it is adaptable mid-play via simultaneous reads from the WRs and QBs. Now the switch concept is a staple across college and NFL teams because of its adaptability and relative ease to run. The Play The switch