Preview: OSU vs Oregon, 2015

This will be some rambling points about tonight's game. Had to pull this together quickly.

OSU Offense vs Oregon Defense


Oregon Offense vs OSU Defense
Oregon Offense vs OSU Defense - Eleven Warrior Breakdown

Run Away from Darren Lee
If I was Oregon I would run to the boundary as often as I could. That is where most of Alabama's ground attack worked, running away from Lee and right at Grant. Grant still seems a bit slow filling down to the LOS, and the way OSU pops outside the slot and the way they keep the safeties a bit deeper in their quarters makes me believe that's the better place to attack.

The past couple months Lee has just been a missile out there. Don't counter away from him (he'll blow through the pulling OG), and don't try to get outside of him on sweeps to the edge. If Oregon thinks they can attack Lee on the ground, they better try to punch him in the mouth directly or else they'll be in for a lot of "and-long" situations.

Play Games with Bennett and Bosa or Double
Bosa and Bennett more often than not line up on the same side of the line, and more often than not that is the offense's right side. If you're going to try to get to the edge and block Bosa 1v1, you're going to be in for a long day. He uses his hands as well as anyone in college football at the DE position. Likewise, Bennett is great at penetrating the LOS, partly due to a focus on Bosa, and partially because he has a very quick first step and OSU utilizes slants quite frequently to shoot gaps.

But that's not to say you can't run towards them, it's just more difficult. If you're going to run at Bosa, you'll want to at least get a first shot at him with a TE helping the OT. This at least gives you a chance to drive him or occupy him a bit to hopefully eventually seal. A 1v1 block will see him almost always win, whether getting to the outside to prevent the ball carrier from getting to the edge, or fighting back across the block and inside to make a play. So double him, or...

You can play some games with him and put him in positions where he can't succeed. I don't like traditional zone read with the QB keep in his direction, I think he's too long and too fundamentally sound playing both read and give and messing with the QB. But Power Read or Split Zone or the slip into the flat by the H-back are all things Oregon does and can mess with Bosa.

As far as Bennett, he does at times get sucked upfield too far, so a midline read or wham/trap blocks can be effective to run between the tackles, but besides the midline read, I don't think Oregon utilizes it much.

How Oregon Will Attack the DBs

One thing I'd add to this breakdown is that Oregon loves to utilize a lot of motions in their offense, especially at the WR position. They flip passing strength and sometimes running strength and work to get numbers advantages with both through motion on the perimeter. It will be essential for OSU's DBs to communicate really, really well in this game. Between the bunch sets and the motions and the screens and slip screens, Oregon puts as much stress on the DBs as anyone in the country. Pre-snap and post-snap communication are absolutely vital. You can't rely on just playing Cover 4 MOD or you'll be too vulnerable underneath, it has to get done through communication and proper angles. From what I've seen, expect Oregon to try to attack Powell with the screen/slip/double moves...

And focus on putting Bell more in a bind with Mills concepts and the like.

Ohio State Offense vs Oregon Defense

What Oregon Runs
Oregon runs your classic 3-4 Okie front, which puts a NT directly above the Center and DEs in a 4i position. This makes it quite difficult to pull guards as those gaps can be shot and it's a long path for the center to block back before the DE can split the OT and the Center. The DEs are extremely long and they make it quite difficult to get into their body by extending their arms and using their hands to prevent OL from getting to the 2nd level, this means getting to their ILBs is key to running the ball. They'll often times flex out the OLBs and try to keep things in the middle of the field in the run game. They are mostly a 2-high defense, but are quite multiple in the end, mixing in some single high looks to give the QB a lot to think about. Lot's of Cover 4 and Cover 2, depending on the situation. They also like to zone blitz quite a bit. Typically, they still keep 7 on the backend, but will on occasion will bring a 5th man in the pressure.

How to Attack Oregon on the Ground
The Pin and Pull BOB read and stretch zone can be very effective on getting to the edge against the Ducks. With the 4i technique, those guys can be pinned inside, and then it's OL on OLBs on the edge, which is an advantage for the offense. FSU had success with their stretch zone, and I expect OSU to do the same.

If you can tighten your splits a bit, countering with Power O to the boundary and some split zone can be very effective ways to pick on the OLB to the boundary while sealing the ILBs inside. Given the downblocks look generally like inside zone the opposite way, Oregon loves to try to shoot the OLB down to make a play from the backside. That guy can simply be sealed inside to give the RB the edge with a lot of room. Split zone employs a similar tactic, by picking on that backside OLB, you provide a clear cut back when the ILBs start over flowing to the playside. Look for both in this game.

Attacking Oregon Through the Air
You can expect the Buckeyes to utilize a lot of their two high beaters, picking specifically on the backup CB. Depth at CB isn't a strength for Oregon behind the starters, so if Oregon moves to a nickel package, look for that.

Mills concepts, Scissors concepts, and Flood concepts will likely be employed. Likewise, picking on the CBs to decide whether to sink to the corner or stay underneath is a good option, though this is a bit more difficult as Jones doesn't have the touch that Barnett has.

With how multiple Oregon is with their coverage, and the number of times I expect OSU to keep it on the ground with success, the best option may be the old KISS adage - Keep it simple stupid - with the Houston Concept.

How Previous Teams Had Success


From Ross

Arizona ran the football, won the turnover margin, put Oregon into some third and longs and forced a few field goals.
 Don't forget to mention, however, that I believe three or four of Oregon's starting OL was out that game. That was a very beat up OL that went up against what is often a heavy blitzing 3-3-5 stack defense. The games you can play with the 3-3-5 as far as twists and blitzes can be very difficult for an inexperienced OL. Won't be quite as easy going up against their top unit.

By switching between zone and Power O blocking, they were really able to attack the edge of Oregon when they overran what they thought were zone plays and got sealed inside. You need to run the ball in order to stay away from their multiple zones and backend speed.

Exploiting MSU's Cover 4
Coaching Points: MSU vs Oregon


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