Monday, November 16, 2020

Inside the Playbook: Why Run to the Short Side of the Field

 It’s a question regularly asked, “Why is my favorite team constantly running to the short side of the field?” People really do not enjoy jet sweep to the short side. In almost every sport you are taught the concept of using the sideline as an extra defender, and in football it is no different. And in the current era of football, the idea of space is emphasized as much as it has ever been: you have extra wide WR splits, you have light personnel groupings, stretch the field not just horizontally but laterally. So then why does it always feel like the runs aren’t utilizing that space?

Space is a fundamental source of success in modern football, but it is not only the offense that controls space and how it can be used; defense also plays a role. Space is also only a single fundamental facet, others include leverage and numbers. And when you take all those traits into account, that will explain why runs into the boundary are run as often as they are. Let’s take a look.


Film Review: Ohio State vs Penn State, 2020

 I took a look at Ohio State vs Penn State, specifically focusing on the Buckeyes under center and pistol run game, their pre-snap motion, and the Nittany Lions QB Run Game



Follow the tweet to look at the full twitter moment, which highlights around a few dozen plays. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Film Review: Michigan Offense vs Michigan State Defense

 Michigan squared off against the Spartans as a clear favorite, led by their powerful run game that consistently maintained RPO and edge threats to stress defensive keys and numbers. But on Saturday, Michigan State mostly shut down that run game. In this post, we're going to look at what the Spartans did to stymie the run game, and where Michigan failed to capitalize. 

Michigan Photography

Friday, May 15, 2020

Written in Chalk: How to Attack Loose Alignment Tite/Mint Defenses in Run Game


Tite and Mint continue to be the defense du jour among Twitter followers, and as college teams start looking at what some of the best defenses did last year, I anticipate even more will start to implement the front into their package in some form or another. As it becomes more prominent, offenses are going to need to start adapting playcalls for the defense in order to maximize their output. But, of course, you don’t know necessarily a defense is going to run Tite on a given down or stay in that basic look post-snap, so you have to work within your system and not have plays that blowup if you see anything else. This post is going to look at ways of tagging specific base plays and adding wrinkles to better run your base scheme against 4i-0-4i looks.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Jay Johnson: Coaching Primer

With an incredible defense, Mark Dantonio ushered in one of the most successful coaching tenures in Michigan State football history. While the highs of his tenure will almost certainly be remembered by those quarters-heavy, no-fly zone defenses, his downfall will at least be partially linked to the ineptness of the offense overall. While I don’t believe scheme was the primary issue for the 2019 Michigan State offense, fans will be interested in understanding what Mel Tucker brings in with his new staff. Due to the timing of the coaching change, Tucker heavy relied on bringing his old staff from Colorado with him to East Lansing. With Tucker comes his former Colorado offensive coordinator Jay Johnson. I’ve taken the task of watching the 2019 Buffaloes in an effort to highlight what to expect from the Spartans offense in Tucker’s first year.

MSU Athletics

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Inside the Playbook: Michigan's Down G Run Play

Against Notre Dame, when attempting to attack the edge, Michigan attempted to utilize their traditional pin and pull run scheme. In this scheme, they are traditionally trying to "reach" with the TE to set the edge and pull around and up from there. But against Western Michigan, they adjusted their attack by running a "Down" scheme, rather than attempting to reach at the point of attack. This can be a different play call altogether, or it can be a scouted aspect of the offense and a line call. Either way, let's take a look at how it works.


Friday, March 27, 2020

Inside the Playbook: Bluff and Go RPO


Introduction
At the college (and high school) level, RPOs continue to grow more and more challenging to defend. With relaxed rules against linemen downfield, defenses have been forced to maintain coverage longer and longer following the mesh point. No play demonstrates this more than the “Bluff and Go” RPO.