Inside the Playbook - Minnesota Mug Green Cover 2

 Against Ohio State, the Golden Gophers got two critical 3rd down stops going to their Cover 2 from their 3-Down, mugged up look. Let's take a look at how it works.

The Coverage

The coverage is a fairly straight forward Green (Tampa) Cover 2. Green is a distinction that allows the flat defenders (CBs) to gain depth to the first down marker, and work forward as the ball comes underneath. Tampa allows the MIKE to gain deeper depth into the hole, giving the coverage a quasi-3-deep look with the safeties playing deep half, but protected by the deep dropping MIKE.

Bleacher Report

The Front and Pre-snap disguise
In both cases, Minnesota is in an odd front with 7-technique DEs (one stand up) and large interior bubbles. In those bubbles, there is another standup DE, and two LBs. The Nickel is also threatening off the edge. The standup guys, for their parts, are slightly off the LOS to allow them to execute games or drop into coverage. Overall, 7 defenders are threatening the protection pre-snap.

The condensed bunch also provides Minnesota the ability to initially disguise the backend with a one-high look before rotating pre-snap to the two-high shell

Examples 1
Here is the first example, against a 3x1 bunch from OSU. Minnesota pre-snap shows single-high before rotating into their 2-high shell presnap. The Ni comes off the edge, the field End spikes all the way into the A-gap, while the mugged end loops behind through the B gap to overload the protection. The NT initially shocks the center (ensuring he can't slide to the overload; maintain 3-on-3 with one being a RB to the field) before looping to contain.

This is a simulated pressure, as the Ni comes on the pressure and the End drops.

This clip was also discussed by Coach Alexander


Coach A also talked about the technique of the boundary CB in the example above

Example 2

This time OSU is in a 2x2 double twins. This spreads out the coverage a bit and forces Minnesota to show the 2-high shell earlier, but they are still able to play tight in the slot to the field and threaten with the Ni pressure (though this time the Ni drops).

This time, Minnesota spikes both DEs and loops with the mugged End and NT to contain. While Minnesota mugs this, they actually send the traditional rushers, so it isn't technically a simulated pressure.


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