One of the major issues we've had on offense the past two years has been the apparent ease with which defenses can read what we're about to do pre-snap. So I came across this article on Bill Legg, the OC for Marshall, and how they've adjusted the reads for the QB since the Byron Leftwich days. Sort of underscores how, when we're talking about "modern offenses," we're not just talking about how one structures a play spatially (spread vs. pro-style) but now one structures a play temporally (pre vs. post-snap reads, when/how to signal, how audibles are integrated into the structure of the play, etc.). Key quote:
The system in the 1990s was quite different, Legg said. Then, a quarterback like Byron Leftwich would come to the line of scrimmage, survey the defensive formation, then check into a play more suitable for that specific defense. The drawback was that it gave the defense time to adjust, too.
“Byron would have three or four plays in his head,” Legg said. “This is what they’re playing, this is what they’re giving up. All we’ve done is put a modern twist to that concept of system, where things are now built together and the decision is being made without having to check.”
Marshall’s offense benefits from the diligent work of its coaching staff, plus the defense for throwing so many formations at the offense that Cato has to keep thinking. That repetition makes the actual games so much easier.
“It kind of gets locked in your head, where if this guy does this, I know what I’m going to do,” Cato said. “I have three reads in my head where, if one doesn’t work, I know where I’m going next. It’s a chess match. If you move, a move’s going to happen. Whatever they’re doing, we just adapt with what we’re doing.”
Well, its my last day of teaching before thanksgiving break and thusly, before The Game. A tradition in my american history class is to show the documentary The Rivalry which goes back through the history of this rivalry. I'm watching this, and I'm looking at the young Michigan fans here in my NW ohio classrooms who still, despite the jeers and ridiculue, still wear their maize and blue while I too have my Nike number 7 maize and blue jersey on. I like watching this documentary because it reminds me of the greatness of this game. How even on bad years our boys can still pull one out to play spoiler to the enemy.
This is a downturn for Michigan. But this isn't the first in our storied history. Anything is possible this Saturday. So let's cut the woe is me crap and rally behind our team and our coach one last time.
I hate Ohio State. But more importanly I love michigan
Pretty sure we're dealing with people one step above cavemen here.
Update: picture was shopped.
Either way, I can't believe they actually take the time to cover all the M's on every sign on campus with tape.
This is for all of the Coaches out there, the Armchair Defensive Coordinators, and General Football Straegists.
Date: November 29, 2014
Time: High Noon
Place: Hostile Ohio Stadium
Conditions: Warm with scattered showers, some rain, high about 50 with a 13 MPH wind - not debilitating, but perhaps a bit disruptive to their Offense.
Opponent: Ohio State runs a spread read option that prefers the run, but can pass the ball as well. They employ a Freshman QB, a competent, but unspectacular running back, one better than average tight end, and three very good WR's. At times, they will go four wides and remove the tight end to spread you out a little more. but their bread and butter is the read option run with the QB keeping the ball. If you watch their film, you will see that they run the read option on every key play, and almost always, Barrett keeps and runs the ball himself.
How I try to stop them: Schematically, I run a five, two, four, and a five, three, three depending on whether the tight end is on the field or not, no tight end = five two four, tight end = five three three.
The five DL are there to take up all of OSU's Offensive line, and keep them off of the Linebackers, I would have the DL running stunts on every play to try and get pressure on Barrett whether it be a run or pass, any plays they make, sacks, TFL's anything is gravy.
The Linebackers alternate responsibility, one is assignd to the running back on every single play, no matter what, and the other is assigned to going after Barrett on every single play - no matter what. The third Linebacker is assigned to the Tight End whenever he is out there. The key being that Freshman Barrett has six guys coming at him on every play, and only five guys to block for him.
The secondary has to grow up and go mono on mono with OSU's three or four receivers. I know the inherent risk of allowing what has been a sub par secondary to go man on man with anyone, but they seem to get burned no matter what Defense they play, and if Barrett is allowed to sit back and pick them apart. the results would be the same.If the QB is on his rear, he cannot hit the open man.
My Defense is predicated upon putting pressure on the Freshman QB Barrett on every single play, and hoping that he makes a number of bad plays to go with the good ones he will no doubt make. Turnovers, bad throws, and mental errors are what Freshman QB's do when they are under extreme duress for an extended period of time. In fact, our own QB can tell you what happens to a QB under constant pressure. A shitty weather day, combined with constant pressure might just be enough to give him the worst day of his life, and us a chance to pull off a minor miracle.
That is my DEFENSIVE plan - What's yours ?
John U. Bacon on the Huge Show this afternoon, offering his updated assessment:
- Plan A is (in no order) Jim Harbaugh, John Harbaugh or Les Miles.
- Plan B is Greg Schiano. Dan Mullen was part of Plan B, but he's fading.
- Plan C is another Brady Hoke.
It's Ohio State Week and we have zero threads on the matter. Due to the fact there is really no point to discuss how we match up, potential weaknesses to exploit etc. My head says 49-6 to OSU. My heart says 27-24 OSU, even it can't be persuaded to pick UM. What's your final score and predictions for THE GAME?