if you seek an image of the most Wisconsin OL ever, enter here
I search came back empty, so when I noticed Tim didn't mention anything about Davion Rogers possibly coming up for an official, I thought I'd post something. Apparently we were down there visiting his school recently.
I don't think anyone around here would be upset if we stole another recruit from West Virginia.
Rarely do I agree with Tressel, but IMO he was right about the complaining OSU fans being unhappy people, That opinion, in fact, fits with a recent survey of well-being comparing Ohio with the other states. Ohio has the 4th worst rank in the US (to be fair, MI not great either but is 6 places better than Ohio).
According to the survey's questions, Ohio’s full of depressed, fat, sedentary smokers who are poor, ignorant, and hate their jobs (when they have jobs).
I thoroughly believe that whichever quarterback learns the read option first and can run it to near perfection first will be the starting quarterback in years to come. It is the basic running play of our offense. I don't care if that player is Tate Forcier, Devin Gardner, or Nick Sheridan; if that quarterback can run the read option so we are getting 4+ yards just about every time, they will be the starter.
I think we all know that neither of our freshmen quarterbacks has been able to make the reads quick enough to run the play yet. Is this because they haven't had enough time to practice it yet? Maybe. However, I think the bigger issue is the ability to execute a fake hand off. A good fake hand off does two things: it forces the DE to make a decision to go after the running back or the quarterback instead of sitting in a comfortable spot to stop either outcome and it gives the quarterback an extra split second to read that DE.
To illustrate this, I have compiled several Picture Pages for different read options from different teams around the country. Several things to keep in mind:
- These are to illustrate why the fake hand off is important...not the read option itself
- Because of this, these are all QB keepers
- These plays are not identical; will, therefore, not have the same results; and are not intended to be directly compared with the results of our play.
- These are to illustrate why the fake hand off is important
Also, all of these images, aside from the Michigan vs. EMU game, were taken from ESPN360 or YouTube videos so they aren't perfect quality, but they still get the point across. I will try to post video for some of these later.
Illinois vs. MichiganIllinois ran the read option perfectly on the first drive against Michigan. The net result was a 27 yard gain.
As you can see they have a RB on either side of Juice Williams, two WRs up top, and a TE outside the LT. It is important to note where that the backfield is lined up around the 12 yard line.
After the play starts, the RB runs behind Juice as he begins the fake hand off to the left RB. The OL blocks right and the TE goes out for a pass leaving Brandon Graham to defend as the unblocked DE. Donovan Warren begins his coverage of the TE, but keeps his eyes on the exchange.
You can see that Juice still has his hands in the RBs gut. They are a full yard ahead of where they started the play at. Brandon Graham is forced to choose which to go for and he picks the running back. Donovan Warren has moved down field in coverage but still is keeping his eyes on the exchange. Jonas Mouton has started to move inside to go after the RB.
Juice pulls the ball and he is already 2 yards up field from where he started the play. Brandon Graham is out of position for the play. Donovan Warren is 10 yards up field from Juice. Mouton is still in position to make a play but...
The LT is able to get a block on Mouton and Juice is to the LOS with lots of field in front of him. Donovan Warren has come back to make the play, but he has to guard against the option.
Donovan Warren correctly plays contain and takes away the option, which springs Juice into the open field, at which point it is a foot race. He is forced out of bounds after going 27 yards on the carry.
Had the option not been in this play and all other things being held equal, Donovan Warren would most likely have tackled Juice after a gain of about 5 yards, which is what you hope for every time this play is run.
Michigan vs. EMUI looked through a couple of drives for Michigan in the Illinois game and I couldn't find a traditional read option play. I am convinced at this point in the season that the coaches have removed this responsibility from the QBs and will look to install it again next year. I did see a fake hand off, but the line moved with the quarterback keeper instead of the hand off, which tells me that this is not what I am looking for.
So to get a good example, I went back to the last game that I downloaded: the EMU game.
This is our traditional 4-wide read option. Tate is lined up at the 48.5 yard line.
Tate pivots on his right foot and fakes the hand off. The ball never even makes it to the gut of the RB; he essentially just taps the ball to the side of the RB and then keeps. The DE is going for the RB right off the bat (so maybe this isn't the perfect example, but just wait).
The OLB sees Tate keep the ball and breaks to the outside. This doesn't allow our RT to seal him to the inside, which would allow Forcier to break free.
Instead what happens is Tate has to cut back to the inside. If he is able to get by this block, he is open for a first down, but the OLB gets a shoestring tackle and Tate goes down for a small gain.
Now that we have seen the good and bad of what I am referring to, let's take a look at some more examples of good fake hand offs from teams around the country.
WVU vs. USF
Notice that Brown, WVU's new QB, is lined up around the 29 with 4-wide Trips right.
Before the snap, a WR goes in motion for the end around. You can hardly tell, but the ball is in mid-air at this point.
Brown's right foot makes it up to the 27 yard line before he pulls the ball. The DE bites on the fake and rushes in for the RB. The LBs are starting to come in to stop the dive as well. The safety is starting to come in for run support, but he is far enough out that the fake actually puts him in better position to make the play. Meanwhile, the end around and fake are forming into a nice option as well.
Brown makes it to the LOS and the safety has a nice contain on him. He pulls up and begins the pitch to the WR.
The WR has a block down field and all of the other players are now out of position to tackle him. The blocked CB ends up forcing him inside and tackling him to save the TD, only after he gets a first down though.
Had Brown not had the second option to pitch the ball, he most likely would have headed for the sideline and been out after 4-8 yards.
Same game, other team:
BJ Daniels is at the 37 yard line. It is hard to tell but the ball has just reached his hands.
You can see that BJ Daniels is two yards ahead of where he took the snap from before he pulls the ball. The WVU LBs bite on the fake even though they see this every day in practice.
BJ Daniels gets into open space with no one left to defend him other than the safety 8 yards up field. Chalk this one up as another big gain.
Oregon vs. CalThis will be the last one. I tried to find some footage of Tim Tebow's fake, but I couldn't find any and I am sure all of you have seen enough of him anyway.
Here, Masoli is lined up around the 14 yard line with the RB about a yard behind him on his left, trips right, and the TE lined up outside the LT.
Masoli pulls the ball about a yard and a half ahead of where he took the snap from. The DE is waiting for the play to develop.
Masoli gets outside of the DE and is tackled by the safety for a 4-5 yard gain.
This is what the average play should look like when the Defense reads the play properly and is in position. The other plays are what happen when one person on defense makes a mistake. The one thing that all of the plays from other teams have in common is a great fake hand off. The QB needs to sell the DE to get him to bite on the play and/or give himself enough time to make the correct read.
Like I said, I think the Michigan QB who is able to do this the best will be our starter. From what I have seen so far, Tate is on his way to being able to make these reads, but he lacks the ability to sell the fake. If he can do this, I think he will continue to be our starter. However, if Denard Robinson or Devin Gardner can learn this before him, I don't know if a Big10 defense will be able to continuously stop this especially with their speed and play-making abilities.
When we look at WV records below, we see a dramatic improvement from 2001 to 2002. After the 2002 season it remained pretty constant until 2005 when Slaton and White saw playing time.
My thoughts on the shift in records from 2001-2002 and from 2004-2005 are as follows: The first shift appears mostly do to RR's spread implementation and having the right players in the system (perhaps similar to what we are seeing in Michigan from 2008-2009). The 2004-2005 change is the one i find most interesting. It appears that until Slaton and White came to WV the team was stuck in 8-9 wins and could not muster enough to compete for a BCS title. After White and Slaton took over the offense, the team won 10+ games every year.
I make these points simply in observation because i see some posts that assume we should be competing for a BT title and the like by year 3. I am not saying we won't, but based on RRs trajectory at WV, it seems that he needs the right talent to work his voodoo magic with his offense. If that talent is not there, a linear projection of continuous improvement might be wishful thinking. And i say "right" talent because Slaton and White were both 3 star recruits even though Slaton ran a blazing 4.3 40.
Anyway, I'm I smoking crack or is there a valid relationship between the 2004-2005 jump in wins and the playing time of Slaton and White?
(Thanks to I Blue Myself for the content)
2001: 3-8 overall, 0-5 vs the top 30 and 0-2 vs the top 10.
2002: 9-4 overall, 3-3 vs the top 30 and 0-1 vs the top 10. WVU beat BC, Va. Tech, and Pitt.
2003: 8-5 overall, 0-3 vs the top 30, 0-3 vs the top 10.
2004: 8-4 overall, 0-3 vs the top 30, 0-1 vs. the top 10
2005: 11-1 overall, 2-1 vs. top 30, 0-1 vs. top 10
WVU beat SEC Champ Georgia, Louisville. Lost to Va. Tech
2006: 11-2 overall, 1-1 vs. top 30, 0-1 vs. top 10
WVU beat #12 Rutgers, lost to #5 Louisville (wow, how times have changed)
2007: 11-2 overall, 1-1 vs. top 30, 1-0 vs. top 10
WVU beat #5 Oklahoma, lost to #20 S. Florida.
An interesting read from Dr. Saturday on WVU's offense without RichRod. It doesn't really give an opinion one way or another, but does demonstrate the significant drop off the team experienced once he left (i.e., peripheral RichRod fluff).
Rich Rodriguez is 4-0 against UConn (and coach Randy Edsall). The year they (UConn and WVU) shared the title, UConn lost by 45 points.
|Year||Location||WVU||UConn||WVU record||UConn record|
|Turnovers (Total )||7||10|
I'm not saying that this had any reason for why UConn was scheduled for the opener, merely that despite UConn's success (they were a combined 26-22, with two bowl games and WVU was 41-9 with 4 bowl games two of which were BCS) RR had their number. Maybe this is all moot considering that Connecticut is better than those past teams, RR only played a UConn team with a winning record twice, RR had very good teams, and 4 games is a pretty small sample size, but this is interesting nevertheless.