Not a diary, but interesting.
Les Miles vs Oregon Spread
Dan Wetzel's background piece offers interesting perspectives on Les Miles' approach to defending Oregon's high-tempo spread offense.
While acknowledging Miles' eccentricities, including game-management, grass-eating, etc., Wetzel brings out the exhaustive detail Miles brings to daily practice and game preparation, a side of Miles not covered in much depth by most writers. Most interesting to me is LSU's prep for facing the Oregon spread. Here is an excerpt from Wetzel:
LSU began preparing its defense to handle Oregon’s fast-break offensive timing just days after last year’s victory in the Cotton Bowl. Throughout spring practice, and then into fall camp, Miles and his staff dreamed up a drill called “tempo” that would condition the Tigers for the challenge.
It featured one defense facing two offenses. One offensive unit would line up and run a play while the other huddled. When the play ended, the second offense would sprint into formation and snap the ball as fast as possible and the defense would have to scramble into position. Then the first offense would huddle and repeat the cycle.
It caused defenders minds to spin and their muscles to burn. It also got them ready to stuff the Oregon offense and negate the Ducks’ usual schematic advantage.
Whatever odd impulses pulse through his brain during critical game situations, Les Miles clearly is much shrewder than appearances sometimes suggest.
Did you really mean to make this a diary?
was have their top two RBs go down so that the true freshman replacement would cough up the ball on consecutive touches.
Well, Miles was missing some guys, too, including his starting QB. At some point we should stop assuming he's just getting lucky. I don't care for him as a person but I do think he's a pretty good coach.
fumbles were a huge momentum shift.
503 Timeout excitement.
Yes, but it's not like Oregon was dominating before then. They didn't move the ball with much consistency. Thomas's accuracy was iffy, his receivers really weren't getting open much, and the backs didn't find a lot of running room. Oregon was under 300 total yards of offense before its final, face-saving TD drive at the end of the game.
Oregon might have won the game without the turnovers, but if so, it probably would have been a low-scoring game.
also wasn't trying to take credit away from Miles, just noting the impact of those injuries. Huge win for LSU.
some LSU fans think that not having Jefferson playing is a plus for them since he will make stupid decisions.
Size and speed. I was astounded at the size differential between LSU D and Oregon O. Not necessarily weights but the height. LSU was also just as fast. The Cajun swamps produce some of most rangy strongmen around. The nerd in me likens them to the Dunedain.
Thanks to Charlie Weis, I always cringe when i see/hear the phrase "schematic advantage."
Why would you cringe? He coached ND, not us. It always brings back a smile and the memory of good times. Good times, indeed.
And that was also the first thing I thought when I saw the phrase. It just irks me.
Someone needs to make a gif of Les running out with the team that they showed on college football final. He was just running around like he had no idea!
great game plan, but OSU and Auburn did too. I just think that against the great teams the spread has to run perfect to work. The spread is fun to watch, but you need to mix in a little MANBALL (like LSU, Auburn, Florida, Oklahoma, USC and now UM) to be a Champion.
Ugh. You realize most of those teams all use aspects of the spread (and have won MNCs with it)? I know our old coach is out the door, but there's no single offense that is better than any other.
But those teams use a mixture of different offenses, unlike Oregon.
aubutn and uf played manball by slamming their 250 lb qb directly into the line. not by running I-form isos.
usc's offense is pro style all the way. they are kind of irrelevant in spread and shred discussions.
oklahoma throws the ball 50 times a game. and never runs their qb.
so....what are you saying?
what he said was that all teams that win play the same style.
Ohio State did the "two offenses vs one defense" prep before their Rose Bowl game as well. I suspect many Pac10 opponents do the same.
Oregon seems to have trouble with big and fast D Lines. LSU, Auburn, OSU and even Boise and Cal. USC is probably the only talented D line they haven't had trouble with in the last 3 years.
Not applying a good innovation is poor coaching. Honestly, I don't think had had much of a chance trying to win that game with Jarrett Lee. Tip of the Hat to crazy uncle Les.
for Oregon's tempo if you have more than a week or two to prepare. A week is not enough time to prepare for it because the defense still has not fully adjusted to the pace.
here's a great pic!
I think Oregon's spread tends to be overrated by this blog. Since Chip Kelly has been there I can only think of one real impressive victory they've had. Against Stanford last year, and that was as much a results of a huge turnover than anything else. Maybe Utah in 2009 and maybe USC in 2009, but I wouldn't consider those teams great. Most of the success of the amazing spread at Oregon has been against pretty medocre, smaller defenses.
It's a very good offense; if only that was how games are won, but alas there are other factors to consider. So it gets slowed down by most really good defenses it's played (BSU 2009, OSU 2009, Auburn 2010, LSU 2011). No real surprise there...most offenses get slowed down by good defenses.
Oregon's problem is that, unlike LSU or Auburn, it's not roughly equally good on both sides of the ball.
are the ones who had more than 2 weeks to prepare for Oregon spread and their pace. Defense are used to playing against Oregon's pace. If they face them in the middle of the season, they would put points on the board because defense aren't used to the pace.
Biggest problem with Oregon is their plays are really simple and their playbook is really, really small compared to spread option offense like RR. They run a lot of variation of zone read, veer but the concept/base are the same. Part of the reason why the offense is so good is their pace and the defense can't keep up with them so Oregon makes them pay for confusion or scrambling.
2nd game in a row I've watched Oregons Oline get dominated by an SEC Dline. Their weakness is pretty obvious, just not a lot of teams on their schedule with the time of athletes to take advantage of it.
The winning strategy appeared to be all the fat guys lay down on the field when you get tired.
This worked out pretty well for LSU in the first half, since there is apparently no rule against that kind of delay tactic in college football.
Amazingly Lou Holtz for once made a insightfull observation regarding the spread and more specifically the tempo feature of it. Basically he was saying the going fast to confuse a defense or take advantage of a personel advantage via no time for substitution is very effective but when its 3rd and 9 you better get your crap together and make sure you dont have any breakdowns or its punt.
This was one of the(many) frustrating things about watching our offense under the previous coach. It seemed like we'd lose 2 on first, gain 5 on 2nd and then he'd be rolling his arm signaling & yelling "hurry up" only to quickly surrender the ball due to poor execution on 3rd down. Blame this on younger players or whatever but if you know your players are young and not fundamentally sound enough yet to cleanly execute regardless of situation, then you best slow the fuck down and make sure everyones on the same page instead of trying to teach the tempo before nailing the basics of your offense. If the response is "but you need the tempo for the spread/read option/ Pat White thing to be effective at all?? Then I'm glad we're transitioning away from it now, hopefully just cherry picking the best plays/formations and leaving it at that.
The tempo thing is a gimmick, one thats being figured out and prepared for better as each week passes. Better athletes properly coached & prepared will still win the day more times than any scheme or gimmick.
Congrats to Les the "crazy grazer". I actually had Oregon picked in my office pool so his team overachieved given circumstances IMO. I guess the weeks ahead will determine if they can sustain.
Oregon winning the rest of the game in their schedule because teams can't prepare for Oregon's tempo with a week of preparation. Not enough time to do it.
No-huddle tempo is a good way to keep the defense on the field and force them to stay at base defense. If they subsitute, the offense can just snap the ball and catch them with too many men on the field thus get a cheap 5 yards. The players are used to the tempo so they should be on the same page when they're on the field.
I think the advantages of the up tempo style of play is mitigated as the season progresses. Once the calender moves into October and November and the weather cools, fatigue becomes less of a factor, enabling defenses to be more effective against the up tempo teams.
Barring a serious injury to Luck, I'll take the cardinal to beat them this year. They wont get fooled again.