Mike Lantry, 1972
Three yards and a cloud of Bubble Screen
I ran across the post below from a WV fan named "jdakanwv " on the Sportsline Boards.
Aside from his "Mouse Pasties" avatar, I think he sheds some unbiased insight into how the offense might operate.
One thing he stresses is over use of the bubble screen. I hope this does not become the new "Throwing the Rock since 1969".
Here's the post and the direct link:"Recently I was on the WVU boards and began having a discussion with Dsoph about things to expect in Ann Arbor over the next few years. You will see some things that you have never seen before. Some will be impressive, others...not so much...here is my list, take it for what it is worth....
- Everyone will be leaner, quicker, and faster. Your linemen will go from averaging 315 across the line to averaging about 280, but they will be quick and explosive.
- The bubble screen....Get used to it. You will run it on average, 8-12 times a game. At least twice a year, you will see some version of it 20+ times in a game. The idea behind it is a good one, get the ball in a playmakers hands quickly and let them make a play, but you can only see it so many times before you are ready to go nuts.
- Changes. Many of your traditions will remain, but there will be little tweaks to most of them. As you can see with your road uni's, that has already begun.
- Big Plays. Once RR gets his full compliment of players and a true dual threat QB, the number of 35+ yd TD's will increase dramatically. (There is no site like watching a speedy RB or QB bust thru the line and split the safeties like they were standing still and having him go 50yds untouched for a TD. You can see that it will happen within the first two steps the ball carrier takes....it is a site to see and you will enjoy that.)
- This one is the most impressive to me. At the end of the 1st and 3rd qtr's, (especially when you are on offense) Your offensive line will sprint to the other end of the field to get ready for the next quarter. When this is the most impressive is heading to the 4th quarter of a hard fought game and seeing the looks on the defenses faces as the linemen sprint to the other end of the field and the D is gasping for air and sucking down water like it is their job.
Good luck to Uof M in the upcoming seasons. RR's style will take a little time to get used to, but in the end, you will enjoy it.
P.S. Barwis is an animal...You guys will love him."
It's nice to see a WV fan not bash the university, fans or RR.
Three yards and a cloud of Bubble Screen... could be my new blog page, only time will tell.
As chitown mentioned WVU probably ran that play because it was one White could throw. In 2005 Michigan ran about a million WR screens or long handoffs, especially out of that damn diamond formation (WolvHistorian has a nice video with the announcers endlessly remarking M must have some type of play off that action but if they did M never ran it) because TacoPants was the starter and that was often all Henne could hit. Another WH video, I think ND, has Michigan running a simple screen to Howard at least 5 times for huge yardage. So, if it works they can call it every play as long as I’m concerned.
I’m speculating well out of my depth but if the defense keeps LB’s in the middle of the field to stop the run a WR screen is a way to get the ball to the edge quickly and make them pay. So, bubble screen may just have been a default to too many guys in the middle. Then if it doesn’t work you seem to be going back to an unsuccessful play over much. I really do want to watch the WVU/Pitt game (now that I realize it is the single most important football game in the history of coal mining) so that I can evaluate if RR’s play calling was horrible or it was more White sucking/being hurt fumbling etc.
They actually had a play off of the diamond formation, it just took a few years to actually see it. The screen that had Butler taking off down the sideline for 60-some yards in the Capital One Bowl was from that formation. It worked because all of Florida's players tried to jump presumed screen from the diamond.
Oh, and I'm pretty sure you remember it from 2004. SDSU ran the screen from that formation a few times, and UM spent the rest of the year copying them.
I remember screaming "Why the hell are they doing this stupid play again!" the moment I saw the formation.
That put the fullback shuffle misdirection to shame.
It is partially White's inablility to throw, especially early in his career, but the bubble screen is also an important counterpoint to the zone read. When outside contain comes crashing down on the QB, it must be kept honest. The bubble screen is the best way to do that.
You can see how important it is in Rodriguez's recruiting: four-ish guys who are basically bubble screen ninjas have joined the revolution.
I noticed when rewatching the pitt game. Pitt's CB's were reading some key and flying up to make TFL's on the bubble screen. They tried to go over the top but weren't accurate enough. The next level on that option/bubble screen progression is sending the HB on a wheel route up the sideline, one-on-one with a LB. the two outside receivers give slants or bubble screen motion and then slaton would be 10 yards beyond the linebacker and it's the QB's job to hit him before the safety can get over.
I'll probably break it down more in a diary post.
four-ish guys who are basically bubble screen ninjas have joined the revolution
Gotta love the image.
I read today in the Wolverine preview magazine that Micihgan beat WVU the first time they ever played them, 130 to 0.
I was going to mouth-off about that somehow, but now I'm not.