This is maaaaybe premature there, ESPN. Maryland #1 FWIW.
Game 9 (no torrent, but Brian looked at their offense)
Game 6 (couldn't find a torrent)
This game is probably the most representative of what we'll be seeing. Arkansas is about on par with us in terms of talent, but they run a passing spread instead of a running spread. This is also MSU's most recent game against real competition since their final game was against ole miss. Onto the bullets:
- Nothing against emotional tributes but what does it say if you go into the game with signs that read "win it for ***" and you end up losing?
- #7 gets the start over #5 at FS
- They're nominally listed as a 4-3, but you only see that on short yardage, most of the game is 4-2-5 or 3-3-5.
- Ballard has a pretty good burst accelerating through the hole, but he's not real comfortable keeping a good pitch relationship on the option play, Relf had to eat one because he was too close to pitch it.
- Relf is just deadly on that "inverted" option QB choice play. (below)
- Ark. #7 takes it to the house on a 60+ yarder on a student body left type play. Again, these DB's will give up big plays against real speed. Thankfully we've got a lot of that at WR. (not so much at RB, this would be a great team for Carlos Brown to play against). MSU's #7 let himself get blocked on the play when he didn't need to and could've saved the TD (14 yards downfield, but that's still better than a TD)
- When Ballard runs off-tackle he has a hesitation cut that will usually go back inside or upfield instead of outside.
- Relf is about 50-50 on those deep out passes, but that's an improvement from earlier in the year. His WR and TE are fairly tall, giving him nice targets to aim for. Still throws that intermediate slant pretty well.
- Ark #7 looks like a big guy, easily shedding the tackle attempt from #13
- I'm a fan of the stickers on the helmets. It's college, gold stars for everyone. I do think that the ones we used to have were a bit big and distracting, but that can be fixed by using smaller ones or ones that have more blue and less maize.
- Ark gets their 2nd TD on a really well executed delayed screen. MSU is in pretty good position but Ark gets some great blocks and some pretty nifty running, going all the way across the field. #50 got shaken up, looks okay.
- #2 with a pretty weak fumble on a flare pass.
- But MSU gets it back on a nice strip from #34 on the very next play.
- on 4th and 2, MSU tries a fake punt, nothing special, just a straight run left by the punter. MSU motioned two guys to the far right giving an unbalanced look (ball was on left hash) but had the three up men close to the punter with two on the left side.
- Relf isn't the fasted guy (he's not vince young) but he's got really good vision for picking out the holes even if it isn't where the play was designed to go. Plus, his O-line is getting good movement on ark's front 7. Makes him dangerous on QB draws and scrambles up the middle. We're gonna need a big game from our DT's to not get moved out of the middle.
- nice diving catch by #8 on a ball that should've been batted down.
- Solid hit by #25 on Kickoff coverage, but he didn't wrap up.
- #10 not seeing much PT this week. He's nominally a backup but maybe he's dinged up.
- #90 got a good sack playing from a 2 point stance. Great speed for a guy his size, hadn't gotten many sacks this year, but a lot of pressure. This was a bit of a twist having him line up in a MLB position
- Ark is having their DE's pushing upfield, blew up one of those jet sweep plays.
- MSU's O-line looks much better. #70 is at center instead of #55 who shifted over. #61 is not in the game, and #62 is over at right tackle where he's not as much of a liability. My suspicion is that there's a sizeable dropoff once subs have to come in. #62 and #61 seem fine in run blocking, but not as good in pass blocking.
- Seems like #8 will be the primary receiver with Bumbphis out for the bowl, Relf hasn't been looking at #19 much even though he's in the game a lot.
- Relf nearly scored again on that inverted option. Different lead blocker this time.
- Ballard takes it to the pylon for a short TD, fumbled snap might have allowed him to get outside on the pitch.
- Late hit by #5
- Jebus, enough talk about cam newton. Yes, auburn probably paid his dad. When a paper trail is discovered years down the line, maybe we'll get a reggie bush type rebuke of them then, but not until there's proof.
- Pretty entertaining game MSU 21-17 at the half.
- Ark's DB's are playing inside leverage. Makes sense against relf.
- When Relf is pressured he usually misses high.
- #5 gets an INT on the sideline up. Misread by Mallet, the safety was playing pretty far over. I doubt we'll see much of #7
- FB in the flat again. Only his 3rd catch of the year, converting 4th and 3.
- Relf fumbled. He wasn't careless on this one, just a really good hit by the defender putting his helmet on the ball.
- #5 beaten for an 88 yard passing TD on playaction. Too aggressive on that play. Amazing to see #50 being the guy who never gives up on the play again. He's been impressive from game 1. He's got a great motor.
- #62 gave up a sack, blocked the wrong guy, maybe he thought the back was supposed to pick up the DE. No, that's just a mistake by him.
- Missed tackle by #25. looks like he slipped on the turf.
- Nice hit by #34. He hasn't been lining up at DE as much lately. He's more like a Fritz middle backer, even though he's listed at OLB.
- Ark #3 shows some speed on the bubble screen getting about 20 yards
- Haven't seen much of Perkins this week. Heavy doses of Ballard and Relf up the middle.
- Exciting finish, MSU recovers a fumble with Ark trying to run out the clock with a 3 point lead.
- #19 gets a big catch.
- Ballard chewing up yards on the counter run
- 31-31 going to OT
- Ballard fumbles, Ark misses a FG.
- 2nd OT MSU doesn't cover the back out of the backfield for an easy TD.
- And #62 gives up a sack on 4th down to end the game. Actually it was the speed rush against the left tackle, but they both got there pretty quick.
The dreaded "inverted option":
We'll be seeing a lot of this play or some variation of it. Although this one isn't really part of their option series, it is third play of their sweep series. (The first 2 being the sweep and the counter sweep.) You can tell that this play is a designed QB keeper by the blocking assignments. It doesn't matter what you call it, Relf will have the ball, and he will be running between the tackles with 1, 2, or even 3 lead blockers.
MSU is in a split back slot right. Ark responds with a 4-3 and a late shift into an outside blitz. The safety moves up into man coverage and the MLB fakes a blitz.
The MLB has responsibility for a pretty big bubble in the d-line. MSU takes advantage of that by pulling the right tackle all the way into the 5 hole. Arkansas's blitzer is going way upfield to cut off any bubble screen, flare pass, or sweep. (This was the LSU blue-print).
The running backs show sweep motion to the right and both the playside guard and tackle have gotten great leverage on their men, so there's a pretty big hole for the pulling tackle to lead through.
The MSU linebacker goes for the fake, Relf keeps the ball and sees what is now a huge hole in front of him.
Looking at it from behind we can see how Arkansas should have defended it. The RT takes a pull step right at the snap. But the DE doesn't even notice it. With the blitzer to his side going upfield, he doesn't have contain responsibility and his path should be directly towards the QB/RB mesh point. If you follow a pulling linemen, you'll almost always be taken right to the play.
One of the MLB goes with the fake and the DE is in no man's land about to tackle a guy who doesn't have the ball. The MSU O-line is getting great movement on their guys.
Relf actually makes the wrong cut here, the outside corner is in man and should be blocked. But because he's a big guy, going north and south is never a bad choice for Relf. The FS is in good position to make a tackle, but he gets juked out of his shorts and then Relf is too strong to get taken down by the guys in pursuit. He bounces around into the endzone getting about 10 yards of YAC.
Game 9 (no torrent, but Brian looked at their offense)
Game 6 (couldn't find a torrent)
Be careful about anything that seems encouraging from this game since Alabama doesn't really do anything that we do and has great athletes all over the place. Here we go:
- Haven't really mentioned it until now, but MSU Kickoff coverage has been pretty solid all year. The gunners seem to make solid tackles.
- The zen of blitz pickups, if we can just get a body on their blitzers and let their momentum take them upfield, good things should happen.
- Ballard caught a pass after faking the run, he was wide open, guess Bama has been watching the same tapes as me. He hadn't really done that all year up til now
- Relf with another bad INT. No pressure, he just made a bad decision, throwing it right to the safety.
- #90 Mcphee LE got some pressure with a speed rush
- Perkins looks good on that counter sweep
- Bama's QB is finding some openings against MSU's zone. Hit a comeback against #13 Banks who was playing pretty far off, they came right back to it and #5 was much closer on the play. #5 is a more aggressive player in coverage from that safety spot.
- #25 CB will come up hard on run support
- #50 white doesn't seem to get tired, he's sideline to sideline throughout the game.
- #94 RE made a nice play in the backfield when the pulling linemen couldn't get to him in time
- #3 gets a nice gain on a WR screen on 2nd and a mile
- Wow, Marquis Maze just made 3 people miss tackles for a long TD. #25 put a hit on up high, but Maze is too strong for that.
- Maze returns a punt for a TD, called back on a penalty, so Mark Ingram takes a hitch and just outruns everyone to the endzone
- 20-3 Bama at the half
- #61 got beat for another sack
- Julio Jones takes the jet sweep for another long TD, broke an arm tackle by #36 and #5 took a bad angle. He's done that a bit against guys with real speed.
- #86 Carr, speedy freshman screwed up the kick return, mullen gave him an earful on the sideline, wonder if he's gonna be in the doghouse the next couple weeks.
- Guess not since carr is getting involved in the run game on that drive.
- down 27-3 MSU punts on 4th and inches from it's own 30 with 8 minutes to go in the 3rd. game over.
- #50 white gets a nice INT getting good depth in his zone, looks like he pulled his groin on the play
- 8 in the box is definitely the way to go aginst MSU's run game. Take your chances with relf's accuracy and MSU WR's don't have great hands.
- Can someone shoot Bob Davie with a tranquilizer, or something to just shut him up. Cam newton plays for neither alabama nor MSU, move on.
- Ballard showing more patience this week. Earlier in the year he would just slam into the hole. But he's got enough of a burst and acceleration to be more patient and look for the openings.
- Relf takes a sack holding the ball too long
- FUCKING STOP TALKING ABOUT NEWTON FOR PETE'S SAKE!
- Ingram runs right over #5
- HOLY CHRIST! BOB DAVIE HAS SPENT THE ENTIRE 2ND HALF TALKING ABOUT AUBURN, meanwhile #42 for bama is spinning off tacklers who like to hit but haven't been wrapping up that well this game.
- Subs are in, game is really over, the start of the 4th
- Isn't that cute, Julio Jones has pigtails.
- Why were people getting on Bo Pelini's case? $aban just ripped his backup QB a new one, looked much worse than anything Pelini did. He even spanks him pretty violently on the arse. That's just what football coaches do.
- Russell in at QB, hits #35 in the flat for a 1st down. something new.
- #3 drops a pass.
- #19 makes a nice catch in traffic
- Bumphis closes out the scoring by getting behind the safeties.
Game 6 (couldn't find a torrent)
After the emotional last second win against florida, MSU had a bit of a letdown vs. UAB. And don't go thinking that UAB was a decent team from a smaller confernce, they were 4-8 vs a bunch of also rans. They are squarely in the bottom quarter of FBS schools. You could probably equate this to our game against Umass, sorta.
- #61 LG got beat on a rusher crossing his face
- #74 RG is a backup playing because of inuries, got a false start
- #4 safety is having a better game coming up to make the big hit on receivers after they catch short passes against the zone
- UAB plays with 3 WR most of the time, so MSU was in their 4-2-5 or the two outside guys can stand up to make it look like like a 2-4-5
- (UAB's kicker is named Josh Zahn, I wonder if he's related to Steve Zahn, really, how many Zahns could there be in the states?)
- #35 FB, not much of a ball carrier, but I like the way he blocks. He has good timing and is an excellent lead blocker.
- #27 perkins, listed at 5'10", I doubt he's that tall, doesn't really run through tackles, his legs stop on contact. Lots of speed, more dangerous on outside runs than inside.
- Berry is out for the season so #19 WR is playing more
- Perkins in the wildcat
- #10 OLB plays a lot as a DB lined up over the slot receiver.
- Seems like you can get outside of the DE's. They're either not very good at maintaining outside leverage or they're coached not to...? On many passing plays, there is pressure from the outside, so the tackles can just let those guys go upfield. But on other plays, it seems like they're just not that concernerd about outside plays. Maybe they think the relative speed of their linebackers and the corners playing zone will be able to string out sweeps and such. #34 and #50 definitely have above average quicks for LBs and #10 is a bit of a tweener (OLB/SS)
- MSU's line is not looking impressive this game, maybe it's because of the subs playing
- Ballard is dinged up this game, #2 is not very impressive, Perkins is a little hesitant on inside runs. His O line isn't helping much
- RT # 62 looks like he's on rollerskates.
- In the 2 min drill, MSU played soft until UAB got to about the 30, then they started bringing the house. UAB's kicker is god awful, just like us and Florida, probably a factor.
- Herman edwards was so busy mumbling that he didn't notice that the refs just screwed UAB out of a time out. But UAB scored a TD on the next play anyway. Busted coverage, looked like #25 (who has been pretty solid) was either blitzing or thinking run all the way.
- 10-10 at the half
- Relf is not real good at feeling the blitzer. He doesn't shuffle around in the pocket.
- Mullen is pissed, nice interview, HA!
- As bad as MSU's O-line backups are looking is how good FB #35 is looking. You could close your eyes and still hear how good his blocks are.
- With Ballard out, the WR are playing a bigger part in the run game, both 3 and 86 have taken part in sweeps, and bumphis has been in on option plays.
- A new wrinkle for this week is bringing bumphis in motion from the far side of the formation and throwing it to him in what turns into a bubble screen, except they're not lined up in trips formation to start.
- When the WR are in the triangle (middle WR is on the line) the inside slot man often runs a flat after the two outside guys clear out.
- (UAB "Blazers" hahahah, how many 420 jokes are told on that campus?)
- UAB hits the tunnel screen for about 20, #7 backup SS does a good job of keeping it out of the endzone. haven't seen as much of #5 this week.
- MSU is very lackadaziacal on defense this week, more missed tackles than I've seen from them. Probably just a focus issue. We'll see how they bounce back in the next couple of weeks.
- 24-23 UAB with 10 minutes to play
- and then UAB kills themselves by popping up the kickoff short and then they get a penalty for ignoring the fair catch and MSU is 5 yards from field goal range. Folks around here would be gathering the pitchforks if our coaches did that.
- #13 Banks did a good job of squeezing down his zone and stepping in front of a pass to bat it down on a huge 3rd down play.
- #62 just got his lunch handed to him again (hope we see him against us!)
- Perkins gets his best run of the year so far on a counter sweep to the right.for 50 yards
- Gotta love that Mullen calls the exact same play back to back for another 8 yards
- Relf looks to be over his aversion to pitching when running left.
- And once again MSU makes more FG's in this game (5) than we did all year (4).
- UAB fumbled the Kickoff otherwise they would have had a chance to drive the field for the win. 29-24 is the final.
Game 6 (couldn't find a torrent)
This game is a little bit different because the two coaches involved are offensive guys and they know each other pretty well. Florida had a bit of an off year on O with a new starter at QB (they couldn't break 20 points against any team that finished in the top 25#). Florida's best win was against a down Georgia team.
- Fla. QB brantly looked pretty inaccurate on his first series, nothing in particular MSU was doing.
- Florida brings pressure from the trips side, this seemed effective. The OLB either gets in the passing lane or can chase the option from behind.
- Fla was ready for the option, good job keeping assignments and covering the pitch man.
- Miss St. reacts to the bad Fla QB play by bringing all kinds of blitzers from everywhere.
- MSU continues to bring up their safeties late
- #50 white MLB can be beaten to the edge on sweeps, need to get around the DE's tho'
- The DB's in general have been pretty solid tacklers. Not really a lot of missed tackles.
- Companion pass to their sweep play is the quick hitch to the backside WR
- MSU's only TD of the day came on a drvie full of inside iso's and traps
- 10-0 at the end of the 1st quarter and there's only one more TD scored by Fla. the rest of the game...
- Nice missed tackle by #54 LB, haven't seen much of him before.
- Fla having a little success running from their wildcat.
- MSU showing a 2-4 nickle. #99 did a good job shedding his blocker
- 7 games in and Relf is starting to lock in to Bumphis, wonder who he focuses on now that bumphis is out...
- Florida's choice is to blitz Relf on 3rd and long, i think this should be our course of action too.
- #54 is getting more playing time, looks decent against the run, good when he's coming forward.
- Pretty impressed with #50's pass drops, moves pretty well in a backpeddle for a LB. Demps from Fla has made him miss a couple times on wide plays, but Demps is crazy fast, even with a gimpy ankle.
- DB's #25 and #13 haven't really been singled out for bad plays yet this season.
- Relf is killing them on QB keepers to the uncovered tackle's side.
- #50 just did a good job of running down brantly on a scramble, no idea how fast brantly is, but we know denard is faster.
- Fla. having a little success running up the middle against the 2 man line, getting a hat on #50
- Fla. running option, late pitches. Gets them their only points. Hopefully RR is putting in the option with the extra 15 practices, we haven't shown it much this year, so maybe MSU won't be ready for it.
- Ballard took a wildcat snap in the redzone, didn't get much.
- Fla perfectly defended the option/shovel play, corner keeps contain, and then goes with the pitch man, LB takes the shovel. Relf shoved too early, led to a missed FG
- Turnovers, missed FG's and a lot of running plays is what kept the score down.
- If ballard takes the snap, it'll be a run, I serously doubt he can throw it more than 15 yards.
- MSU is playing a pretty soft zone with 2 minutes to play and Fla driving for the win or tie. A couple of blitzes, but more 3 man rush. Fla place kicker ain't that great, like ours, so that may be factoring into the decision.
- On 3rd and 2 and 4th and 2, MSU rushed 5 to try to end the game.
- MSU threw it 9 times the whole game, none in the 2nd half!
- Howz that season going, Florida?
Since this is a cupcake game in the tradition of ESS EEE CEE schools only playing cupcakes in non-conference, there won't be a lot of to glean from this. And there might be a lot more random off topic comments
- I'm sick of these stupid text message polls. Polls are fun in and of themselves, but I hate that it says "message and data rates MAY apply". When it's more appropriate to say, "YOU DUMB BITCHES ARE GONNA GET CHARGED AT LEAST 400% ABOVE COST FOR EACH TEXT MWAHAHAHAH!"
- I think this is the first appearance of the wildcat with Relf split out and Bumphis taking the snap
- Relf can throw the 8 yard flat, but he often puts it on the wrong shoulder, if we had more experienced corners, we could get some tip drill type interceptions.
- On some passing downs, the 4 LB's are lined up in the gaps around the 3 DL. so all 7 players are in an alternating line of two point and three point rushers. So it becomes a guessing game for the O-line as to which 3,4, 5, or even 6! of them are actually rushing. Depending on where the backs are, the 2 guys who will take coverage actually start with a couple of rush steps before peeling off or dropping back.
- Russell is playing again after sitting the week before, looks pretty accurate but misread a quarters for a cover two and almost got picked off.
- SWEEEET, Alcorn's QB just broke a long one for a TD. #5 took a bad angle, #4 is not fast. That Alcorn kid can run. But so can Denard of course. (Dissected below)
- Alcorn is giving them soft corners, so MSU is throwing a lot of bubble screens.
- #8 WR, has good height, dropped an underthrown ball when he was wide open deep.
- When they bring heat, there will be people open, but we gotta be carefull about zone blitzes and dropping linemen. The hot routes probably need to be a little bit deeper to avoid interceptions.
- Ugh, Relf's passing seems to be improving, he threw a fastball in the redzone for their 3rd TD, and he threw a pretty good corner route on a double move, the guy was wide open tho'.
- #26 CB got beat on a deep fly, this could be good for us with the speed we have at that position. Have to see if we get much bump and run.
- #5 got beat deep when he was unsure where to lineup at and was in man coverage.
- #9 Berry WR, starting to have more of an impact. Good size, hard to bring down for a WR.
- 35-16 at the half, Berry had a KO return TD
- #27 perkins also took a wildcat snap. Expect to see him take on most of bumphis's roles on trick plays.
- Relf will hold the ball longer than he should on passing plays if the coverage is good.
- Alcorn caused a fumble when the MSU left tackle picked up the blitzing OLB letting the DE get a free run and he hit the QB/HB right during the mesh
- Alcorn is having some success pressuring the left side of MSU's o-line, not sure if there're subs in the game.
- #90 DL is pretty quick off the ball.
- #34 with yet another batted ball on a blitz where he was dropping into coverage.
- #28 Ballard reminds me of MSU's rb's. Not a lot of change of direction, but if they bust through the second level, they're gone.
- 42-16 with 14 minutes to go, game over.
Alcorn's first TD
This is an encouraging play since it's something we run.
MSU is in a true 4-3 which they often do on 1st down or 2nd down if they expect a run. Usually they're in a 3-4, but with the way their DE's play, it's not much difference. Twin Flankers to the right, the safety is hanging back to invite the short pass or bubble screen. #10, the OLB is flexed out to take the TE.
But then they shift into a more aggressive defense to take that away. The safety rolls up even with the corner, and the OLB's shift into the line and now it looks more like a 5-2 with the blitzer in the left tackle/guard gap. They also have the short side corner in bump in run and the wide side playing softer as many teams do against the spread. The tackle picks it up and calls out the blitzer.
MSU likes to bring pressure off the edges. (We hope they will) And the blitzer is unblocked. The right tackle is pulling and he does an awesome job of getting just enough of the blitzer to put him down. This is a QB keeper all the way, even though there is the fake handoff.
Because the LG didn't pick up the blitzer, he's free to clean up the MLB. The Alcorn linemen are happy to let the DE's take themselves out of the play, and there's a huge lane inside of the pulling tackles block.
Once the QB gets past the line #50, and #4 have a chance to run him down, but they don't have the speed. #5 comes up at too sharp of an angle, gets juked, and gives up the outside.
And then he just outruns them all. It's nice to see that #50 and #4 don't give up on the play, but it's also interesting that they have about the same speed. #5 just could not recover or accelerate enough to stay with them.
- I'm starting to get a feel for what this team is about and I'm not real delighted about it. They look pretty solid if not spectacular in all three phases of the game.
- They're playing a lot more 3-4 base even with georgia with a TE and FB. But by the end of the 1st quarter they started walking up the safety
- It looks like we can have some success running against the three down linemen.
- They substitute a lot on defense, this should be mitigated some by our hurry up, provided we can sustain drives.
- Relf doesn't really have the breakaway speed in the open field, but he'll kill you all day with 8-30 yard runs if you don't put a solid tackle on him.
- OOOOOOoooooh sweet play for MSU's first TD. I'll have to dissect that. (below)
- Georgia gives up a bad fumble which takes away what would have been a sure TD.
- #15 DB playing a deep zone was too aggressive didn't get his hips turned and got beat for a huge pass (i've been told he's not playing D anymore, oh well)
- #34 can't bull rush but he's smart and fast, moves well laterally, batted a ball rushing from a two point. he's a bit of tweener DE/OLB
- Georgia muffed a punt, so there's 2 bad turnovers and we've still got a ways to go before half.
- the motion man is very important in the play designs. our guys need to be ready and anticipate what the formation 'will be'. They like to motion guys into the backfield or across the formation for the fly sweep. And sometimes they do motion just to do motion, like flipping the formation strength on a passing down.
- Haha, halfback pass, nice play call, HORRIBLE execution. and the Georgia OLB was staying at home and got the INT, so we're back to +1 TO margin.
- And Relf draws a personal foul. Do we have any sean avery's on defense to get under his skin?
- MSU DL just blew up a zone blocking scheme as they all just shot across their blockers and met in the backfield. I'm thinking that's a miscall by the georgia O-line (hoping)
- With the tweeners that MSU has on defense, they'll rush just 2 down linemen but still bring 3, 4, or even 5 pass rushers. their DE's will drop into coverage a fair amount of the time. This is probably done to complement their blitzing. Denard, be careful about your hot reads!!!
- Oooh! Georgia gets a TD on a Tunnell screen (called back on penalty) but neither safety is anywhere to be seen. I LIKE IT!
- 7-6 at the half, but Georgia could easily be leading this if they hadn't fumbled or converted in the redzone. MSU is making an annoying habit of bending but not breaking.
- (Off Topic halftime comment: I'm watching Equilibrium on cable and the black guy just ruins it! He's fricken smiling within seconds of his introduction!!! You're supposed to not have any emotions dumbass. Christian bale should have shot you right then and there! Way to ruin it for everyone else. Sean Bean, always solid)
- Ballard #28 doesn't have great hands for the passing game.
- YES! ANOTHER HORRID INT BY RELF UNDER PRESSURE. Two weeks in a row. but Georgia was offsides. (please still do this, please still do this). When he throws off his back foot, start quacking, cause it's a duck!
- Jebus, they give Relf 3 lead blockers on some of those QB iso's.
- But he does show a little carelessness with the ball, fumbled outofbounds. (then again, so does denard), fumbled snap, fumbled mesh. If Relf has a bad day with turnovers, we'll win.
- Georgia doesn't have the passing ability to make MSU pay for putting 8 in the box. They rotate the safety late, but it's the same thing for the LB's changing their responsibilities.
- MSU doing a great job of 'checking the check' on defense. This has been consistent in all four games so far. (i.e. the defense shows blitz or some other risky defense, the offense sees it and checks to a hot route, and then the D sees the O change and changes too.)
- We're gonna need a huge game from our contain men, Roh, and whoever is playing opposite of Roh.
- Relf loses accuracy the further downfield he tries to throw. Intermediate over the middle is his sweet spot for passing. Need MLB's to get good pass drops.
- Mullen with another great 4th and inches call on his own 40 with 6 minutes to go, that's the kind of call that wins games. I'm starting to really respect this guy. Between Ballard and Relf, inches are a gimme for this veteran O-line.
- #34 wright, not really a pass rusher, great ups (2nd time i've noticed that?) likes to get in the passing lanes and bat the ball.
- at 17-6 georgia fails on 4th down deep in their own territory with 4 minutes to play, the final 13 points don't really matter. This was a pretty close game where if Georgia had a better passing QB, they probably could have won easily. MSU blitzed like crazy and kept 8 in the box all day.
- They didn't run hardly anything from under center (any?). Left the single wing stuff at home this week. Didn't see much of perkins #27, anyone know if he was injured for this game? That might have changed the formations available.
- Georgia's QB has an arm, just too young to know what to do with it right now. I'll have to watch the rest of the games, but my suspicion is that they don't blitz quite as much against better QB's (but then again, Denard is just a true sophomore with a tendency for bad interceptions, so we'll probably see lots of guys coming from different places)
MSU's first TD
This isn't a play that I have seen them run often up to this point, but it's a sweet play because it utilizes a lot of their offensive concepts and it's been tweeked for perfection in that situation. (not sure if the tweek was by design or just bad execution by the RB)
They're in the redzone, it's a big game. Still scoreless. It's not a time to be vanilla. They come out in what appears to be a simple 3 WR twins right. But actually, this is an unbalanced line. Both the WR are on the line of scrimmage which means that Bumphis is ineligible on this play. The left flanker, who's into the boundary will go in motion making this a huge overshift to the right. With one of the WR ineligible, this is screaming run to the right 99% of the time.
But the tricky thing here is that the TE is not on the line of scrimmage. This will be important in a moment. The RB is lined up in Relf's hip pocket indicating a mesh that could really go into any of the 4 inside gaps. The motion man is deep into the backfield faking the fly sweep which would be a common base play for this formation.
Here's where the real genius of the play can be seen. At the snap of the ball, the 3 linemen on the left block down hard to the right. The right guard pulls to the left. And the right tackle shows pass blocking technique on what will be the backside DE. There are just false keys being given all over the place. The corner and safety have been taken in by the motion and their momentum is completely wrong. Anyone on the defensive right side of the ball is going to be reading that the play is going to their left. The only one who has a shot at stopping this play for minimal gain is the Mike linebacker if he can pick out the right read amongst the 5 false ones. The big mistake is by the safeties, one of whom is completely confused, and the other is taking himself out of position.
The RB's first step is lateral to the left as he tries to get a good pitch relationship for the option. In this case the fly sweep acts as the dive man, but he's going completely horizontal. Georgia is completely baffled by what they're seeing. One LB makes the correct read, but you can't stop an option with one man. The other LB needs to get on his horse and cover the pitch man. (The ideal defense for this would be to not have the safety and DE get fooled, so the DE can keep contain and take the pitch man)
But EVEN IF Georgia had sniffed all that out, there was still the issue of the TE coming across the formation to do either a lead block or take the shovel pass. And that wasn't a TE, that was #2, their third TB. Another hint that something odd is coming. But he's hard to see behind that scrum of blockers. Anyway, 1 defender taking on 3 offender is never going to be a good thing for the defense.
This last part I'm not sure if it was by design or just poor execution by the running back Ballard, who is usually used on inside runs, not keeping proper pitch relationship. He gets well ahead of the play and Relf is forced to make a forward pass to him. If I had to guess, I'd say it's by design, with the shovel pass in play, the linemen are already staying at the LOS. It could just be that he ran out of space running towards the boundary and got overanxious to turn it upfield. But if it is by design, it's pretty clever, because this creates the possibility of turning him into a lead blocker for Relf if the pass isn't there.
In the end it's an easy TD. Relf had 4 options on this play, 2 others would have gotten huge gains by design, the only bad thing he could have done was hold onto the ball. And it's just a sweet play all around. The left tackle gets a great block to make it a walk in TD. Bumphis waited on the line, but he was pretty close to getting a flag for being illegally downfield.
Later they ran two more plays from this formation, (and why not, when it was that wide open the first time). They hit the shovel to Ballard who was at H-back for a big gainer, and they got a TD on the straight up pass motion. Interesting to note that the ineligible Bumphis sprints backwards on that play in about the only way he can legally get the ball. So going down the rabbit hole, they probably have a transcontinental play from the formation and a give to the fly sweep who gives to bumphis on the reverse (glad bumphis isn't playing, they'll probably use #27 in that role instead.)
And on a 4th play, they ran from almost the same look, but without the motion, and the WR were aligned to the short side of the field (on all 4 plays the WR were to the right, maybe they're not good with that formation flipped, at least at this point in the season). This time Relf just kept it to the wide side without some of the other options, probably didn't want to risk stopping the clock. Instead the two guys just turned into lead blockers. And this was a called run.