THAT is why Joe Flacco is not elite and I swear to God if Mongolia brings up QBR one more time

Come on the podcast, Mahmoud. The former president of Iran is on team Harbaugh:

The replies to this tweet are all the same joke but it still works. Because the former president of Iran is on twitter, offering takes if Allah wills it.

That's a shame dot gif. Nick Bosa has peaced out permanently, per Tim May:

Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa and his family apparently have decided to focus on the next phase of his football career, which means his emphasis will be on training for the 2019 NFL draft once he is cleared to do so, several sources told The Dispatch on Tuesday.

That means he will not try to return to play for the Buckeyes this season.

The preseason All-America suffered a core muscle injury in the win against Texas Christian at Arlington, Texas, on Sept.15. He underwent surgery in Philadelphia late the next week to repair the injury, and he has been on the mend since.

The sources said that Bosa met with OSU coach Urban Meyer and some of his staff on Sunday to let them know of the decision he, his father John Bosa and the family had reached about his future.

They elected him captain. Whoops. If 74 more OSU players get injured by the time the Game rolls around then we'll be even in the recent history of the series.

A defense that can be had. Post-Bosa OSU defensive performances have been getting steadily worse, culminating in a game against Minnesota where the Gophers moved the ball most of the day only to shoot themselves in the foot at crucial moments. OSU's seemingly total unfamiliarity with RPOs was a major contributor:

Minnesota is an RPO team, and the Golden Gophers used that to great effect all day, slicing Ohio State up in the middle of the field and forcing the linebackers to feel like there were wrong no matter what they did.

Minnesota hit slant after slant, the Gophers throwing for 218 yards and putting together four drives of at least 58 yards.

"We knew the looks we were going to be able to get," Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said. "They played the exact looks we want to be able to get, and we took advantage of that."

All those inside throws were RPOs, or run-pass options. The Gophers go to the line with two options on a play, and decide whether to hand off or execute a quick pass based on how the defenders, often the linebackers, react.

With Ohio State's linebackers typically playing close to the line of scrimmage, and the OSU secondary playing man defense, Minnesota threw to open windows inside with no defender in a passing lane. When Ohio State's linebackers stayed back, they ran.

Hopefully there's another long con in progress from M.

[After THE JUMP: S&P+ items!]

Shea Patterson
Defend this too. [Bryan Fuller]

Michigan and Wisconsin are two of the last great bastions of Manball offense. In an age when offensive coaches are constantly trying to scheme their way to limiting the number of blocks that have to be made to win a down, the Wolverines and Badgers predicate their attacks on the concept that the more blocks they can force to happen, the more blocks the defense is going to lose. There's nothing particularly tricky about it. We are going to squeeze your defenders into a tiny, vertical space where the only directions that exist are North and South, and our heavy cavalry are charging downhill.

So of course the play of the game was a tweak to a zone-read option, a play so Rich Rodriguezian in its design you are a little bit mad at the end that the quarterback doesn't have dreads.

[Note: stephenrjking wrote a diary about this play as well]

Let's take a look at what Wisconsin thought they were defending, what they were actually defending, and how everybody's shoelaces suddenly came untied.


  1. Zone Read
  2. Split Zone
  3. Arc Block

1. What's a Zone Read? I see you've missed the last 20 years of football. That's alright, it's a simple enough concept to explain, and a little flick of the mouse wheel if you're already up on the idea.


The zone read options an unblocked defender on the backside of an inside run play. You've seen it a thousand times. The quarterback holds the ball in the RB's hands while watching whatever defender is in that zone on the backside. If the defender forms up outside, the QB takes his hands off the ball and the RB can continue to run as if it's a normal running play. If the defender "crashes" toward the running back, the QB keeps it and runs around into the vacated space. The point is to free up a blocker by having the QB's read either hold that backside player where he can't help a run to the other side, or alternatively get that defender chasing a non-ballcarrier instead of protecting his edge. It doesn't really matter which base running play you pair it with: inside zone, power, zone stretch, Down G, whatever.

Takeaway: It's an important play because it made it possible to have a good running game from the shotgun. All defenses today know how to defend it, most commonly by having an end who finds himself unblocked "shuffle" in that purple zone to make the QB really have to think about his read, wasting precious moments while the defense is prying its way into the plausible gaps. Naturally, offenses that use the zone read have a favorite counter for this kind of thing.

2. A Split Zone. Split zone is basically just inside zone except you block the backside edge defender with an offensive player, usually a tight end, H-back, or fullback, who is blocking opposite and across the flow of the play.


A split zone run gives up some blocking on the frontside for an epic win on that backside, and is particularly punishing when that backside defender is wholly concentrated on forming up to threaten both sides of a zone read.

But again, this is a highly common play at all levels of football, so any defensive player taught to form up against a zone read is also going to keep the corner of his eye ready for any kind of trap block coming from the frontside. If one comes, he shifts his weight and meets the blocker, maintaining the edge of the defensive front and constricting space as much as possible inside of himself.

Takeaway: Any offense that runs a bit of zone read is also going to run a bit of split zone, and any player who'll be playing edge defender in a modern college defense has practiced how to convert a zone read shuffle to setting the edge against a trap block.

3. Arc Block. This is basically the opposite of a kickout block. It's usually used to describe the block by an H-back or tight end who "arcs" around a defender in an attempt to reach block him, i.e. seal him on the opposite side of where the offensive player lined up.


Takeaway: It's just a block.

[After THE JUMP: Stir with half a season of tendency and serve cold]

Jim Harbaugh coaching, as coaches do

Things Discussed

  • There's a rivalry game happening this week, if you haven't heard
  • Josh Metellus and David Long are playing pretty well
  • Harbaugh isn't talking about injuries
  • No, seriously, he's not talking about injuries
  • Nick Eubanks' emergence as a big-play threat

[After THE JUMP: He's also not talking about the gameplan]

Rutgers basketball, still bad folks

Big Ten Basketball: The Best Complement to Seasonal Affective Disorder

A pull, a man, a plan, a canal, Panama, llupa

Chase Winovich

Six. SIX! What are you DOING Turtle?

Cesar Ruiz looks excited. Probably because he is excited.

Michigan answered every question you had coming into Saturday, including the offensive line