Inside the Playbook - Spring Links

Inside the Playbook - Spring Links

Submitted by Space Coyote on June 6th, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Thought on a slow Friday leading up to what appears to be a wonderful weekend, people wouldn't mind wasting away several hours touching up on their football schemes and techniques. I've gotten back into the flow of things a bit the past month or so, and thought I'd provide some links to some of what I've put out this spring. Some are applied to other teams, but will related to Michigan as well.

Last year, Michigan really struggled defending Nebraska's speed option out of their Cover 1 defense. But it wasn't because theory was incorrect. Michigan, looking like they'll likely run even more cover 1 this year, needs to solidify their teaching of techniques if they want to be able to defend the speed option this year. Here's how that should work.

LINK (Preview)


Minnesota runs a ton of pistol, and with a strong running pair at QB and RB, they really threaten between the tackles. But how do they also work to threaten the edge? In this post we look at Minnesota's base offense and how they utilize WRs in their run game. Michigan may do some of the same at times, and OSU certainly does as well, among other B1G teams.

LINK (Preview)


Two links looking at the 4-3 Over. First, the basics of the MSU Over front (which in many ways is similar to Michigan's), and a look at what it means for Michigan switching from an Under front to an Over front (pre-spring game, but still applicable with a bit more 1-high coverages than anticipated).


LINK (Preview)


Here we look at two pass concepts that MSU has put into their playbook and how they are intended to work. Both of these concepts are a notch above your standard "double slants", but are far from some of the complicated route structures that Borges preferred. Likewise, they are much more similar to a Nussmeier passing structure, though not exactly (you'll have to read HTTV for that). In this post, we examine these pass plays.



Scouting: OSU vs PSU game notes

Scouting: OSU vs PSU game notes

Submitted by SFBayAreaBlue on November 24th, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Ed-Seth: Bump.

Talented BUT . . .

So I've watched about 7 of Ohio's games, (Brady Hoke has only watched 4, he clearly doesn't "Get It".  I mean what's the point of the countdown clock if you're not doing something every day to beat Ohio?  Doesn't that include watching ALL of their games? /sarcasm) and the team has lots of talent, as you would expect.  BUT...

Most of it is inexperienced, and the experienced parts of it are having trouble getting on the same page.  It's one thing for your QB to be young and dumb, it's another for your senior laden O-line to not be getting to their blocking assignments or your two upperclassmen running backs doing their impression of the keystone cops when you put them in the wildcat.  Those things are on the coaches, and it's been pretty clear for awhile that these coaches are on their way out.  (Regardless of what lies Urban is spinning)

The video above is pretty typical.  Shazier is stepping in for team captain Sweat.  He's got loads of talent, but if you look carefully, you'll see that a lot of the plays he's making are downfield (when they're not running right at him) because he's slow to react and diagnose.  Once he get's going, he's got a lot of speed to get there, and he likes to hit, but not very much form on the tackle because it seems like he's more interested in making a big hit. 

When I watch this edition of OSU, I see lots of playmakers, but I don't see a cohesive team. 

OSU on O

The Speed Option

The two plays I worry about from Braxton Miller are the QB lead draw and the speed option.  He's also dangerous when he scrambles, but I feel like our DL can be disciplined enough to keep him in the pocket.  I've already focused on his scrambling and the lead draws in the previous scouting reports, so this time I'm focusing on the speed option, which they ran much better this game, and ran more often. 


They like to run out of the pistol, and they'll run it to either the weak side or the strong side depending on what the defense does.  But they do prefer running to their right, which is behind Shugarts.  PSU shows a cover 2, so there's a numbers advantage to the left side. 


I kinda think PSU is a little bit miss aligned for this formation, but it seems like they had a CB blitz called on the weakside.  The option motion just goes away from it and those two guys are not going to be a factor in the play.


It's just zone blocking and this is one of the plays where the O-line does a good job of scraping to the 2nd level. 


Miller looked much better this game at taking the hole that is in front of him.  But from a scouting standpoint, he almost never pitches.  So it kind of seems like a waste of a player.  They had one play where they did the power lead, which I would be even more concerned with.  


So now that they've hurt PSU with the base play, it's time for the companion playaction. PSU had 8 men in the box for a lot of the 1st quarter, but backed off a bit after Miller hit a couple of passes. Here they've only got 7 in the box. 


The option motion starts to the right, but then Miller jabs his foot in the ground and gets depth to throw.  The key to reading this play is that the O-Line is clearly in pass blocking mode. The backpeddaling uncovered guard is a dead giveaway. 


PSU does a great job of rushing with discipline, no one is over-running Miller, and they get a free rusher coming up the middle. 


Miller will usually make the first man miss, but because of the spread out pocket and controlled rush by the D-line, he's got no place to go. 


[Ed-Seth: take the jump for the much more.]

What happened to the Speed Option?

What happened to the Speed Option?

Submitted by Son of Lloyd Brady on November 17th, 2011 at 7:24 PM

This is my first post and I've been wanting to ask this for a few weeks but I was wondering what anyone else thought about the speed option. It seemed to be working quite well in the few games we ran it and I was very excited to see where we could take it.


EDIT: Sorry, I missed us running it last game. I was still hoping to see it maybe two or three times a game after the first time we ran it, and this has clearly not been the case.