Optimal Peppers/O'Korn Split

Submitted by SAMgO on November 14th, 2016 at 1:56 PM

If Wilton is really lost for the year, moving forward how many more of Jabrill's snaps should be shifted to the offensive side of the ball? Would you be surprised if he starts taking 30-40% of the snaps behind center?

Obviously, this news really sucks. But it's time for Harbaugh to get really creative now. How much wildcat can realistically be effective?



November 14th, 2016 at 2:13 PM ^

Think we see Peppers more at RB and in the slot now. May not necessarily affect his wildcat snaps. I'd like to see Peppers and Evans in the backfield at the same time. We don't seem to use 2 RB's next to the QB in the shotgun much, but I think it would be a cool look that would scare defenses. 


November 14th, 2016 at 2:18 PM ^

Sad to see the circumstances but happy to see JOK get his chance. Just from social media seems like a very good kid who takes his faith seriously. I have a good amount of respect for that. Good luck to him!

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


November 14th, 2016 at 2:22 PM ^

Peppers is going to be in offense a TON against OSU. He was last year, and he will be used even more extensively this year. I am really excited to see what Harbaugh does in that game with Peppers. With as much as he will be used that game, and with as many eyes that are going to be watching, there is a chance he actually makes it in the conversation for that top Heisman spot if all goes well and he makes a few outstanding plays on both ends. I know we are more concerned about beating OSU than Peppers Heisman talk right now, and rightfully so, but I think both of those things go hand and hand. And, after all, this is a discussion about Peppers.

There is going to be just as much hype going into The Game as long as we beat Indiana and OSU takes care of Sparty. Going to be a really exciting game, and Peppers will be a big part of that. Maybe that same play where they roll-out Speight will be run with O'Korn, and maybe this time they actually use O'Korn's athleticism to throw off OSU on that play and go for a big play. I'm optimistic that Harbaugh will do some fun stuff with O'Korn's athleticism.


November 14th, 2016 at 2:26 PM ^

This is what I was thinking as well. Take advantage of the Speight injury and throw out some new wrinkles against OSU that they could not prepare for. Shouldn't need much as far as an innovative offense goes against Indiana being that it's at home. I'm not saying to not prepare for Indiana, but make it a bit simpler for O'Korn and take advantage of the run game a bit more with Evans. I still think Peppers will be used quite a bit as they are not going to try and allow the game to be close, but save the innovative stuff/new offensive wrinkles for OSU.


November 14th, 2016 at 5:46 PM ^

It's a non-factor since he doesn't play offense full time. Unless some of those yards were picked up in key situations. Sure, if he averaged 4 YPC and 12.5 YPRec throughout an entire game getting 20-30 touches that would be effective, but because he cannot do that, it is a moot point.

I'd rather have him on defense full time and let our starting offensive skill players play all the offensive snaps. I have confident in our runners and pass catchers against anyone. If the Oline can just not play disastrous, I'm confident. 


November 14th, 2016 at 5:01 PM ^

Then we lose. Expecting gimmicky plays to be the difference against a top team at the end of the season...good luck. We could just expect players to make plays at positions they've played all season and perhaps Jabril can force a turnover, make some tackles when the Buckeye backs try to turn the corner.


November 14th, 2016 at 2:19 PM ^

honestly, I don't think they should show much 'new' stuff this week even with O'Korn.  why give OSU that info?  new wrinkles with KornPeppers shoudl be reserved for them.


November 14th, 2016 at 2:30 PM ^

We can hope for a 2008 Dolphins-Pats Wildcat Game.  I would have to guess the playbook as not really be opened up yet with the PepperCat formation and can definetely be expanded given recent news.  


November 14th, 2016 at 2:30 PM ^

for them to use Peppers on jet sweeps, would also like the Evans/Peppers backfield with both coming out of the backfield on swing passess, anything that can get them the ball in space. 

Mr. Elbel

November 14th, 2016 at 4:07 PM ^

can they run both of them on sweeps coming from opposite directions or is that some sort of an illegal motion? If that's legal, that'd be awesome. see which direction they go. Even if you pull half of them one way you could set up blocking both ways to make it really a guessing game for a couple of seconds.


November 14th, 2016 at 2:31 PM ^

Pros: our offense will be vastly different with JOK under center. Plays, formations, substitutions will all be unknown to our opponents.

Cons: JOK will be rusty and the other players will not be experience with new plays.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


November 14th, 2016 at 2:39 PM ^

Do you really think the offense is going to be that different?  Sure there will be some new wrinkles but unless they've be repping two different offenses in practice all year (one for Speight and one for JOK), I don't see them putting in an entire new offense in one week.  


November 14th, 2016 at 2:35 PM ^

Until Peppers starts handing the ball off, the Wildcat will have issues.  But I would like a package with Peppers and Evans in the backfield with McDoom in motion, that's a lot of speed going in different directions.  Still, it's only effective if Peppers is reading the defense correctly and handing/pitching the ball when he should.


November 14th, 2016 at 2:35 PM ^

is Peppers going to be asked to cover Samuel?  I would hate to see him tire out playing a lot more on offense and then having to match Samuel stride for stride.  That dude can go.

Perkis-Size Me

November 14th, 2016 at 2:38 PM ^

30%-40%? You kidding me? 

Unless Peppers knows how to throw, and throw well, its going to be a completely wasted down against OSU if all we do is line up Peppers in the wildcat and do the "Run Right" or "Run Left" play. He hasn't proven he can throw the ball yet, so whenever he lines up, the entire defense is going to key in on him. 

Besides, you know that old saying: If you have two QBs, you have no QB. This is O'Korn's offense right now. Need to trust that he can get the job done. 


November 14th, 2016 at 2:45 PM ^

I think the Peppers Wildcat has run its course and has been rendered ineffective.  Everytime he takes the direct snap he runs the ball and the defense is waiting.  When was the last time that play gained any positive yards (more than 3).  At this point, he makes a better decoy than anything.

Here's to hoping O'Korn has been working all season and is ready for the moment, because after him, there isn't much that is capable for meaningful minutes.


November 14th, 2016 at 2:48 PM ^

Peppers should like up at RB, Slot, WR, decoy or not.

His Wildcat has simply been blown up too much to consistently rely on.


His decoy is enough to line him up anywhere on offense.

Peppers is great in open space, and at the second-level he's a threat to house it, but he hasn't proven a reliable consistency to cross the line of scrimmage, and taken a fair amount of TFLs (momentum killer, and getting behind the sticks is a no-no in Harbaugh's offense).

But Peppers as a decoy makes nearly half the team take a false step just looking at him.

I dumped the Dope

November 14th, 2016 at 3:04 PM ^

The PepCat was designed to be predictable and get whatever it could.  But, imo, its designed to make a defense think "RUN, RIGHT!" and everyone charges that way.

Similar to the way Iowa let us blitz like a herd of banshees and then threw a screen pass.  Twice.  When they really needed something.

Similar to a Borges call against OSU when Gardner sold a sweep/run right and then suddenly he wheels to throw back to Gallon sitting alone to the left who then busted it for like 70 yards and would have had a TD with more footspeed.

If Peppers could throw a 5-10 yard pass with reasonable accuracy this wrinkle could be deadly.  Right now its not much of a threat since Smith isn't going to outrun anyone.  Put some speed to the edge and it could be a read/option run inside or a pitch to the edge.  If the TE can jump out and seal the DE and the WR blockdown...I think its a chunk with Evans or McDoom.


November 14th, 2016 at 3:42 PM ^

Call me contrarian, but I think we should reduce Pepper's role in the offense to, maybe, goal line offense.

The offense with him on the field has not been substantially more effective than without him.  Many have discussed why that is (figuring out the wildcat, fatigue, etc.)  For whatever reason, the offense is no longer getting chunk plays with Peppers.

John O'Korn is already a threat to run as the QB.  Granted, he's no Jabrill Peppers on the QB keeper.  But, O'Korn can force the defense to watch the QB run, AND (unlike Jabrill) is a legitimate threat to throw the ball.  Peppers was such an effective change of pace because his skills are complimentary with Speight's.  I'd prefer the threat of a QB run or pass every play instead of telegraphing to the defense that the play will be a read option or jet sweep.

At the same time, the defense has lacked a certain je ne sais quoi from the edge the past few games.  McCray is not playing as well as the first half of the season, and Peppers himself is not mudering screens or generating TFLs like he used to.  We could really use a little more from the LBs, so what say we ask Peppers to save himself for defense and punt returns?


November 14th, 2016 at 3:58 PM ^

It does surprise me that we still keep a regular QB out on offense when in the pepcat, why not fill that role with a decoy or able blocker? Seems like every defense knows the ball isn't going back to the qb, all they have to do is cover the receivers for 10 yards and blitz with 7-8... Not sure how Peppers can get around that without help


November 14th, 2016 at 4:12 PM ^

Peppers wildcat it too one dimensional and teams are learning to shut it down. O'Korn actually runs pretty well and could do some read option with him in the lineup. We might actually be more versatile with him in.