One-Play One-on-One: Patrick Kugler Comment Count

Adam Schnepp October 10th, 2017 at 3:52 PM



The defensive line shifts over right about the time you’re snapping. What are you thinking about there?

“Well, we know it’s probably going to happen with the line shifting over. That was shown with the tight end, the Y [shift]. They showed it versus Iowa so we figured that the front was going to shift. With [Sorry, state secrets] the fullback’s going to block the widest and then the tackle’s going to pull to the alley and I’m going to pull around to the Mike and if I see [Oof, so close, Indiana. So close.]. So the guard’s going to block the 3-technique there and the backside guard’s going to have to try to reach that nose. Difficult block for him because I’m pulling around, but it’s been a very effective play for us this year. Got like, eight, nine yards on that. Was it Karan running the ball?”

Got 12. And yeah, it was Karan.

“Yeah, and he had a hell of a game. He runs that play really well. It was blocked pretty well. I was pretty comfortable on it.”

In that 4-3 Over look they’re giving you, did you see anything unusual out of it or pretty much what they put on film?

“They did what we expected them to do. That play worked out. Some didn’t, but that play was pretty effective against them.”

At that point it had been raining off and on for a little while. You do the dead-ball snap, right?


Is that tough in that kind of weather?

“No, I like it. I think it’s really accurate. He started doing that with Graham Glasgow when he was here and I adopted it. It’s just almost hard to have a bad snap with it, and the refs did a really good job of keeping the ball dry so I had no problems with my snaps.”

I know footwork near the line is intricately prescribed, but on a stretch like that does something else become more important technique-wise like hands?

“Yeah, definitely, we have placements on every play. The guard right there, he’s got to get his outside hand on the shoulder and the sternum so he can reach him and have the ability to strain him and pull out. For pulls on that, we know we’ve got to get two to two-and-a-half yards of depth just in case the Y lets up a little pressure on the D-end if he shoots upfield. If we don’t get two to two-and-a-half yards depth we’ll probably cut ourselves off. Even then, I got probably two or three yards depth on that and I still almost got cut off but then I came around and was able to block Chris Frey on that. That’s the key on that, then the backside it’s just running and being able to chop ‘em down on the backside.”

My next question is actually about that DE who shoots the gap there. Obviously you were kind of expecting it, but how are you able to track through traffic where you’re supposed to go. Is it tough to see or do you just have a feel for where you need to be?

“Yeah, you know where you’re going to. You know the fullback’s going to get the widest on this particular play, the tackle’s going to clean up anything in the alley, and I’m supposed to be pulling around for the Mike. [Really though, do your GAs search for this stuff or is it the SIDs?] It’s just a matter of getting around that Y-tight end, because that’s a very difficult block. Probably one of the hardest blocks in football, so just pulling around and getting your depth is key.”



October 10th, 2017 at 4:26 PM ^

Cole had a shot at the same defender earlier, and also dove at his feet instead of driving through him. If Cole gets his guy, and JBB only has one guy instead of two to think about (and gets that guy), Higdon is off to the races.

Also, always fun watching Wheatley destroy someone.


October 10th, 2017 at 4:59 PM ^

I'm sure Higdon had no way of knowing JBB would whiff, but I almost wonder if he had room to bounce it to the outside.  The defender slows up, anticipating the cut.  If he got have got by that guy, the LB would have been caught in JBB's wash, and Higdon also might have been to the races.


October 11th, 2017 at 12:35 AM ^

the LB into the other one.  He got a 2-fer!

Funny thing is, the OL really didn't even make a meaningful block on this play.  It was Wheatley and DPJ crushing in the line and LBs respectively, Mason getting the outside guy, and Higdon's speed getting past the agressive DL that went upfield.

Bredeson didn't get the reach (a tough block), Kugler kind of got there but Higdon was already past the DL there who was going upfield aggressively, Cole whiffed, JBB whiffed, and Onwenu was taken out by Wheatley!


October 10th, 2017 at 5:14 PM ^

yep, its rare to see multiple blockers able to take out 2 or more defenders each on the same play - mason got a great kick but 17 and 9 both knocking out multiple defenders with seal downs is real good stuff.  cant rely on those type blocks but great nonetheless.  that play had a chance to go


October 10th, 2017 at 6:44 PM ^

I thought what JBB did was ok. He harasses the backside linebacker enough to get him off his angle and backtracking. He also forces the DB wide enough for Higdon to juke him. A 2 vs 1 like that is probably going to result in a tackle short of a spectacular play by thr RB. He made both the defenders job fairly difficult vs pancaking one and leaving the other completely unimpeded.


October 10th, 2017 at 4:35 PM ^

ask the center.

I am curious who does the filtering though.  Apparently Kugler said more than he should, but was that proactively scrubbed, or was the transcript run by a Harbaugh staffer before going up?

Either way, I'll bet the players & coaches (when they're allowed) love to talk about this stuff, actually get to see some fans appreciate the game on a level beyond "do you think you lost because of a lack of will to win" stuff.

Adam Schnepp

October 10th, 2017 at 7:11 PM ^

Absolutely. They're very focused on keeping their cards close, especially this season. My general rule of thumb is if I can pick it out on film it's not a big deal to talk about it, but anything beyond that should probably be removed.


October 10th, 2017 at 4:41 PM ^

Cole sucked - TOTAL wiff and his assignment gets in on the tackle

Bedeson - uninvolved,really by design

Kugler - good block

Onwenu - no push then gets knocked over

JBB - okay he wiffed BUT did he make those two defenders adjust their angles of pursuit

Mason - good block

Wheatley - good block

DJP - AWESOME BLOCK! Gets a 2-for-1 because he blast one guy into another!

The LBs wreck this play if not for DJP.

Nice running by Higdon on this play, too.





October 11th, 2017 at 1:06 AM ^

 Thats just a good play by the oustside backer. Thats one of the tougest blocks to make as a backside tackle. Best case scenario is if the backer hesitates enough so Cole can get there and cut his left leg. Cole took the correct angle but just didnt have a chance. 


October 11th, 2017 at 1:27 PM ^

Cole did not have to attempt a cut block.  He made it out to the guy just fine. How about he just stays on his feet and drive block the guy into next fucking Tuesday?  Cole quit on that play.  He got tired and decided to attempt the cut and he failed. FAIL.


October 12th, 2017 at 9:31 AM ^

Yea i'm not sure you know what you're talking about. Its very rare that a tackle will be able to block that guy head up on the backside of a play (hence why they are taught to cut, and which he attempted to do lol). This was not one of those situations. If Cole does somehow get his hands on him it will 100% be a hold. Backer had already started pursuing, Cole wasnt anywhere close to being squared up to block him into next tuesday lol.


October 10th, 2017 at 4:45 PM ^

Great run by Higdon eitherway. If we can only get our running game going a bit, we can lean on it till passing gets figured out (yes, not a genius take here but this was encouraging in an otherwise let down game)


October 10th, 2017 at 4:53 PM ^

DPJ was a beast on that play, actually blocked his man into another.

It was actually Cole who whiffed on the backside (difficult block), and his man made hte tackle. 


October 10th, 2017 at 5:33 PM ^

Completely dee-stroyed the MSU DE and DT on that play.

Bushell-Beatty pulled out as tackle to go after an OLB or CB, but whiffed entirely.

Also, there's major boot action off of that play for O'Korn to probably pick up the first down off the fake if the WR Perry can sustain a block (likely yes).



October 11th, 2017 at 12:49 AM ^

but there's a decent amount of time it spends in the center's hands, in the exchange to the QB (whose hands are hard to keep dry when he's holding onto a football).

But more than a wet football, what makes throwing the ball difficult in the rain is that it's a 2 pound peice of leather filled with air that has horizontal sheets of rain and wind keeping it from going in the direction you intend.  Not to mention the water hitting you in the face/running down your helmet, blocking your visibility.

A center snaps it to the exact spot every time.  And it's not like he needs a tight grip like a QB does.  He can do that with his eyes shut.  No comparison to a QB throwing a ball.


October 10th, 2017 at 6:02 PM ^

on most plays this shitty sparty D line dominated our O line. I thought the O line played well against a more aggressive FL DL but has regressed through the season. Hopefully the OL can turn it around through the remainder of the season.


October 10th, 2017 at 6:16 PM ^

I appreciate the X's and O's talk from the players much more than the generic answers they are coached to give the media. It also reminds me how difficult it is for the linemen.


October 11th, 2017 at 5:40 PM ^

Thanks Adam/MGoBlog. Great to see this level of detail from the players and/or coaches. Interesting and informative.

Looks easy when you see a play well done but from my time of playing/coaching any sport . . . it takes hours/years of practice.


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