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.”