Power vs. Zone Blocking in this Game

Submitted by Marley Nowell on September 4th, 2011 at 12:41 AM

First play of the game was a 39 Sweep which I think is a power play.  Hoke also said some of the Fitz runs were power plays as well.  Can someone who understands this single out which ones were Power?  I think the long Fitz and Shaw runs were Zone-Option-type plays.



September 4th, 2011 at 12:48 AM ^

To me it seemed as if the power blocking was sed earlier in the game to wear down WMU, then followed by the quicker zone blocking. Hoke said something to that affect in the post game presser.


September 4th, 2011 at 12:51 AM ^

That 1st play of the game was a power play...which was the exact play we ran last year.   we ran power and zone blocking last year and we did the same today.   

The only thing you need to know is was it effective.



September 4th, 2011 at 1:07 AM ^

BS is what those morons Patrick and James were spewing up in the booth about the "change in offense." The lazy hacks went into it the game with that as a prepared talking point and didn't even seem to care at how little it had changed at all.

Main style differences: 1) Denard holds a brief huddle after getting the signal 2) Denard stands four yards back in the gun instead of five

Not much else to it.


Marley Nowell

September 4th, 2011 at 1:20 AM ^

Am I only on a NEED TO KNOW basis?  I know we ran Power last year but it was more obvoious because it was Denard running left every time.  I don't think the RBs ran Power last year, but I really don't know and that why I asked.


September 4th, 2011 at 7:00 AM ^

I will see if I can help you out.  I'm not a football coach or anything, just educated by the COMGB (college of mgoblog).  I believe I remember some UFR's about halfway through last season where Brian pointed out that Michigan began running power plays with the RB out of the shotgun and pulled the guard.  These were very effective, but seldom used.  If you're really interested, you could look back at the UFR's from last year and see which ones they were; I remember that being discussed at length in the summaries.

I couldn't remember specifically which runs in yesterday's game, but I thought that Fitz's long run was a power play.  I will have to go back and look at my DVR though because there were three Two Hearted's interfering with my perception of details like that.


September 4th, 2011 at 12:37 PM ^

They were both veer-ish inside zone plays.  Both times the offensive tackle on the RB side of the formation (Fitz was on the right of Denard for his run, Shaw on the left) ignored the defensive end and instead blocked a linebacker/safety (in both cases the end froze and/or stayed with Denard).  The rest of the line moved in unison (zone step) away from the RB side of the formation.  The back then cut off the RB side guard (which in both cases meant running in a straight line unimpeded because the defense was completely out of the play each time).

Watching the HD highlights that were posted last night, I don't see a single power play (pulling lineman, lead blocker, etc.) in any of the plays shown except for the opening snap with Denard (though it is a limited sample size).


September 4th, 2011 at 8:10 AM ^

Your "Power" blocking scheme is just a typical man on man blocking scheme where each player on the offensive line is designated to a manon the defense to block. Obviously, this can involve pulling guards and tackles but doesn't have to. 


Your Zone blocking scheme is when the OL has a specific zone/area to block. They will take a Zone step, which is usually coached as a backwards step and then move in the direction of the designed run, the first person to cross your face is who you block. A lot of the times this is when you run an option read because in a zone blocking scheme the backside end or outside backer is usually left unblocked because the play is running away from here and therefore giving you an extra blocker to get to the next level. 


September 4th, 2011 at 10:43 AM ^

The potential advantage of running power often comes from using a pulling guard. Omameh specifically is a perfect example of how this can be useful as he has the quickness to find an attacking linebacker or safety in the next level. Also, quick defensive ends sometimes run down the running back in the zone scheme as they are left unblocked. Basically, both styles can be equally effective, depending upon the o-line and d-lines.

Indiana Blue

September 4th, 2011 at 10:40 AM ^

it was totally different than the last 3 years.  We had more pulling lineman going to the "hole" in this game than the last 3 years altogether.  Also their technique and timing was better.  This was game 1 ... it's only going to get better.  Look at the yards gained running between the tackles yesterday .... night and day!

Go Blue!

Maize and Blue…

September 4th, 2011 at 7:36 PM ^

against WMU or an average of one per quarter.  A former potential Heisman candidate who rushed/passed for over 4200 yards last season accounted for less than 150.  It sure in the hell better get better.  Yesterday made me feel less certain about about the teams chances this season.  The one bright spot being some of future opponents looked worse than we did.


September 4th, 2011 at 8:16 PM ^

Because of the long WMU drives, our defensive TDs, and the game being called, we only ran 39 plays (over 18 minutes TOP) on just a handful of real drives.  We scored TDs on 3 of 5 drives and were going in on the 6th when the game was called.  We averaged 7.4 yards per play (7.3 per rush).

To compare, we ran 83 plays in the opener last year and had the ball for over 36 minutes.  So just double everybody's yardage to reflect the opportunities and you'll feel a lot better about things.


September 4th, 2011 at 12:39 PM ^

Both of the long runs on the 3 play drive in the 3rd quarter came out of zone looks.  The backside defensive ends were unblocked and kept contain.

The play in between the Fitz and Shaw runs was another RR staple with Denard throwing to the seam after faking the mesh point.  He badly missed Dileo but would have had a big gainer if the throw was on the money.  The earlier attempt at the play was the early completion to Koger which was also thrown poorly.

The offense was heavily oriented towards the shotgun although we did run more power blocking schemes than in the past.  Still, it was a mix as it was last year.

The best comment I saw was from @SpreadOffense, "feel like I'm watching a bootleg copy of Rich Rod's offense."

As pointed out by @smartfootball the only thing we didn't really see was the outside zone which was Denard's bread and butter last year.


September 4th, 2011 at 9:37 PM ^

So this is what everyone wanted right? 

Keep the RR "good stuff", but be able to run more power when necessary, share the load with the RB's so Denard can finish games, and be able to move the ball inside the 20's when there's less open space for Denard to exploit.

Borges is not DeBord.  We probably won't even punt on 4th and 3 on our opponent's 35. 

Color me happy. 



micheal honcho

September 5th, 2011 at 1:11 AM ^

Bingo. Thats the perfect senario IMO. Denard becomes a competely different and even more dangerous player when its 2nd and 5 instead of 8.

As he develops even more touch & timing on the short passes and they incorporate some of the patented throws to backs that are a staple of the WC offense, we just become even more unstoppable. I Can't wait to see the ceiling for this group of players in this new scheme combination.