August 23rd, 2011 at 6:34 PM ^

Ya, it looks like you've got three players to the left of the Center and two to the right, a Guard and TE.

Plus I see Koger in an H-Back type position behind the left side of the line. 

It would be interesting to see if there is a FB and RB behind Denard as well.

My (very obvious) guess is that this is some kind of goaline package. With that much beef on the left side, you could do a run to the FB, RB, or Denard could keep and sweep left looking for a gap to hit. they could also do something with the H-Back, bootleg out and pass, or any number of other things.

Overall, I like it!


August 23rd, 2011 at 6:38 PM ^

I also forgot to mention that another benefit of the unbalanced formation is that it puts some pressure on the defense to recognize it and adjust rather quickly.

If an offense is down on the goaline, huddles quickly, gets up to the line and snaps the ball, it is possible to catch the defense trying to adjust and drive them off the ball.

In HS, we were taught to basically treat the LG as the C when lineing up against that type of formation. It shouldn't catch people that off guard at the DI college level. But it could work a couple times, and it can be effective regardless of how the defense lines up.


August 23rd, 2011 at 7:03 PM ^

I'm not sure about using it as a goalline set (leaves you pretty exposed on the backside when the opponent knows the run is coming), but mixed with the generic run package it can/should be very effective.  Stanford ran a ton of this unbalanced/overload type of stuff (combined with shifts, motion, etc.) the last two years and it confused the shit out of people because so few teams do anything like it any more. 


August 23rd, 2011 at 6:40 PM ^

Looks like it is. Could be some LB tomfoolery. 

Or he could just be getting adjusted to the offensive formation. He seems to be looking over at the rest of the D-line, so he could be ensureing that everyone is lined up appropriately. 

It's interesting nonetheless though.


August 24th, 2011 at 10:10 AM ^

Mattison has said he plans to use MM like Ngata, which means lining him up all over. At times he'll lne up at the 1 tech, 3 tech, 5 tech, standing, moving at the snap, etc.

NCAA 12 has a "1-5-5" Defensive set that has often been called the "Amoeba" defense. Lots of people milling around by the line, you don't know who will rush and who will drop, and where everyone will go. The Jets do this a lot.

That's my guess on why Martin is standing at times

One Inch Woody…

August 23rd, 2011 at 6:42 PM ^

The staff said they'd move Martin to WILL at times, so I'm not surprised. He'll be a monster from the WILL position in a 4-3 under. But this would have to be on an obvious passing down (Who's going to anchor the middle with Martin on the outside)... so maybe this isn't a goaline offensive set?


August 23rd, 2011 at 6:42 PM ^

I know the Baltimore Ravens ran a lot of this against my Steelers. It seemed to do a good job of neutralizing the rush ends in our 3-4. I believe ND is now running this defense or possibly another future opponent so that maybe why they are running it in practice. Mattison may have told Borges to give it a look and he liked it but that is just a wild guess from a guy on the internet.


August 23rd, 2011 at 7:10 PM ^

.....in my experience the unbalanced line was mostly used 1) for sweeps to the short side [the runner could get to the corner/outside more quickly; 2) for trap plays where the "trap" blocker would come from a place the d-lineman might not expect

this does not mean that a team does not run some sort of power play when the defense is outnumbered on the offense's strong side---it just means i have not seen that as much 



August 24th, 2011 at 12:29 AM ^

This picture really is worth a thousand words. What's interesting to me is that during the spring game the only time we saw Martin move from the nose to where he is standing in this photo is duing passing downs, yet the offense seems to be lined up in a way that one would expect a run. In summary: I'm confused.

Experts, please chime in!


August 24th, 2011 at 5:21 PM ^

I wouldn't call that an unbalanced line just yet. I only see six on the LOS. Where is the seventh guy? Looks like on the right side? Where is the FB if there is one? I would have to know more in order to call it unbalanced.