Tulsa: Why Baker Had So Much Running Room!

A few different times in the game Baker had huge runs up the middle of the field on passing plays. How was that possible? Was it by design? If so, how did the do it?

Breaking Down
Baker’s Runs:


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Tulsa: How OUr Offense Put Up Over 700 yards!

Our offense looked great against Tulsa. But, was it as good as it looked? Or were looks deceiving?

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Tulsa – Why the Slants Kept Killing Us!

How did our defense do? This was the first big test to help us gauge where we are at.

Well, it wasn’t pretty, but we actually did pretty well. Most things Tulsa tried we stopped. But, they found some things that worked and kept hurting us with them. Some of those things we never did figure out how to stop and that’s scary come Baylor! There are some misconceptions about the game, though, and we need to clear them up.

As everyone knows, Tulsa killed us with the slants. But it wasn’t because we were playing off of the receivers. In fact most of them came against either press coverage or the corner lined up no more than 5 yards deep. The key is in the formation and the plays.

Defense Breakdown
(part one):

Cheat Sheet:

 1. There are 3 formations Tulsa was able to hurt us with. One of them is the 3×1 formation. The receiver on the single receiver side lined up just a couple yards from the sideline which put him ridiculously far away from the box. Because we played man defense on this side, they had the WR and RB almost always run a slant/flat combination with the RB running a swing route. They used this formation and route combination almost every single 3rd down in the game and it worked pretty much every single time!

Assuming the LB followed the RB, there is no one in the area between the box and the receiver to help cover the slant. So, all the receiver has to do is get an inside release and it’s a pretty easy completion. If the LB tries to help cover the slant, the RB is wide open.

Many are saying the slant worked because we gave too much cushion. Actually, the only times we stopped the slant were from deeper alignments.

Because of the extra wide receiver splits there’s absolutely no excuse for allowing the receiver to have an inside release. There’s only two things the receiver can do, break inside or run straight up the sideline. The receiver cannot do a single thing with an outside release, which is why up until recently wide-outs always lined up a decent distance away from the sidelines. If a coach wants to have a receiver line up on the sideline, the corner should just trap him on that sideline just like in basketball. You know he’s going to break inside so just stay a few yards inside of him and wait. If he wants to run a go route, that’s fine, run with him and force a perfect pass.

But, our corners are playing technique where we allow an inside release and try to cover from the outside. In this situation that just will not work. It’s suicide!

2. 6 times the offense took advantage of our cushion. At times we were not aggressive enough in pass coverage, worrying about the deep route. But, avoiding all cushion is unrealistic. All teams mix up which defenders are giving cushion, and really good offenses like Baylor/Tulsa and Riley’s offense take advantage of this. If all the defenders are playing near the line it leaves them vulnerable to rub routes and gives a bunch of space down the field for any deep routes. I think the key is to mix it up and not allow it to be obvious presnap how defenders are playing. The hurry up aspect of the offense makes this more difficult.

3. 6 passing plays were completed simply because the offense executed perfectly and when that happens there’s nothing you can do. Their QB is special! And their receivers are the real deal!

4. Not having Jordan Thomas hurt, no question. P.J. struggled and seemed to lose confidence which made him play even worse. There’s so little room for error, and he was forced to start having taken only a quarter of the practice snaps. I counted 4 plays where his mistakes cost our defense.

The good news is that Marcus Green came in late in the game and played really well! He’s going to be good!

5. But, he’s not alone. Sanchez also struggled, as did the safeties. The safeties did not have a great game. At least 3 passing plays were successful because of safety error (not counting busted assignments), and one of those plays had both safeties making big mistakes. Sanchez missed two tackles which hurt us and wasn’t agile enough defending a double move which almost hurt us (had we not been bailed out by an overthrown pass). Parker had a play of his own where he made a bit of an error, but was still able to make the play by tipping the ball (even though a receiver miraculously caught the deflection).

There were 3 busts in pass coverage and it’s difficult at times to tell who was at fault. Most of the time it was a safety.

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Tulsa – How Our Run Defense Did!

For the most part our run defense did pretty well! There was just one formation where Tulsa found something that worked and they had various amounts of success with it throughout the game.

Like Baylor, Tulsa’s running game is very different and pretty unique!

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Tulsa: Breakdown of the Defense (Part 3)

There’s one more thing Tulsa did that we were never able to stop…

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