- KSU was not prepared for our outside zone play despite the fact that it’s been our favorite running play all year. This makes no sense! It wasn’t till late in the game that they were finally recognizing the reach blocks and moving laterally to stop it. Strange! How could that not be one of the main things that you drill into your defense in preparation for playing OU? All the other teams we played did!
- KSU’s LB’s and safeties were not aggressive like the other teams that gave us such problems. On plays where we have REALLY strong run tendencies they sometimes had two less players in the box than we did and had safeties back defending the pass.
- We had a package where we motioned the slot receiver across the formation. This package made no sense. Not even once did they follow the motion and we always ran to the backside right where the slot receiver’s man was unblocked. You’d think either we’d quit running that package or try to take advantage of this by actually giving the ball to the receiver on a jet sweep. We did neither.
- Just like all year, there were a few plays where we left a player unblocked right at the point of attack. This is a big problem. Either the scheme/gameplan is faulty or someone was supposed to make an adjustment call but didn’t. It wasn’t a case of someone blocking the wrong guy because if any of the players had blocked the unblocked player instead of the guy he ended up blocking the play wouldn’t have worked either.
See for yourself in the in-depth video breakdown of the running game below.
We had a lot of success in the first half running the zone read, but then after only running it a couple times in the second half we abandoned it completely. Why? And why did we have so much success running it? Shockingly, it looks as if their defense was not prepared at all for our zone read, despite the fact that it’s the number one play we run with Trevor Knight at QB. The DE’s looked like they didn’t know what they were supposed to do. We also used their nickel back (or sometimes the safety) as the read man. For some reason KSU decided that they didn’t need to put extra players in the box but instead have the safeties and/or the nickel back read the play and come up to help if he sees us run. This means that they are going to be late getting into the box and with the QB reading them it allowed our RB’s to get upfield quick before they had a chance to make a play. But, the biggest reason is that our OL is just better than their front 7. They didn’t get off our blocks much at all which means the RB rarely got slowed at the hole and was allowed to get upfield so quickly! Watch the video breakdown below. Click Here to Watch the Breakdown!
One thing that strikes me about the ISU game is that we still didn’t run any counters in the run game, even with Trevor Knight at the helm. If you’ll remember, Baylor took advantage of this in their game plan by having their LB’s (and the safety in the box) aggressively attack the hole that the tailback (or QB in the bell-dozer) initially start toward at the snap. They didn’t fear the cut-back or counter at all.
That aggressive pursuit by the LB’s made them impossible to block with our OL. Their DL slanted to the strong side so when we tried to run strong from a formation that we have a high run tendency from they had their DL and LB’s moving toward the hole. That’s insane!
You have to assume that KSU will learn from that and do the same thing. If they do, then they will kill our offense just like Baylor did. Unless, of course, we run a bunch of counter plays (specifically some QB counters) designed to take advantage of this. But, even if we do run counters it will still be hard going until we can make them drop their safeties.
The fact we didn’t run any counters vs ISU tells me that either they are waiting till the KSU game to put them in the gameplan, or that our OC’s are oblivious to our tendency and what Baylor did to take advantage of it.
We’ll see which one is the truth on Saturday. Now, the zone read helps because the defense won’t know which hole the ball carrier will end up in, and with Trevor we’ll most likely run a ton of that. However, if we run the veer read the defense still knows which side of center to attack.
Assuming the zone read doesn’t scare them into running Baylor’s defense, we’ll learn a lot about our OC’s. If we don’t run a bunch of counters, then we’ll know just how oblivious they are!