Thursday, September 22, 2011

QB power oh noes pt. 1

Yesterday I broke down a QB stretch against EMU that utilized gap blocking and power principles. Specifically, the playside tackle and center both individually pulled to the first gap playside of them. This... well, it didn't work. It took too long for the linemen to pull playside and EMU was able to stretch the play to the boundary where the pursuit defenders could tackle Denard. I concluded with NO MOAR GAP BLOCKING, which isn't entirely accurate. It should have read don't block like this anymore because it totally sucks. Early in the second half, Michigan ran some more basic power runs with Denard in the shotgun that were more effective and, more importantly, set up the blogosphere-coined QB Oh Noes. This is the setup; the Oh Noes will come later today (UPDATE: Part 2).

Michigan just received the ball to begin the 3rd quarter. This is their first play from scrimmage of the second half. Michigan comes out in a three-wide set with Toussaint in the backfield and a tight end on the line of scrimmage. Eastern Michigan is in a basic 4-3.

As the ball is snapped, Mark Huyge's first step is away from the line of scrimmage as he pulls across the formation to the weakside of the field. A pulling lineman is often a key to the opposing linebackers of what direction the play is headed.

Toussaint crosses Denard and fakes a handoff (this was never a zone read). Denard keeps the ball as Huyge pulls across the formation. Ricky Barnum seals the playside DT to the inside while Taylor Lewan punishes EMU's playside defensive end, kicking him out to the sideline and opening a huge hole for Denard to run through.

Huyge is now Denard's lead blocker and about to pancake an EMU linebacker.

EMU linebacker: nullified. Denard has turf and a free safety ahead of him and will pick up eight yards on the play.

All power schemes are not created equal. The one we saw yesterday nullified Denard's most dangerous weapon (his explosiveness) and allowed EMU to stretch the play to the outside. This is a more traditional power play, except that it's run from the shotgun. This is a deadly offense. A defense has to protect against a handoff, zone read, QB keeper (like here), and the threat of a pass, all with power blocking schemes. With the talent of Michigan's linemen, this kind of playcall should be a staple of the offense.

Later today (UPDATE: Part 2), we'll see Al Borges doing his best Rich Rodriguez impression with a QB Oh Noes that unfortunately falls incomplete, but at this stage, it's more important that we see Borges tinkering with his systems and looking for ways to exploit a defense. In any case, this is proof that power running schemes can be effective with Denard in the shotgun.


Anonymous said...

This is going to be a bit of a rant so bear with me. Am I the only Michigan fan that is slightly missing RR?? When I watch the current offense it is like watching a infant attempt to crawl for the first time. The have the motion but they just rock back and forth without going anywhere. No matter how much some of us may have dispised some of the things RR did...i.e hiring GERG you cannot help but to marvel at how the offense always seemed to have a new wrinkle that allowed us to hang in games. If RR would have fired GERG and the whole D staff after the tOSU game we would be looking at an 10/11 win team. Instead we are looking at a team who will again win 7/8 games...why because our offense won't be able to score enough points. Instead of 38-35 games we will lose 24-7. I think Borges will be fine in the long run but this team had the offensive talent to compete with anybody in the B1G. Instead we are wasting the best weapon in college football for 2 yrs while our offensive coach figures it out.

Chris Gaerig said...

You can't really hire a coach for two years of one player, regardless of who that player is. I was a devout Rich Rod supporter, but he had to go. Rodriguez was an offensive mastermind and one of only a handful of coaches who had that breadth of offensive knowledge.

This coaching staff is more concerned with the defensive side of the ball and fortunately, Mattison : defense :: Rich Rod : offense. There are going to be growing pains, and this offense is probably going to be bad until Shane Morris shows up and matures (likely in his sophomore year). But as long as the team is winning games, it shouldn't matter whether its because of the offense or defense.

Post a Comment