MGoBlog has moved. The new site can be found at

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Plays from Iowa-Ohio State, basically all of them in the first half as I just got too many in the first and the second half got out of hand fairly quickly. A couple runs from the second were included, but Iowa got down, allowed a couple long OSU drives and had to virtually abandon the run.

Iowa Drive 1, 0-0

Pitcock and Patterson both drive into the backfield, stoning a second-and-ten stretch. This looks eerily familiar. You may recognize this exact thing from the first half of our Iowa game.

Launch in external player

Third and long, OSU rushes three. Tate finds a receiver for the first down but throws behind him. Douglas can't make the tough catch. This is a microcosm of the Iowa passing game: open receivers, a throw that's off just a little bit, and a dropped pass. Tate would end up 19-41 with three interceptions. Most of those incompletions would be either dropped balls or errant throws.

OSU Drive 2, 0-0

Ginn hitch. Guy from Nebraska playing way off; gotta think we're closer.

Pittman bounces outside; atrocious linebacker play. This looks like us last year. Klinkenborg sits there, totally motionless and gives up contain. I scream GET OUTSIDE, BURGESS! No dice.

QB draw for five or six.

Pittman bounces out for the first down... Boone dangerously close to a hold. How many times have we seen this this season? None. Two options: we have not faced a back with the bounce-out capability Pittman has or this just isn't going to work against Biggs, Woodley, and our capable run-support secondary. If it's the former we're in deep trouble.

Pittman off left tackle again for one yard. Smith throws behind Gonzalez on a cross. Easy, easy slant touchdown.

Iowa Drive 2, 7-0

Play action sack as Laurinaitis comes unblocked on a stunt. Draw picks up ten on second-and-twenty. Two things to note: Pitcock slices into the backfield like whoah, almost getting to the quarterback by the time the handoff gets there, and the linebackers play this badly. By the time they read the play it's far too late.

Launch in external player

Tate freezes, unsure of where to go, then hits Grigsby on an improvised route for a big gainer. Not much you can learn there... DBs get a little lost when you play forever.

Young picks up a nice gain on a stretch. This is exactly our running game. Note: backside DE does not flow down the line. This will happen a couple more times. Also, Pitcock is ridden out of the play fairly easily.

Launch in external player

They pound up the middle for the first. A lot of push from the line.

Young misses a cut outside of his fullback as John Kerr stands up the fullback and closes down the inside. One: I think Hart gets outside of this and I think Oluigbo blows up the linebacker better.

Bubble screen doesn't work. Miscommunication seemingly ends the drive, but Washington's nailed for an awful, awful PI penalty. Ridiculous call.

And now is the time on Sprockets when we Vernon Gholston.

Gholston plows into Tate after going by Richardson like he isn't there, almost causing a fumble. Instead, incomplete. Draw sniffed out by Gholston, lined up on the other side of the line this time. Tate has time and fires a strike in between the picket fence zone at the marker.

Gholston kills a zone right:
Launch in external player

This play isn't exactly swarmed -- if Gholston doesn't shoot the gap here it's at least five -- but a lot of Michigan's failures on zone plays were failures to get one guy blocked. A Buckeye of the more reasonable variety expressed concern about Gholston versus the run, citing a few plays against Iowa as the exception to the rule. Hopefully that's true, because that's a nice exception up there.

Tate throws a swing pass way behind Young, incomplete. Jenkins jams the hell out of Douglas, disrupting his route. Remember the Ginn touchdown versus Aaron Ross? This is the complete opposite of that. A press cover tutorial that ends the drive.


OSU Drive 2, OSU 7-3

Ginn bomb overthrown. Mitch King runs down Pittman after yet another bounceout. Smith chased out of the pocket and is forced to try a late throw to Gonzalez; incomplete.

Iowa Drive 3, OSU 7-3

Open spot in the zone; Tate nails Douglas... think we can do this? This stuff was there most of the night. When Ohio State rushed four they got almost no pressure -- their two sacks both came from the linebackers -- and Tate dissected the zone when he wasn't throwing errantly.

Play action fake finds Grigsby with two steps on Jenkins but is... yup... errant. Jenkins is either in a really bizarre zone or the worst man coverage ever, as he never takes his eyes off the QB.

Tate gets an unblocked blitzer on the next play, and sidesteps him but is forced to throw it away. On third and ten, they throw it to the fullback in the flat. Punty.

OSU Drive 3, OSU 7-3

Wells stuffed going off tackle by Mattison -- Mattison's good. Smith has Henne-vs-Indiana time on second down and hits Hall in a zone hole.

Smith's quarterback draw goes nowhere. A rollout pass is dropped by Gonzalez at the sticks. I pulled it not for the drop but for the play design. We'll see this. Then Iowa gets in Smith's face on third down, creating an errant throw. Smith's natural tendency these days is to be a pocket passer. If Michigan secures him solidly on the first hit he's not going to be any harder to sack than Morelli or whoever, as long as OSU leaves him in the pocket.

Iowa Drive 4, OSU 7-3

First play is the infamous Tate interception that sends Herbstreit into an immediate "don't throw late down the middle" tutorial. Virtually the exact opposite of what Henne's been doing all year where he baits the safety with his eyes and comes off to another receiver. This is a lock-on job the whole way. Dammit, Sophomore Navarre!

OSU Drive 4, OSU 7-3

Starts at the Iowa 30. Speed option for 3. Missed tackle from the safety turns a TFL into a gain of 23. Watch the DE get crushed inside by Rory Nichol, a sophomore(!) tight end(!!!). Watch Klinkenborg get crushed by a pulling guard. It's ugly out there, folks.

Launch in external player

If this happens against us we're dead; I do not think this will. I can recall one run like this all year, on Wisconsin's first drive of the game.

Pittman gets the corner on first and goal, touchdown. Every big run he's picked up has been a bounce outside to a place without contain.

Iowa Drive 5, OSU 14-3

Hopeful deep sideline ball is well out of bounds.

I love this play. Iowa lines up in ace three-wide, runs a zone stretch, and boom: headshot. Everyone gets blown up. Very encouraging. Watch the backside DE ignore the idea of contain.

Launch in external player

The two big zone runs I've shown both feature a DE intent on pass rush. We need to throw enough to get them doubting.

Tate gets pressure off a stunt, avoids it, and scrambles for nice yardage. (Anderson Russell has his names reversed.) Well-timed blitz + 8 in the box = a stop, but look at the frontside of this play. No one's getting off blocks.

Next run another zone play featuring major penetration from Patterson but everyone else is stoned. Sims hops around Patterson and there's a gaping hole.

Launch in external player

I think this is the difference between the run defenses: most of the time when a Michigan defender makes a play like Patterson did here, even if he misses the tackle, the linebackers are good enough make the play at the line.

First and ten slant is wide open; this time Tate looks off and comes to Chandler late. Note: this is a zone blitz similar to the one Michigan runs; this time Gholston drops into coverage.

Next play is a simple off tackle that goes for a 15-yard touchdown.

OSU Drive 5, OSU 14-10

Pittman for five off a zone read. Nobody open on option play action. Smith hangs in the pocket a long time and is eventually sacked. Third and eight draw? Okay.

Iowa Drive 6, OSU 14-10

Sims runs the same offtackle play; OSU blitzes into it and Laurinaitis grabs his ankles. Eight, maybe nine in the box here. Odd thing: no screens from Iowa all night.

Yuck: Tate 6 of 15. Chandler drops a zone out that would have set up third and short. Swing pass batted down by Pitcock.

OSU Drive 6, OSU 14-10

Handoff to Wells also gets outside left on Iowa. This is just a huge structural deficiency in the Iowa offense. The corner and linebacker to that side are getting crushed. Draw stuffed.

Speed option for the first down. We are going to see this if we ever line up like this. Five in the box with a trips set to the top of the screen drawing Klinkenborg out. At the snap the OT ignores the DE and gets a little push on the one remaining linebacker good enough to spring Wells for the first down. Damned if you do, damned (by a screen) if you don't.

Speed option fake ends up with an inaccurate checkdown that Wells flags down with one hand. Pittman goes nowhere inside.

This is bad.

Launch in external player

Smith stuffed on a QB draw. Rollout to Ginn again. Godfrey is clearly petrified. Another Pittman bounceout for five. Drives down to the ten as the LG crushes the DT. 1. This is the exception in Ohio State's night on the ground. It was all bounceouts since the original hole was never there. 2. This doesn't happen to Branch.

Off tackle to the five. Touchdown throw from the five.

Iowa Drive 7, OSU 21-10

Another succesful zone stretch.

Launch in external player

Tate throws well wide and out of bounds. Tate hits Chandler for the first down. Hits Chandler but forces a diving catch when he had lots of YAC. Swing for the first down is dropped. Tate throws a little wide of Brodell, dropped, end of drive, end of half.

Just one more highlight from the one Young zone in the second half. Three yards from a three-wide set; late-approaching safety overloads the box.

What We Learned
  • Do not let Pittman outside the tackles. Seriously.
  • Troy Smith will run against Michigan. Iowa was the one big game on the Buckeye schedule (or at least the one game that seemed big) that was dangerous, and Smith ran a series of draws (which were all fairly well defended) and options. We'll get a dose of the same. All the options saw pitches... Smith is a decoy.
  • Against a pretty decent offensive line Ohio State did not get much pressure from the front four. Tate had time to survey.
  • Jenkins is good when he gets his hands on you.
  • The zone stretch was fairly effective, especially when the defensive ends decided they didn't need to bother with that run garbage.
  • OSU will run the same zone blitz we do.
  • The interior of the Buckeye line is probably not going to crease our defensive tackles much.
  • Smith remains hideously accurate on the run.