Josh Turel: OSU's X's and O's

NFL analyst, and GoBlueWolverine contributing writer Josh Turel looks at some of the big plays Ohio State has used with success this season, as well as some of the defenses Michigan may see.

            This play got Ohio State a pretty good gain last week against Purdue and could test the Michigan defense. The right tackle (Tim Schafer) lets the defensive end go, and Troy Smith has the option of cutting up or pitching it to the tailback on the sweep, the receivers downfield blocks are the key.

            This is a run Troy Smith designed to create misdirection. The tailback goes on a fake draw off tackle (which OSU will actually run that play to make this one legit and vice versa), while Ted Ginn runs a decoy swing route. After the fake, Smith follows the pulling guard through the hole. Also look for the swing pass to Ginn out of this look.

            I guarantee you will see some variation of this play right here. As you see again, the fake is to the half back draw inside and the blocking scheme helps sell it on the left side. Ginn comes from his slot position to take the ball on a sweep, this play gained some big yardage against Purdue and gives Ginn a lot of room to work his magic. As you can see, the right guard quickly doubles the tackle, to insure the center can prevent him from getting upfield penetration and then he peels off to block downfield. The left side receivers run downfield to block the safeties who will be reachable if they are drawn in by the fake draw. The right tackle Schafer takes the linebacker nearest to the play. Expect Ginn to run quite a few decoys of this very same run to not tip it off when OSU does run it, also look for a half back reverse pitch to Ginn.

DEFENSE:

                                                                                        COVER 2

            Here's a diagram of the cover 2 defense, which every team in college football runs a variation of. As you can see there is two deep coverage with the underneath broken down into 5 zones played by the linebackers and corners. It's obvious the safeties have a very large zone to cover and they get help for the underneath players to better help them cover this large area. One way is the corners with jam the receivers and either flatten their outside deep route or funnel them inside. Another is a pattern read, if the safety is outnumbered in his zone, for example if the left side tight end and wide receiver both run fly routes into the safeties zone, the linebacker will continue with the tight end through his zone to assure the safety isn't outnumbered in his zone, if he doesn't do this a big play will result. I would also look for Ohio State to mix it up and run man coverage underneath with the two deep safeties to confuse Henne.

                                                                        COVER 3                                                                     

            In cover 3 you can see there is three deep men by the the corners and free safety and again underneath zone coverage with the linebackers and strong safety. The obvious advantage of the cover 3 is the three deep coverage. The curl route to the flats is a nice buster to the play, teams will also use flood routes and off tackle plays away from the strong safety.


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