Film Breakdown: OSU Offense (Part III)

In part three, Josh Turel breaks down Ohio State's Special Teams and Strategy.

Offensive Strategy:


This offense is a mixture of old school pounding the football and the new age spread offense. You have got to take your hat off to Jim Tressel for consistently getting his playmakers in situations where they do just that- make plays. It is obvious in the offense that Tressel has picked the brains of some of the top guys around and it really shows in the offense. Their pass patterns (remember pattern is the makeup of all the pass routes combined) are very well thought out and tough to defend. This team is geared to beat zone coverage with flood routes along with vertical and horizontal stretches. The tough this is if you line up in man, say a cover one, Troy Smith will simply sight adjust with Ted Ginn and send him deep which has resulted in touchdown plays quite often.


In the running game, there is a mixture of three blocking schemes: gap, base and zone. The size of the line makes it tougher for them to zone block and they havent had their best success with it. The team is a much better base blocking team given that is plays to the makeup of the offensive line. Their favorite formation to run out of is I formation usually with twins to one side.


You will see these formations most frequently:


Ace (one back) 3 wide

Shotgun 3 wide

Shotgun 4 wide

Shotgun 5 wide

Shotgun Trips


I-Formation Big (two tight ends)

Shot-Ginn Two receivers deployed to one side with Ted Ginn lined up even with Troy Smith but a couple of yards outside of the tackle

Wing Ram/Lion Formation where the tight end aligns with a very wide split off the tackle and the fullback is lined up off the line of scrimmage between the split of the tackle and tight end.


A play that has worked well for the Buckeyes, which we will surely see against the Wolverines comes from the shot-Ginn formation. The only route that Ginn seems to run from this route is the swing pattern. This provides a great decoy for the draw play. Troy Smith will fake the swing pass to Ginn and give the draw run inside to the running back. This play has hit for some big plays this season. Their most common formation seems to be Ace three wide, which takes advantage of their best personnel. Most of the designed quarterback runs from three or four wide looks.


The question many Michigan fans are asking is what will Tressel have in store for the Wolverines this season? Two years ago it was pounding Brandon Joe, last year it was using Andre Tyree as an extra blocker and running the ball on the Wolverines. Well, I think you could see that again. What the Buckeyes have done at times is use tight end Rory Nicol as the backside tackle and move the starting backside tackle to the tight end on the other and they may even bring in another offensive lineman to be a second tight end! This is listed in the Ohio State playbook as the hippo personnel formation. Of course this play is always run to the offensive line heavy side but look for this to be a possible ace in the hole. If you look at the Texas game, the only other really big game the Buckeyes have played, there was a lot of movement on offense. It came in the form of shifts, motions, and sending running backs out to play wide receiver... so that is a possibility as well. Usually the Buckeyes use very little motion and shifting but this is the Michigan game! Also, is it time we see another wide receiver pass? Ted Ginn has already thrown two this year, will he or say&Brian Hartline show off their arms this game? It will be something to keep an eye on.



Special Teams Preview:


Of course it is no secret what Ted Ginn is capable on kickoffs and punt returns.  He is averaging 12.1 yards a return off 22 punts, and has already taken one back for a touchdown. The Buckeyes will also use Anthony Gonzalez as a second man back with Ted Ginn. Ginn is also the kick return man where he is averaging 20.2 yards a return, only off 12 chances however. The kickoff coverage is number one in the Big Ten. 43.6 net average on kickoffs, 48% of the kickoffs result in touchbacks.  Aaron Pettrey has steadied the kicking game, hitting 8 of his 11 attempts so far this year, with a long of 51. The extra point unit is looking to rebound after a poor showing last week against Northwestern. The Buckeyes are 47 of 50 converting PATs on the year. AJ Trapasso is doing a solid job of punting, averaging 41.2 yards a punt with 14 put inside the 20 yard line to only four touchbacks.




The Wolverines win a big one for Bo!


Michigan: 24

Ohio State: 21


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