Minnesota's main running play is a huge pain in the butt to defend.
This was the same run that NU used almost exclusively in 95 and 96 with Darnell Autry.
The line all steps one way and blocks whoever happens to be there, if no one is there, they go on to the second level. The back lines up 5 - 7 yards deep, and when he gets the handoff can survey the entire line and decide where he wants to go. You see big plays when the back cuts back and the defense has overpursued. this is a very popular running play when you have great tailbacks because it gives them a lot of freedom.
At the point of attack. You have to be strong and not get "reached" or driven back. This forces the back to slow down and "have" to cutback, rather than choose to. Backside has to play slow, always keeping the ballcarrier to their inside shoulder. Cutback lanes are reduced, and holes are smaller.
DB's have to read their keys and not look into the backfield. Play action is very easy with this scheme and if the DB's are having to support the front seven regularly, we will get beat deep, likely by the tight end on a long crossing route.
The nice thing about this play is that on play action pass, it leaves the QB vulnerable to big hits, because his back is turned away from the rush. A great example is Dwayne Missouri against Michigan when he caused a late fumble by Henson. If that weak side end does not buy on the fake, it could be a slobberknocker.
We really miss Howard this week, because experience is a key in defending this offense, and LH would cause some big matchup problems with their scheme. Our OLB's will be important as they can really disrupt this offense as well.
Beat 'em All!
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