Offensive Expert Anaylsis

In the second installment of "Expert Analysis," we take a look at the offensive side of the ball. Our expert has played offensive line at the collegiate level and offers some good insight into what we saw on Saturday.

On the offensive performance overall.

"It was unprepared. I don't think they made any adjustments to combat anything BYU was doing. There was no real halftime adjustments. They ran the same stuff they ran the first half. It didn't work then, it didn't work the second half."

On what he thought BYU did differently this year.

"I think they blitzed them a heck of lot more this year than last year. I think they threw some different formations at them. I think there was a lot more movement up front. BYU's defensive line seems a lot more improved. It was a much better D-line than I saw last year."

On Notre Dame's offensive scheme.

"I think the offense is very formulaic. It hasn't changed much. It's nothing out of the ordinary that is meant to surprise people. A lot of defensive coordinators scheme it right, blitz it right, and (Notre Dame) can't stop it."

On what is going wrong with the offense.

"The defenses want to get pressure on Brady. There's a lot of movement up front. They're bringing more guys than they can block, but the hot routes aren't breaking off or Brady's holding the ball too long or not seeing it."

"It seems like Diedrick runs the plays that work and runs them over and over again. He doesn't look at why a play didn't work and make the necessary adjustment to make it work. He just keeps running the same plays. So, a defensive coordinator will look at what they didn't stop, make the adjustment, and then that play doesn't work any more. He doesn't counter it."

On Quinn picking up the hot reads or checking out of bad plays.

"I assume they give Brady more freedom to make a check. But, if a check is not built into a play, you won't call a check.

"Say they call one play. The play calls for you to do something specific. But, if there's this many backers or this guy is down, or they see this defensive formation, you check off to this, we'll if what they see doesn't fit that check, then they just run the play.

"I didn't really see very many times where Brady was checking off. It's all based on wide receivers, tight ends and running backs recognizing that these players are blitzing, I need to break off my route and be in this spot and the quarterback understanding this and being on the same page to throw the ball."

On the offensive line play.

"I thought the offensive line played adequate, maybe a little less. There were times where they gave up pressure, missed some blocks in the running game, but as a whole, it wasn't a terrible performance.

"I thought (John) Sullivan played well for his first game. I thought (Mark) LeVoir played better at right tackle than I thought he would. Stevenson, umm, sometimes he did some good stuff, I thought he was very inconsistent. The left side, I didn't see any big, glaring mistakes out of Bob Morton or (Ryan) Harris. There's pressure, but I didn't see any full blown assignment misses out of those two.

"They got pushed around. I didn't see a push. There were no seams for a back to hit. It was kind of like a stalemate every time. I didn't see a lot of good double-teams. You've got to knock the guy back. If you didn't knock the guy back, you've lost the battle.

On why the offensive line struggled.

"I think there was a lack of intensity on the offensive line. In the beginning, they tried to be physical and aggressive, as the game wore on; they got discouraged and kind of stopped their intensity. They were playing to not to give up a sack or blow an assignment instead of just firing off the ball and playing aggressive.

"I didn't see them finish anybody. I couldn't say any of them played their butt off and was killing people out there."

On what the offensive line does as far as blocking schemes and if they should work.

"There's a lot of lot of variety in what they do. There's the stretch plays with the reach blocks. They run ISOs and powers where it's one-on-one man block. They run a lot of different schemes. I didn't see them getting beat to their reach blocks, I just didn't see them getting a push once they got to them. BYU's D-linemen just overpowered them.

"I think the scheme itself is relatively simple, it's just lack of execution more than anything else.

"Coaches tell you that when you make a mistake, make it 100 miles an hour. Because if you make a mistake, you can at least hit someone. I didn't see anyone going 100 miles an hour out there when they made mistakes.

"It just seems like they played to not make mistakes. They were on their heels the whole game worried about blowing an assignment instead of firing off instead of hitting somebody."

On the running backs and if they've improved in pass protection.

"I think the backs met the linebacker instead of waiting for them so I think there's been improvement in their blocking. That was a big problem last year. There's still some times where I saw them make strides, but they could still improve."

On Brady's improvement from this year to last year and how he performed in this game.

"It seemed like there were times when the blitz was being picked up and Brady was taking the easy way out. We couldn't see the whole field, but it seemed like he always took the easy way out.

"I don't know what they're telling him, but last year he'd stay in the pocket and keep the ball until the very last minute to make sure he threw it to the right read. I don't know if they're telling him to get the ball out of his hands quicker, so he won't take a hit, and he's taking the easy throw on the underneath stuff or what?"

On Bill Diedrick.

"I think he's gone to the well too many times on that middle screen. It worked, but it wasn't a well-executed play. That was just Rhema making a great athletic play. There's no variation off that play. They could fake that screen into something else. I didn't see a lot of play action. I didn't see any misdirection. The offense has a wide variety of stuff that can be done.

"When they started running the two-minute offense, I saw a lot of good things. I don't understand why they didn't, not necessarily stay with the hurry up offense, but run those kinds of plays. They had some success with that at the end of the half and at the end of the game."

On what Diedrick should do this week.

"The things you did well in the game you want to make sure you have down so you have those bread and butter type of plays. I just think he needs to be more creative in his play calling, but also stick with things that are working well—which I didn't see a lot of. He can do that in variations off the plays that are working well and getting creative with those plays."


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