So I am watching the game and I wanted to break down some of the things I saw in a play by play basis. I will start with the first quarter and go from there. Again, this is all my opinion, so take it for what it is worth:
Dockery gets a great kickoff return and gives OSU perfect position.
1st and 10 (OSU 35 yard line):
Snap over Mannion’s head. This was the worst way to start the game. New center, first game, maybe we want to run something other than shotgun. Still, no excuse. As a former center, I did this a few times, and I had no excuses either.
2nd and 28 (OSU 17 Yard Line):
False start by Caleb Smith. This is distressing for two reasons. First, it is an area of concern for Smith in the off season. Too many false starts last year. Secondly, and probably the worst, is that it was a wide stretch play that had total contain. It was a perfect call and had it worked, there was one guy between the runner and the endzone. It would have been atn 8 – 10 yard gain and minimum, and if Storm could have broken a tackle, it would have been a touchdown. (or at least a long gain if he got caught.)
2nd and 33 (OSU 12 yard line):
Holding on Sean Harlow. This was an incomplete anyway as Sean’s pass sailed high on him. This holding call was declined so it was all around a non play.
3rd and 33 (OSU 12 yard line):
Tight end screen to Connor Hamlett. This play was a good one. Had Connor went full bore and slid outside of his blockers instead of waiting for them he might have gotten closer to the first down marker. Unfortunately he got caught from behind and fumbled the ball. The Beavers retained possession, but it was an ugly punctuation mark on probably the ugliest drive I have ever seen.
1st and 10 (PSU 18 yard line):
Totally stuff the run on this play, The line just exploded and held their position and the linebackers filled to make the play. What we want to see a lot of this year against spread teams.
2nd and 10 (PSU 18 yard line);
This play was s interesting, and I am not sure why our corners play so deep, but for those that are concerned about Steven Nelson this year, watch this. He backs up and when the ball is thrown he closes in a heart beat. He also blows the guy up with a very violent tackle. It is a six yard gain, but that is more on alignment than on his play.
3rd and 3 (PSU 23 yard line):
The defensive line blew up their line and Dylan Wynn came in and destroyed their QB on the throw. Murphy broke up the quick slant and it is a 3 and out. Pretty great series and the defense looks excited.
Victor Bolden takes the punt and runs about 15 yards. The great thing on this play is that he took the punt and just went. I felt that the special teams looked a ton more decisive and explosive on Saturday.
1st and 10 (OSU 40 yard line):
A hand off to Ward. He picks his way through and gets four yards. As we will see a few times, this play is blocked really well, and the secondary is forced to come in and make the play. Ward might have gotten more yards with a good move.
2nd and 6 (OSU 44 yard line):
Quick pass/bubble screen to Bolden. He flies up the field for 12, with a great block by Mullaney and a nice spin move at the end to get a few more yards. Two things to notice on this play, first the offensive line blows the defensive line up, driving them back two or three yards on the snap. The second thing is that Harlow comes flying in to help. He is in the screen a lot and did a great job of continuing to find someone to block all play long.
1st and 10 (PSU 46 yard line):
This is what I hope we see a lot of this year. If Connor was able to keep his feet, this is a touchdown. As it was it was a 37 yard pass and catch to one of our tight ends. They are going to be a giant part of our offense and I think their production shows that. Also, OSU did a great job picking up the first blitz, Mannion did a great job of getting the ball off before the delayed blitzer could get there and there was great down field blocking by Mullaney again. This play was perfect execution.
Also, for those watching Gavin Andrews, he just basically drives a dude to the ground and has great position.
1st and Goal (PSU 9 yard line):
This play is inexcusable in some ways. You have two tight ends on the left side that get blown back by the defensive end and OLB and cannot move them. Ward does a good job of cutting out and getting four yards, but those guys should be able to, at the very least, just blow him down the line. The other part of this play that is a fail is the second level contain. While the line blows their defense to the side, they lose contain on the blocks and the linebackers are able to slide in and make the play> This could have gone house had everyone been able to stay on their guys and the tight ends been able to push their defenders down.
2nd and Goal (PSU 5 yard line):
This one is on Ward. The line got a good push, and Andrews was driving his guy the way he wanted to go, which was up-field. So to Ward’s left there was a huge hole, but he didn’t see it opening and drove into a pile. The whole line was moving back and to the left and had he followed that trend he would have scored. Had he seen the split off guard, he had nothing but pay-dirt. Even with the line driving the defenders back, the backs need to see the openings.
3rd and Goal (PSU 3 yard line):
This one is tough. If Sean gets the ball down, Hamlett probably can catch it. He also had Jarmon all alone in the endzone. For those that think this was a bad call, I disagree. They had two guys open and Sean had plenty of time. Hamlett also had a step on his defenders, so a lower pass would have been six. Just need to make that throw.
Return to the 22. Good kick deep, but returnable. Saved 3 yards from a touchback.
1st and 10 (PSU 22 yard line):
They blocked this one well and while OSU got pretty decent penetration, they were shifted pretty far to the strong side and the pulling linemen did a good job of covering them up. While it was a 9 yard gain, it is worth pointing out that not only was Steven Nelson not being pushed around at corner, but he held his ground, shed his blocker and made a textbook tackle to avoid the first down on the run. Nelson was physical and impressive in this game.
2nd and 1 (PSU 31 yard line):
Again, PSU takes advantage of our alignment and hits a player for the first down on a crossing route. The impressive part of the play is Murphy’s closing speed. The defense definitely looked fast.
1st and 10 (PSU 35 yard line):
Pass play and OSU had great pressure and forced a bad throw. The player was covered well, so even had the throw been on, I am not sure it would have been complete. Win for the Beavers.
2nd and 10 (PSU 35 yard line):
Same deal except that this would have been an interception for a touchdown had the pass been anywhere near the receiver. Murphy jumped this and was able to get in front of the receiver. Also an offsides would have negated the play anyway. Good thing they didn’t take it…
3nd and 6 (PSU 39 yard line):
Penn takes off, but you can see the speed of the Beaver secondary as Noland-Lewis flies in to make the play. Also extra props for Obum for shedding his blocker and forcing Penn to continue out wide rather than cut sooner. He dominated his lineman on that play.
Bolden gets a solid 118 yard return on the punt and looks decisive in his return.
1st and 10 (OSU 22 yard line):
Harlow gets knocked back while throwing the defender to the ground. Which is unfortunate, because there were solid holes in cut lanes on either side. But because he ran into the running back, it negated that and there was a gain of just one.
2nd and 9 (OSU 23 yard line):
A great play with solid protection, a perfect throw and a great catch. Except for one thing. A kind of bogus illegal hands to the face call. I was always under the impression that you hat do grab the helmet for it to be the case, but like the horse collar later in the game, you only have to be close apparently. So instead of a first and ten on the 38 it is now second and 20 from the 12.
2nd and 20 (OSU 12 yard line):
Great protection and Mannion goes deep to Mullaney. A little less on it and Richard has a chance at a huge play.
3rd and 20 (OSU 12 yard line):
This is what i like to see. Bays gets a great pull block and the guards and tackles get the defenders going up field and outside. I believe it is Weinreich that gets a huge block at the second level and then Storm just takes off. About .02 faster in the 40 and he is in the endzone. Great blocking, great play call and great execution all around. The receivers were blocking well too until Storm ran past them.
1st and 10 (PSU 47 yard line):
Another well blocked play and a great throw to Caleb Smith who gets the ball five yards down the field and drags defenders the remaining five yards to the first down.
1st and 10 (PSU 37 yard line):
Smith again after another great job of protecting Mannion. Another Beaver First Down!
1st and 10 (PSU 12 yard line):
Well blocked reverse, especially by Harlow peeling back to get the first defender. If Bolden can make that first guy miss, he scores. Still good for five yards.
2nd and 5 (PSU 7 yard line):
Another decently blocked play, with great push off the line, but no one was able to get to the second level so trailing defenders were able to bring Storm down after four yards. Still, a totally solid play for the goal line, especially when you can get a first down on the two.
3rd and 1 (PSU 3 yard line):
A pass to Hamlett really should have worked. It was open, well blocked, the ball was thrown well, but they had it sniffed out. Could probably have ran instead of passing, but the play call was there, the defense just guessed right and made a play. I still think the spot was bad, but I am not objective so I will always think the spots are bad.
4th and 1 (PSU 3 yard line):
They needed inches, but got a five yard penalty on a false start. SUPER disappointing and really killed a drive that had nothing but good in it before. Well, almost nothing but. Two penalties made the drive harder than it needed to be, but the Beavers were able to bounce back. Just not this time.
I will get more into this later, but an amazing throw under pressure by Penn and a decent run sets up one of the refs biggest whoopses all game by not calling the quarter and letting them run a play that would have been a 25 yard pass. The sad thing about it is that the Beaver defense expected that the play was dead. As it should have been.