Game Breakdown: Quarter 2

Here is my review of the second quarter.  Hopefully I can get through this but it takes quite a bit of time.  Anyway, hopefully people like it!

2nd and 6 (PSU 42 yard line):
After getting their non pass nullified because the quarter had ended, OSU made two big mistakes on the ensuing play.  First, they moved their linebackers over about 5-8 yards to the wide side of the field to adjust for the PSU motion. This left them with one linebacker in the middle covering the center and one outside of the wide side tackle.  The other less obvious issue is that Edwin Delva went with pressure rather than fighting it.  The center used the first two seconds of the play trying to bait Delva to take an inside release, and it worked.  While their strong side guard and tackle released to block downfield.

It was actually a pretty great play and something OSU needs to watch out for.  In this case, had Delva been able to work back to the center more then Penn would have had to cut into where Johnson was and it would have probably been just a five or six yard gain. If that.

Instead Penn went yard.

Dockery again gets a decent start and a good return, but there are two issues.  Malik Gilmore doesn’t get belly to belly with his man and he is able to dive in to trip up Dockery.  Had he held, or had Chris Brown helped out on his way through, Dockery could have had a huge return.   There was a lane there and he was moving pretty good.

1st and 10 (OSU 18 yard line)
There are three great things about this play. First, the blocking is exceptional.  Sean has a long time and since his pre-snap read told him to go to Bolden, he is able to zero in on him and make the trow. Secondly, he is able to at least make the catch with a defender all over him, and keep it convincing through the pass. Finally, they ran up and ran a play. Unlike the Civil War last year, they took replay out of it by getting a play off.

1st and 10 (OSU 46 yard line):
This play is a great play that could be much better. It starts with a very good fake by Sean, which sends the defensive end into where the pocket would be.  Now OSU has two blockers on the outside for two defenders.  Since it is a fly sweep, Bolden is going full speed at the snap of the ball, so all the linemen work up-field to get to the second level players.

Here is where it goes from game changing to just nice.  With Smith blocking out and Hamlett blocking up, there is a seam between the two (about ten yards wide) that if Bolden cuts up, he has no defenders that are not getting blocked.  By continuing outside, he runs into the path of the guy that Smith is blocking.  Bolden learns from this later in the game, but with the fly sweep, if you see a butt (in this case Caleb Smith’s) you cut it up.  If they are blocking the player, cut it up.  Good play, got us some yards, but could have been epic.

2nd and 4 (50 yard line):
Another basically perfect play.  Great line blocking, though Harlow looks like his guy is making a last minute push to hit the QB.  Mullaney gets open and a perfect throw by Sean hits him in stride.

1st and 10 (PSU 39 yard line):
This was a great play call with the defense bringing two blitzers.  Mike Riley called about three great screen calls this game, and this was one of them. The problems in this were two fold. First, a few of the linemen get wadded up and occupied by the defenders.  This coupled with the PSU player that got knocked to the ground and got up just in time to make the play ruined a good call. Had OSU ran this same screen to the other side, it would have probably gone for a ton of yards, but some dumb luck and a few guys getting occupied by the defense killed a potentially good play.

1st and 10 (PSU 20 yard line):
This screen does not fall into the latter category.  I think there was some confusion here.  They also were in two deep and had all their linebackers deep, bringing no one.  So they ran a screen against a four man front.   The crazy thing is, it almost worked. Had Sean waited a second to throw, he had the time, it would have given Bolden a chance to set up Andrews on the block.  Andrews just couldn’t get there in time. There was a lane, the play just needed a little bit more time to develop. PSU brought a linebacker the previous four plays, so the fact that they didn’t this time probably made this play tougher.  But it was still there.

2nd and 10 (PSU 20 yard line):
Another great pass to Smith after really good protection by the line. Mannion had all day and Caleb catches a perfectly thrown ball in stride.  To be honest, up until now, it feels like they could have thrown to Smith or Hamlett every play and done just fine.  Smith was super deadly with the ball in his hands and at this point of the game, Sean was definitely on point with his accuracy. Big catch, good run and OSU has the ball first and goal at the 4.

1st and Goal (PSU 4 yard line):
Then you do something like this… and totally do the opposite of redeeming yourself.  I am not going to beat a dead horse because Caleb knows the deal.  Another offsides in the red zone and another chance for more stats.

1st and Goal (PSU 9 yard line):
This starts out as a very well blocked play with an obvious open pocket to run to. Unfortunately Bays and Hamlett have their guys fight over the top of them to close it up. Still a four yard gain, but had they been able to stay belly to belly and get to the up-field shoulder on their defenders, it was going to go for six.

2nd and Goal (PSU 5 yard line):
This was a great play with a tough ending.  Richard did a good job of getting a step on the defender and keeping his back foot in.  He just lost hold of a really tough grab anyway.  The other really good part of this play was how Sean held onto the ball long enough to draw the defender and allow Richard to cut back.  That couldn’t have been comfortable to be rolling out into the guy that wants to kill you and waiting until the receiver can break down in his route. Great play, just a tough play.

3rd and Goal (PSU 5 yard line):
Epic.  Sean pulls it and runs and not just because he had to or to prove a point but because it was the right thing. to do  Andrews and Harlow had driven their guys deep past the pocket and the outside backer had drifted out to cover Storm. There was literally no one there to stop him.

Also, not to be lost in this, but one of the things I like most about Mullaney is his blocking. In this play, he just sells out running into a defender to protect Sean.  He may not have needed to, but as you watch film, you see a lot of number 8 blocking down field, opening plays and doing the little things you need to do to win.

1st and 10 (PSU 27 yard line):
PSU called a good play, a quick pass to their slot receiver with a blocker ready to take on the safety. It happens boom/boom and the ball carrier is going vertical out of the shoot.  But Ryan Murphy plays a cut block perfectly, keeping his feet and getting into the receiver with the ball.  There is also a host of Beavers converging on the receiver, including Dylan Wynn, and he is down five yards down the field.  This play should have gone for more with the way it was set up, but the Beavers flew to the ball and covered it up right away.

2nd and 5 (PSU 32 yard line):
Apparently this play was so boring the Pac-12 cut it from their video.

3rd and 5 (PSU 32 yard line):
Larry Scott does a great job of covering the receiver and PSU is forced to throw it farther down field.  Unfortunately Dylan Wynn gets a roughing the passer penalty.  While this penalty ends up hurting a bit, Dylan’s aggressiveness has a long term effect on their passing game.It just was unfortunate here, especially since it leads to seven points.

1st and 10 (PSU 47 yard line):
On this play, Grimble loses the leverage battle in a double team and gets driven back a few yards.  It does allow Alexander to slide in and hit the runner, and Zimmerman finishes the tackle, but it is 7 yards down field instead of in a big pile had Grimble been able to stay low and split the double.

2nd and 3 (OSU 46 yard line):
This play was a fumble that they recovered for a two yard loss. It looks like they were going to run the option and I am not sure how well it would have worked as the safeties and corners to that side had already started converging.  Unless it was going to be a half back pass.  As it was, it was a loss of two.

3rd and 5 (OSU 48 yard line):
PSU tried to catch OSU with a pass back to the QB.  The Beavers did a great job of converging and stopping Penn in his tracks two yards short of the first down.  Great defensive play.

4th and 2 (OSU 45 yard line):
This is a tough position.  It is 4th and 2 but there is a lot of field left so you don’t want to get burned for a big play. At the same time, OSU lined up their linebackers and corners six yards off the line of scrimmage. When they take their drops, PSU easily sneaks in a receiver underneath and picks up the two yards they need plus two.  The personal foul at the end was not a nice addition either.

1st and 10 (OSU 41 yard line):
OSU has much more closing speed on defense this year.  On this outside run, the blocking was there for a second, but the defense swarmed all over and pulled the runner down after just a two yard gain. Unfortunately it was a horse collar tackle.  In the replay, it was actually a pull on the jersey and not the pads, but oh well.

1st and 10 (OSU 25 yard line):
OSU has much more closing speed on defense this year.  On this outside run, the blocking was there for a second, but the defense swarmed all over and pulled the runner down after just a two yard gain. Unfortunately it was a horse collar tackle.  In the replay, it was actually a pull on the jersey and not the pads, but oh well.

1st and 10 (OSU 12 yard line):
A run up the middle only nets one yard as the defense swarms all over them.

2nd and 9 (OSU 11 yard line):
An off-tackle run only nets one yard as the defense swarms all over them again. Oh and PSU holds on the play.

2nd and 18 (OSU 21 yard line):
What was an amazing pass break up by Steven Nelson turns into a holding penalty on Ryan Murphy.  Not sure how good of a call that was as it looked like Ryan just put his hand on the PSU player, but oh well.

Oh, and a terrible holding call was missed where the tackle brought down James by his head.  Not even close.

1st and 10 (OSU 11 yard line):
This is just a great run. OSU had chances, but they blocked and ran well and got the Touchdown.

1st and 10 (OSU 26 yard line):
I will have to end on this play tonight and it is a good one.  A perfectly ran fly sweep. You know it was ran well when you can count three or more defensive linemen chasing nothing behind the play. Bolden cuts up between the lane set by the two outside blockers and because he is so fast, he outruns one of them and that guy is able to slow him down. Still, a great run for 12 yards and a first down.

Also of note is how much better the tight ends are blocking in space.  Last year it was slim pickins at times from the Tight End group but I have seen a lot of sustained blocks. Caleb Smith is really doing a good job of keeping position and driving guys around the field.

Anyway, thanks for reading.  I am not sure if I will be able to get to more, these take a long time, but I might try and focus on the red zone a bit more.  Anyway, defensively there is a lot to be excited about and offensively, they are pretty close on a lot of these. Small changes will make a huge difference this week.

8 thoughts on “Game Breakdown: Quarter 2

  1. blowcheese

    Hey Peter, you know about O line blocking so tell me if the beaver oline are always tipping the play because they are usually weight back, ready to go pass protect then on running plays their stances look different?

    I think Cav maybe doesnt coach drive blocking very well because i never see these guys in stances that would suggest they want to go downhill AT ALL

    Just my thoughts. Thanks for doing this.


    1. Peter Riley Osborne Post author

      I am not sure of any examples of them giving it away. They look the same to me most of the time. Plus the line rarely all does the same thing. Sometimes they replicate a pass to get the guy going up field even though everyone else is run blocking. On those plays they may pretend to tip them off, but if you want I can show you four screen shots of the start of a play and you can tell me what it is.

      As for the drive blocking, again, not sure of this but they certainly blew the PSU line off the ball a lot. Sometimes it is more the running backs not hitting the holes or a tight end making a mistake on a block or a delayed blitz or just a numbers game. There is more to a bad play than just a lack of drive blocking. But if you want to go play by play with me we can chat. I very well may be missing a lot.

      Anyway, i would be

      1. Blowcheese

        Peter, i am looking at Stanford vs SC right now.

        What i see on the Stan running plays is the five interior lineman and the two TEs in stances that LOOK like they want to drive block somebody:

        Shoulders squared to the line (not angled to catch somebody squirting through a gap)
        weight forward (not squatting like they are behind home plate)
        splits consistent from T to Guard to C on both sides

        As a result these guys fire OFF the ball- Tackles are initiating contact instead of the other way around. Guards firing into gaps and getting to the next level guys. This LOOKS different than the beaver running plays . I know zone blocking requires more lateral shifting by the O-line guys but dang watching Stan i wonder why you would want to do it any other way.

        As for the offensive lineman tipping plays i can usually tell when Stanford is going to pass because their splits go from being uniform and straight across to more of a wedge shape and their tackles are clearly weight back.

        Hopefully you get a chance to look at what i am talking about with Stanford as they are the ultimate power running team.

        1. Peter Riley Osborne Post author

          I agree 100%.. Stanford has the best offensive line in the country. But they are built upon maintaining leads. They are a totally different system than OSU has. To complete them is like saying OSU should reach block like the ducks. They are a total running team that passes to take advantage of people sdtacing up against the run but they are not a great offense. They rely on their defense and use their offense as a tool to eat clock and avoid errors. Watch them against OSU last year and you will see that same line get rocked a lot.

          Anyway, I think you are shifting your point. You said that OSU was predictable with theirnstanced. I disagree. What Stanford does is different, and as you said, at times they are predictable.

          AnywY great conversation and I appreciate your stance on Stanford, then are the gold standard on power running!

  2. Dave

    I’ve never seen a Riley coached team run a hurry up play on a ‘questionable’ officials call prior to the PSU game. Those often times can be swing plays in the game and we just never figured out the importance of playing that ‘game within the game’. Not sure if it’s Riley or Mannion, but good to see nonetheless.

    1. Peter Riley Osborne Post author

      Yeah, I agree. It was also nice to see them use the fly sweep more than just once. They probably could have ran it far more if they wanted. I also liked his desire to go for it on fourth, even though sometimes penalties killed that option.


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