WEEK 1: Weber State
Top Grade Average: 2.95, Isaac Seumalo
Team Grade Average: 3.03
WEEK 2. Michigan
Top Grade Average: 2.84, Josh Mitchell
Team Grade Average: 2.97
WEEK 2. San Jose State
Top Grade Average: 2.78, Isaac Seumlo
Team Grade Average: 2.86
Week overview: Lets not get ahead of ourselves. There is a HUGE difference between San Jose State’s and Michigan’s defensive fronts. That being said, we have seen a lot of suspect line play against FCS or non-Power 5 conference opponents. What we saw Saturday was what we should expect. There were only 5 grades of 4 this game, versus 12 last week, and we had our first grade below a 2 all year (Isaac Seumalo on a combo bock with a pancake on a backer to boot!). OSU should have dominated the lines of scrimmage this game and the offensive linemen did just that. I we grade a 2.78 Friday, we will be very happy with the offensive results.
It was also good to see Clarkson get in every other series as well. While he had a few mental mistakes here and there, he shows great finish on his blocks and did a good job of moving guys around. He is a powerful player with a low base who will be a good player for us in the near future. I also was happy to see how well Isaac was running around on pulling plays. Overall, certain skills were much improved. Our reach blocking on the edges and pulling paths were much improved and there were a lot fewer linemen in space blocking air.
The best play of the day was the Storm Barrs-Woods run to start the second drive of the third quarter. Not only was it a nice 28 yard run, but it was the line doing things right. Both tackles were driving their guys to the sidelines, Mitchell and Isaac had a combo block as the hole was supposed to be to the left. They did such a good job, as did Stanton clearing out the edge, that when Storm came to the hole, he did a quick fake the left to seal the combo blocks and then took off to the right and had a whole bunch of green in front of him. The defense fought against the combo block as the interior three linemen had been getting to the second level with ease all game long. Similar to a fisherman setting a hook, Barrs-Woods used a quick cut to get the defenders momentum going left before breaking right. That was just enough to fly through the hole untouched and make the biggest play of the game.
What the Heck?
There were not a lot of What the Heck? moments this weekend. The biggest one is just seeing how many teams in the Pac-12 North have serious offensive line issues. Washington had a lot of struggles on the edges against Utah State, especially with their receiver blocking. Even though by and large they were bigger and faster than all of Utah State’s team, they still struggled.
USC looked pretty pedestrian up front, though the Stanford front seven is partly to blame. The Trojan front five were very athletic in space, but not a lot of violence or aggression in the trenches. The ducks also have some serious issues along their line, especially on the right side. Georgia State was able to get quite a bit of pressure most of the game.
This Friday will be interesting. I think that Stanford’s offensive line is better than Michigan’s. I felt like Michigan didn’t really get going until our offense failed and they didn’t have to bother passing on any downs because of their lead. I think Stanford’s defensive front, especially without Anderson, are going to be a bit worse than Michigan’s.
As young as OSU is, there is always hope that each week will be much better than the last. If they can improve over last week, and especially over the Michigan game two weeks ago, I think they will surprise some people. If Stanford comes out and can get pressure rushing four players, we are going to have a long day.
My What the Heck is an overall condemnation of offensive lines in our conference.
Go Beavs (PRO)