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First off a disclaimer. I'm not one of the yokels who see us get off to a crappy start on offense and wants to dismantle what we're building offensively.
Whenever I think about how inept our offense looks at times, I hear Brad Pitt's voice from Moneyball going "It's a process, it's a process, it's a process."
Next year is when we can be more judgmental about the offense.
That said, my stomach is churning in regards to short yardage situations. Goaline, third and short, 4th downs.
I think back to 2008 when Meyer needed to pickup a first down in the 4th quarter losing to Ole Miss. Meyer went to his workhorse in Tebow on a QB run on 4th and short. Ole Miss sold out crashing the middle and run blitzing from the outside. Tebow lost a yard or two.. Florida lost and luckily snuck back in the championship game.
Now we haven't exactly struggled here as Meyer has employed some decent wrinkles into these situations. Today it was a direct snap to Hydehat was going to be a dive up the middle rather than a slower developing read option. I am guessing we'll see some option here too as the middle is going to get clogged up at some point and attacking the outside is going to be attractive. We've also had Hyde attempt to go over the top several times.
Today Miller bailed us out with one of the sickest one yard runs ever.
Frankly speaking, I can't help but just question the philosophy that we can't EVER be under the center. If I had my way, I'd like to see us under center a dozen plays a game, but I get that that Meyer doesn't want to tweak what we're doing.
But for short yardage (and not all the time, but just sometimes), I have to think it would be better for us to just get under center so we don't have to field a snap 3-4 yards behind the line of scrimmage and the have an exchange or fake exchange that 90% of the time occurs at the exact same spot on our running plays. Defenses can sellout (as PSU did tonight and my god did Braxton pull out a marvelous save there), and then you're pretty much stuffed without even really getting that run started going forward.
Under center you can QB sneak, do a quick toss, a stretch, the dive, give it to the fullback (I know we don't really have one), bootleg, play action is more believable, etc.
I mean who doesn't love fake fullback dive halfback toss? John Gruden gets wood for "Spider 3 Y banana".
Essentially, I think we're making it harder on ourselves in short yardage situations and having the infamous "jump pass" in the back pocket isn't exactly reassuring as an insurance policy.
I definitely don't like it when board members, many of whom have never played/coached/know a damn thing, start getting into the nitty gritty of what a football mind like a Meyer or Tressel does, but I think this is a legitimate gripe with a pretty easy remedy.
This alone almost cost Florida a berth in the championship game. I hope Meyer revisits the philosophy of shotgun 100% of the time in the offseason. I can see the hesitancy as then you start opening the door for second guessing the whole system and that it's a slippery slope of "why are we always in the spread?"
Do it Meyer....Make Braxton's hands touch Lindsley's butt.
This post was edited by bennybuckeye 18 months ago
check out bloguin.com or awfulannouncing.com. Follow me @bkoo on twitter.
Here is the Tebow play referenced in my post. It's at about 2:45 into the video.
Florida is down 1 with a minute left to play. At the 32 and without a good FG kicker. Needs to get to the 31. Meyer has a pretty unbalanced line to the right that looks like they have enough bodies to clear out some space. A mass of humanity clogs the intended hole. Undefeated season goes up in smoke.
I don't know the statistics but I am willing to bet we have never been this efficient in the red zone (which I consider short yardage situations). I was scared of the transition to the spread because of the fact many spread teams cannot pound the rock. My fears appear to be unfounded....We are more successful now in short yardage situations than we ever were before and we are often doing it with hard-nosed power football -- not finesse.
I understand you posted the Tebow play....you can also post Beanie Wells getting stuffed on fourth and 1 in the 2006 national title game......or many many many Jim Tressel offenses inside the 10 yard line.
Please keep in mind this is not a bash Tressel post. This is simply for comparison sake because we both know that Tressel loved to pound the rock more than anyone...
Redzone no doubt we are better, but I think only a handful of those scores have come on third and short/4th and short.
Play-calling from top to bottom is better. We seem to have a handful of plays we save for being in the red zone so like a second in goal at the 7, we have something a bit different than what we've ran to get down there.
I am merely talking any down 3rd and 4th and short or goal-line.
Statistically, I might not be able to prove that this has been an issue, but I definitely think it will catch up with us.
On your Tressel note....I thought he was extremely unimaginative on this front as well. We were in love with the trap and having the tailback follow the guard into the A or B hole. Players would often note that "that's just the play we run in short yardage and it usually works." except it didn't in big games against good teams.
I would have agreed with you early in the year when we couldn't convert 4th and 1 and it was pissing Urban off. It seems like every other time thereafter we have given the ball to Hyde with everyone in the stadium knowing we are going to give the ball to Hyde and we still convert. I have no statistics to back up my point but it seems like we really are a true "power spread" team that the Xs and Os gurus were talking about.
I have really enjoyed watching this year. Good posts guys, a fun read. I was going to try and add something but I think everything was covered fairly well.
The last thing I will add is that I don't think we need to be under for ALL short yardage situations, but rather that we need to have a package.
If we're playing Illinois, or UAB, or some Mac team, then it's not a big deal if we go shotgun like we have been and do what we can.
But when it's next year and the the stakes are higher and we're going against a Wisconsin, MSU, Michigan, Penn State, etc, and we've run the read option already a good deal and you just know they're going to sellout and you don't want to throw it.... it's just way way way way more logical to get under the center rather than giving them a stationary target and 1-2 seconds to get upfield.
Those 3rd and 4th down and shorts or by the goal-line are HUGE plays. Urban certainly has done a good job working around the limitations of being shotgun with unbalanced lines, the jump pass, direct snap to HB, etc. but I just can't help but think that we're reinventing the wheel here for short yardage situations when an easier path exists.
When you get under center, you just have more options. They can still sellout the same way, but maybe this time you can bootleg or sneak out a FB or TE for an easy score.You also have the ability to sneak or hit the FB for an unexpected dive. Just a larger array of possibilities that all don't allow for a defense to rush upfield during a snap and then kamikaze into the area of an exchange or fake.
I don't know enough to have a valid opinion on if you're right or wrong, but this is a very well reasoned argument. Kudos for starting a good discussion.
name the last time we had such a great TD/Field Goal ratio.........until we fail to score more TD than FG ill take whatever offense Meyer and Herman wish to run.
Time and change will surely (truly) show, How firm thy friendship...OHIO!
I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters.
- Frank Lloyd Wright (1868-1959)
I...I can't tell if this is a serious post or not. We've been FAR better in short yardage this year than in recent memory. I can't remember the last time I've felt this confident about being able to pick up 2 yards, especially at the goal line. Even in the Penn State game, we've been able to get those yards when it's counted.
OP is off his rocker. The short yardage situation has been the best it's been in 10 years. You want to go back to the days when you weren't sure if Beanie Wells himself would get stopped in the backfield on 3rd and 1 because the o-line missed an assignment? I don't.
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