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A Few Things I Expect From OSU's Defense

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Thing 1 - I expect to see a 6 man front on our 3 WR sets. Last year they dropped a LB off onto the slot receiver almost every time, leaving 6 guys up front. Whether or not we can run against this, just like every other game, will determine how well we do offensively.

Thing 2 - Last year they did a very smart thing to help limit our running game. They lined up their MLB a yard or so off the line of scrimmage on the outside shoulder of the OT. His key, best I can tell, was our strong OG:

alignment.gif

What they were doing was using our extremely simple run game against us. Our biggest problem, outside of the mysteriously well called OU game, is that the football always follows the guard:

lbread.gif

If it's a counter, the MLB flows across the center to stop it. There is an instance of this early in the game last year where he just follows the guard and the RB runs right into him. If its a zone, he uses his position on the guard to outflank him and help the front in gap control, giving the RB a wall to run into.

Now you might be thinking, if they are giving us 6 man fronts, and they aren't lining up anyone outside the TE, why aren't we just running over there? Good question. I'm sure Mike Gundy was wondering the same thing, because we never did. I only watched the first quarter and a half on BevoD, but I only saw one zone against this front (a loss of 3-4 because the guard missed his block entirely). If OSU continues this pattern of attack, we should take advantage of the WR on LB matchup, and run around the end because they have no one protecting it. Of course, Greg Davis decides all his play calls on Wednesday, so who knows if he'll even notice.

Thing 3 - the safety blitz. Our first or second play of the game last year, their FS blitzed and ran right through our line to get a TFL. Our run game is extremely vulnerable against this attack because our linemen aren't taught to account for safeties (judging by years of results). How many post game interviews have we heard with Mack or Greg saying "well they blitzed their safeties more than we expected, and they never did that before." I can think of a bunch off the top of my head. FS blitzes have run right through our zone plays about 70% of the time it's tried, against anyone. OSU did it a ton last year, it worked, and I expect to see it again.