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Topic: Here's why the OL looks bad in the running game.
Replies: 24   Last Post: Sep 21, 2021, 11:21 AM by: bassdogmwp
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Replies: 24  

Here's why the OL looks bad in the running game.

[4]
Sep 21, 2021, 9:46 AM

Our blocking scheme since the Bowden days has been (basically, not in actual terminology) a lateral movement, hat on hat blocking style. In other words, our line moves in the direction of the play, fits to the first player they come to, and just tries to stay with them and keep them moving in one direction (right or left.)

We do this for a lot of reasons. One is that we like to move the ball laterally in screens and we like to run RPOs, so theoretically our OL steps should look about the same on running plays and those plays, making things more difficult for the defense.

In reality this just doesn't work well, and it never has. We just had the talent in the past to overcome 15 third and long situations per game, and we don't have that this year (so far.)

In reality what happens is the DL realizes they can disrupt our whole offense by simply getting in the gaps and either stopping the run or rushing upfield to the QB, depending on the play. They are free to run twists, swim moves, whatever and they never have to worry about getting completely knocked on their a** or driven back 10 yards out of a play, because we just don't do that.

Effectively this makes our offensive linemen one dimensional and takes away any advantage they might have had otherwise of the defense having to react differently to run blocking vs pass blocking. It also takes away the OL's ability to cause havoc with the linebackers. With all of this lateral movement, we don't really disrupt the linebacker's pursuit angles unless our linemen gets a fit on a linebacker.

Contrast this to a team like Alabama. When they run the ball, they fire off and use traditional blocking techniques like driving people back in a certain direction, double-teaming to clear the hole then one of those 2 linemen peel off to block the LB, not to mention pulling guards, etc. The overall "vertical" movement off the line of scrimmage disrupts opposing LBs as they try to fill holes and pursue the run so without necessarily getting a hat on them, they are still effectively blocked from the play until it is 8 yards downfield. This leads to an advantage for the OL as every time they line up, the DL doesn't know if they are passing or running, and the DL has to protect themselves because if it is a run, they're about to get hit hard and pushed hard. They can't always twist and they can't pop up and try a swim move because if it's a run, they're going to get killed.

Long story short, everyone loves to blame the OL. It's not their fault. It's a fault in the scheme.

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Re: Here's why the OL looks bad in the running game.

[1]
Sep 21, 2021, 10:01 AM

Charleston, is this easily changed, or would it take another off-season to adjust the scheme?

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Assuming these guys all used man blocking in HS, it could

[1]
Sep 21, 2021, 10:07 AM

probably be changed mid-season, but I don't know that for sure. I'm simply an observer. That kind of thing would take actual coaches, haha.

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Re: Here's why the OL looks bad in the running game.

[3]
Sep 21, 2021, 10:04 AM

It is called Zone blocking and like an option team does not work well in big time football. need example, go see how many OL we have in the NFL, right, not many, and is because they haven't been taught man blocking very much. However more teams like (GB and SF) in the NFL are starting to use it as a balance to their running attack, it is still not widely used.

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You can fire off the ball in a zone scheme..

[1]
Sep 21, 2021, 10:08 AM

I was doing it back 20 years ago.

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Re: Here's why the OL looks bad in the running game.

[1]
Sep 21, 2021, 10:59 AM

Last true zone blocking that worked was MiKe Shanahan and the Broncos. They could run the #### out of the ball but they also had the correct style backs to make it happen. Everything now is shotgun rpo or throw it all over the lot.

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It drives me nuts. We need to get in a 3 point stance

[2]
Sep 21, 2021, 10:07 AM

Sometimes. It’s the same blocking “technique” that Brad scott used to coach (awful). Makes your OL’s job twice as hard. You can’t really move a man out of a gap from a 2 point stance.

You’re supposed to just “seal him off”. “It’s a stalemate game” -Brad Scott (possibly the worst OL coach in history. He used to recruit some real duds just because their arms measured a certain length.)

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Yep, and the problem with just sealing them off is that

[1]
Sep 21, 2021, 10:08 AM

the DL owns you. They can just pop up and try some fancy move, or they can just pick a direction and slant that way without any fear of getting their ear knocked into their ########.

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Re: Here's why the OL looks bad in the running game.

[1]
Sep 21, 2021, 10:09 AM

I'm with you on that analysis. Incorporating some of both approaches would be good. Would that be too complicated for the linemen?

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I wouldn't think so. Usually the OL are the smart guys.***

[1]
Sep 21, 2021, 10:10 AM



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Re: Here's why the OL looks bad in the running game.


Sep 21, 2021, 10:27 AM

Thanks. I love the x and o discussions. My question would be, why haven't we changed. Plus we've done pretty good running it for over a decade.

Is this one reason we seem to get beat out in recruiting by uga, Bama, OSU etc. What does Oklahoma use.

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We've done well in a really bad football conference. When

[1]
Sep 21, 2021, 10:31 AM

we play teams with good defenses, it's a crapshoot. Again, we have to rely on superman-level performances by QBs to win those games.

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We beat Bama 44-16 for the CFP title in 2019. Bama also

[4]
Sep 21, 2021, 10:53 AM

could not stop us in the 2017 CFP title game. We beat Ohio State twice in the CFP, one of those was a 31-0 blowout.

We did the same thing to Notre Dame in 2018 CFP playoff first round.

Yes, we had great QB's in those games. Those great QB's can't produce at those levels without at least a "good" OL. We had good OL's. Probably the best OL we had was from the 2015 season. They were the most physical and also the biggest group of bad #####.

We didn't just beat bad ACC teams, if so we would not have won the CFP titles, and made the semi three times.

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Re: We beat Bama 44-16 for the CFP title in 2019. Bama also

[1]
Sep 21, 2021, 10:59 AM

^ This is the right take.

And even in 2015, we outplayed Bama but were outfoxed with a bit of experienced coaching.

In addition, it wasn't just the oline that was subpar in 2019/2020 - it was our defense as well. Boith the LSU loss and OSU loss were defensive issues first and foremost. Look to the road game with ND to see how when our D misfires. 3 of our last four losses we gave up more than 40 points and those required very high level of QB play too.

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Right, and we got in third and long a lot, but our QBs got

[1]
Sep 21, 2021, 10:59 AM

out of it.

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Re: We beat Bama 44-16 for the CFP title in 2019. Bama also


Sep 21, 2021, 11:21 AM

Your comment brings a couple of songs come to mind…

Living in the Past- Jethro Tull
What Have You Done For Me Lately- Janet Jackson.

Good tunes to listen to when reminiscing about 2018

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Re: Here's why the OL looks bad in the running game.

[1]
Sep 21, 2021, 10:32 AM

"Is this one reason we seem to get beat out in recruiting by uga, Bama, OSU etc. What does Oklahoma use."

Yes for the big uglies and OK uses Zone blocking but have tweaked it some, due they are pass first team.

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Re: Here's why the OL looks bad in the running game.

[1]
Sep 21, 2021, 11:06 AM

Actually a lot of pass first teams seem to be struggling this season with the 3-3-5 front ISU style defense becoming more favored. Actually I think a LOT of folks have been responding to TE's offense and this is an evolution of equilibrium forces in game theory. Having a new QB is kinda showing this as TE is kinda hinting that DJ is having a hard time reading things correctly. TL16 and ETN likely covered up some losing efficiencies with talent but now it is require a bit of rework.

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Re: Here's why the OL looks bad in the running game.

[4]
Sep 21, 2021, 10:34 AM

Absolutely brilliant analysis. This is otherwise known as "Titty" blocking. 1st game under Bowden against Marshall, we failed on 3rd and 4th and 1 several times(in the red zone). Basically the same results for many years. Dabo just doesn't get it, but the buck stops with him and he needs to get it corrected at long last. One of the big things is never bringing the QB over center- this hurts the ability of the OF line to sustain blocks. All these handoffs deep in the backfield- in my opinion- are unsound fundamentals at times.
We also have a QB coach( Streeter) who has a problem teaching proper technique( what he's paid to do). We have a Clemson "family" makeup but when coaches have to be addressed in a firm, correcting manner this can create a less than effective result. Are we getting soft? I can tell you Alabama sure as #### isn't. If we continue to put the Defense back on the field like we have, they will give out and start giving up big plays and scores.

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Re: Here's why the OL looks bad in the running game.

[2]
Sep 21, 2021, 10:43 AM

Spot on analysis....I believe sometime during the game you have to be able to line up and run the ball down the defenses throat. There is nothing more demoralizing to a defense and it breaks their will. I am a big fan of lateral offensive movement but when it all comes down to it you must be able to successfully run the ball straight ahead.

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Re: Here's why the OL looks bad in the running game.

[1]
Sep 21, 2021, 10:57 AM

You are correct. It is the old zone blocking scheme. Get everyone moving 1 direction and let the back find the hole. Problem is there isn't one a lot of the time.

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Re: Here's why the OL looks bad in the running game.

[1]
Sep 21, 2021, 10:59 AM

You got it. Something to be said about calling straight runs with only a run option based on the QB read of the DE. Hat on hat blocking (man on man) and see who's better rather than allowing everything to be blown up by one stunt.

Same for passing. Pass block and run routes where the receivers know where they're going and the QB knows where they are going.

There's too many options. Try smash mouth football and see what happens. It can't be any worse.

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Re: Here's why the OL looks bad in the running game.

[1]
Sep 21, 2021, 11:01 AM

I say lets do it because with the talent we have we should dominate physically from a talent alone perspective.

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Re: Here's why the OL looks bad in the running game.

[1]
Sep 21, 2021, 11:11 AM

Outstanding analysis the thing is with this type of scheme you need a one cut and go RB. We haven't had that type of running back since Gallman. ETN learned that later in his career that he can't dance around because if he did he got hit in the backfield and his speed and balance made a lot of those runs that were busted into big gains. That's why LJD struggled he wanted to run things wide and ran into the defenders on the boundaries keeping the runs contained.. If we hit the holes and go we could see better gains.

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Re: Here's why the OL looks bad in the running game.


Sep 21, 2021, 11:18 AM

Isn't ship more like gallman then.

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