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Film Study: Darrion Daniels and Tre Flowers Shine Against CMU



Ed. note: Braden Lara is back to break down a few plays from last week’s game. Here’s a closer look at Darrion Daniels’ first career sack and Tre Flowers’ first career interception.

Darrion Daniels sack
What the offense was doing

On this play, the CMU QB is under center, with two tight ends lined up on the left, two receivers split out to the right and a RB in the backfield.

If you notice, all the offensive linemen (excluding the TE’s) are in a pass-protect stance (as opposed to a 3-point stance where their hands are on the ground) which hints that it will more than likely be a pass play.

Our suspicions are confirmed when the center hikes the ball and the QB carries out a 7-step drop before setting up to look for a target. The WRs, TEs and the RB all go out for a pass, leaving just the five linemen to protect the QB.  

What the defense was doing

Again, OSU is in its base 4-3 defense. The specific package is Cover 2 Man, with Flowers and Sterns dropping back to play zone coverage while the LBs and corners play man-to-man.

Burton is bumped out to cover the inside receiver at the bottom. Michael Hunter and Lampkin are at corner and lined up in man coverage against the outermost TE and WR.

Jacobs plays man and picks up the inside TE. And Chad Whitener picks up the RB when he comes through the line. With no linemen dropping back into a zone, this make it a four-man rush.  

Why this worked for OSU

From the snap of the ball, you could see that CMU’s QB might be in trouble. OSU does a great a job of playing man coverage. Every receiver is immediately covered and with the two safeties playing back, the QB had two options: take off or get sacked.  

Although there are five CMU offensive linemen to OSU’s four defensive linemen, the overall speed and power of OSU’s line helps set up the sack.  Ogbah and Cole Walterscheid take off from the DE position when the ball is snapped and quickly shoot up field toward the QB, automatically narrowing the pocket and not allowing the QB to scramble laterally.

Darrion Daniels and Eric Davis are left to use their power to try and shed off the blocks and get to the QB. Davis is, essentially, drawing the double team (although the RG is just standing there confused), and that leaves Daniels to deal with the LG. Clearly, the highly touted freshman has no trouble pushing the LG back and bringing the QB down. 

Tre Flowers Interception

What the offense was doing

Facing 2nd and 11 on its own 7-yard line, CMU lines up in a 4-WR shotgun set with trips at the bottom of the screen, a receiver up top and a RB to the right of the QB.

Before the snap, the inside receiver at the bottom of the screen begins to motion in. Once the ball is snapped, the inside receiver goes to block Ogbah, leaving the rest of the linemen and the RB to follow their assignments. The middle receiver on the trips side goes to run a quick 5-yard out, while the bottom receiver runs an 8-yard curl route.

What the defense was doing

OSU is lined up in it’s base 4-3 defense, with STAR linebacker Jordan Burton bumped out to initially cover the inside receiver. The corners are around 8 yards off the ball, which is a good inclination that the defense is going to be running a zone of some sort.

With CMU being near its own end zone facing 2nd and long, I’m sure the defense was expecting CMU to try for a quick, short-yardage pass to open up the playbook for a 3rd down conversion.

Why this worked for OSU

When the inside receiver motions inside, Burton doesn’t follow him. Instead, he stays put and plays the shallow zone when the ball is snapped. We can see that Ryan Simmons hints that he might pick up that receiver, but this is just a guise and once the ball is snapped he immediately blitzes around the right side of the line, while Seth Jacobs stays where he is and plays zone (had that inside receiver ran a route, Jacobs would have picked him up).

Again, the middle receiver on the trips side runs a quick 5-yard out while the bottom receiver runs an 8-yard curl. The receiver at the top is more or less just a decoy and from the time the ball is snapped the QB is looking to get it to either the out route or the curl.

Although it’s difficult for me to say for sure, it appears OSU is in a Cover-3, with Lampkin, Richards and Sterns all dropping back further while Burton and Jacobs get the shallow zones and Flowers picks up the curl/flat zone.

The interception really starts with Simmons. His speed getting to the QB causes the QB to hurriedly throw off his back foot. He might have had a play to the out route if he had more time, but instead he’s hurried and panics before throwing to the curl.

When you have a guy as long and athletic as Flowers sitting in that zone, you have to make sure your throws are accurate and quick. Obviously, that wasn’t the case and Flowers was able to capitalize to come away with his first career interception.

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