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Film Study: What, Exactly, Is Wrong with the Run Game?

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After a week long, family wide battle of the stomach bug, I’m back at it. Hoping to really compete and love the game.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If Coach Gundy wants a suggestion for his suggestion box, THROW THIS PLAY IN THE DUMPSTER!

Oklahoma State is built for the spread; they are built for speed, not power. Why is Mason Rudolph lined up under center?

In this formation OSU is lined up with two receivers to the right, a tight end, and a fullback. This is a pro style offensive lineup, which is great if OSU has Alabama or Stanford’s personnel. This is a seven on eight lineup, meaning OSU has seven blockers for eight defenders. Now I don’t think we need OKC Dave to come in figure the numbers and tell us this is a mismatch.

The only saving grace is that WVU has an odd lineup, when running to the right, if blocked correctly, the backside backers are taken out of the play just on alignment. That could be something OSU’s coaching staff saw on film and decided they’d try to exploit it. The only problem is that OSU has shown time and time again, they don’t block particularly well.

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When OSU snaps the ball, No. 57 is pulling to kick out the DE, the TE chips the DT and moves onto the middle linebacker, the RT blocks the DT, the center blocks the NT, LG goes for the backside backer and LT blocks the DE up field.

First thing that happens is the DE shoots up field causing the pulling guard to not be able to get there in time. Instead, he ends up getting in the fullback’s way. The center gets driven back right into the run lane. Carson has to avoid contact five yards into the backfield. Everyone loves to get onto him, I don’t care if Leonard Fournette is back there, you won’t have much success getting hit five yards behind the LOS.

This play, like almost every play OSU tries to run in this formation was blown up for a big loss. Here’s a thought, play action out of this formation, have the outside receiver run a post and the inside receiver run an out N up. Glidden is single covered out there with a safety over the top, the post would take the safety away and you have one on one on up the sidelines. Or better yet have Washington and Shepard or Ateman out there. Raise your hand if you’d take Shepard, Washington or Ateman one on one running down the sidelines.

“Hey, that last play worked so well the last time we ran it, let’s try it again” I’m assuming Mike & Mike thought to themselves. This time WVU is lined up better to stop what they know OSU is about to do. Again OSU has seven blockers to block eight defenders.

When the ball is snapped the TE kicks out the outside backer, the LT and LG double team the DE, the C and RG double the NT and the RT blocks down the backside DE. The fullback blocks towards the right, this is either to freeze the linebacker or the play is designed for the RB to cutback.

The NT blows up the center forcing Childs to run parallel to the LOS, the linebacker shoots through the gap and the other linebacker gets off the block and they make the stop for a big loss. Had No. 23 cut back to the right, he actually had some space to run and a lead blocker. Instead of second and 14, OSU would have had second and six or five.

I just want to take a moment and point out how Joseph Randle rarely faced eight man fronts.

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A lot of runs were between the LG and LT. The LG blocked down, LT kicked out and Randle did the rest. I get that OSU had a better o-line and that Randle is a solid NFL running back. I still think going back to this style would help improve the run game. Don’t call run plays that put the pressure on No. 57 to make the block for it to work. He has moved to a new position and has struggled, that’s not fair to him and not fair to the rest of the offense. Spread the defense out and stop getting yourself into eight man fronts!

I know OSU is 6-0 and they won the game, I’m not trying to be mean or snarky. I, like many of you, am frustrated with the way the offense is going. OSU will not be able to beat Tech, Baylor, TCU, or OU, constantly facing second and third and long.

When Baylor shows up to town, they are going to have to be able to keep it close till the fourth quarter, then you can hand the keys to Ogbah and company and ask them to bring it home. You have to be able to keep up though. You won’t be able to keep it close if you are forced to punt the ball five times.

Hopefully Mike & Mikeare spending these two bye weeks working on spreading the ball out and getting back to what got OSU a blown field goal call away from playing for a NC. This is week six and Gundy said things should start to come together on the line right around now. Here’s hoping he’s correct and OSU develops that run game. If that happens, oh boy, watch out, because we’re coming for that title and hell’s coming us.

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