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Film Study: What’s Wrong With Short Running Plays?



Ed. note: It’s Video Tuesday on PFB (I’m making this up as I go, in case you couldn’t tell … the whole thing) and we have a new contributor. Chris McCulloch wanted to try his hand at breaking down some of OSU’s calls on offense (and possibly defense) and since I’m not well-versed on the subject, I thought this would be a good idea. Hope you enjoy.

I want to take a look at this play from Central Arkansas’ 10-yard-line.

What the screenshot above doesn’t show is another linebacker and safety within the tackles also within eight yards of the ball. This was a first and ten coming off a big play to No. 84. We have numbers on the outside, there’s a safety just outside the screen, he’s about 8-10 yards off the line.

This appears to be a run/pass option. Rudolph makes a decent read as the linebacker sprints to blow up the bubble screen, Rudolph see this and goes with the safe option and hands off. If the TE is able to make the block, 84 has a good shot at scoring, no need to risk that in the first quarter.

The number one problem with this run, we have six blockers for eight defenders. Two big things happen when the ball is snapped, the center gets stood up at the line of scrimmage which then disrupts the left guard’s pulling ability.

The UCA DT blows up the right side of the o-line, it appears the assignment is for the RT to block down on the DT and the RG to chip him and move onto a linebacker, while the TE kicks the DE out.[1. Ed. note: Seems like this is an example of what Gundy and Yurcich referenced as UCA selling out hard to stop the run.]

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 9.11.38 AM

The left guard is supposed to be pulling around and pick up the backside backer. This is equal parts poor execution and poor play call. The DT doesn’t allow the RG to get a block on the linebacker and that’s who makes the tackle.

My issue with the play call is OSU is coming off a big play, why not go for the kill. Instead of having the TE run a shallow cross and WR run a deep slant with 84 running a flag route which would have given Rudolph two solid options to throw for a touchdown.

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