FanPost

Charting the offensive offense: 2012 LSU in the BCS CG


*** Disclaimer ***

This is long, with numerous pics. Its to serve three purposes - recap facts about the offense in the game, detail each play, the formations, etc, and point out obvious missed opportunities. If that doesn't interest you, you may save yourself now.

*******************

The 'What':

Breakdown of the offense from start to the 2:55:35 mark on the ESPN3 replay ( the possession before Trent Richard's TD run ).

Possessions: 10

Plays Lined up for: 45 ( 1 fumbled snap, 3 false starts, 1 timeout, 1 unknown (last play where JJ was stripped) )

Plays executed ( poorly or otherwise ): 40

Called Runs executed:15 ( 7 options, 2 dives, 3 FB dives/zone, 1 zone, 1 inside toss, 1 OT )

Called Passes executed: 24 ( 5 spots/screens, 5 slants, 4 deep routes, 3 rollouts, 3 clearouts, 2 curls, 2 levels )

Blizted: 5

S or CB in the box: 12

Basic Offensive Formations Used: I, Single Back, Shotgun

'Base' Plays Used: ~24

Right off the bat, a few things should stand out. First off, when almost half of our runs are options, we're in trouble - Against Bama, Western Kentucky, whoever. We ran a HB zone and our bread & butter Inside Toss only once each, both gaining nice yardage.

Next, ~20% of our passes were spots or screens that mostly did poorly. One distinct play - that worked a couple of times - was ran another ~20% of the time we threw ( so much for variety ).

Worse yet, we evidently cannot count. 12 times a S or CB was in the box and we were in bad calls for it. Example - an I set with both TE to one side should be ok verses an 8 man front ( 5 OL + 2 TE + FB + HB ) but we'd run something like a FB Dive with the fake pitch to the HB, therefore making it 8 defenders on 7 blockers and running into the crowded middle - that is a play you have to get out of.

Let's take a look some of the formations & plays we ran and then the game log after the break ( lots of images! )...

I'm just going to post pics of some formations, named what I would call them. Every coach acts like there is one universal naming convention ( theirs ) but I never got the book on it, so if you want to call it something else, go for it

Basic premises to my naming convention:

TE side indicates strength ( strong vs weak ) and if no TE, than its the HB, and if no HB or is in center, its WR.

X is far left WR, Z is far right WR, Y is the slot, H is a TE off the line.

We had 3 basic formations ( I, Single Back, Shotgun ) making up 22 variations:

I
I Strong
I Stack
I Double Tights
I Double Tights Over
I Double Tights Over X Over
I Shift Flex
I Shift Flex Gun
Single H Strong (right)
Single Double Stacks
Single Weak Twins Strong (right)
Single Twins Strong (right)
Pistol Twins Strong
Shotgun Twins Weak
Shotgun Twins Weak Stack Strong
Shotgun Twins Strong
Shotgun Twins Strong Stack
Shotgun Strong Twins Strong
Shotgun Double Tight
Shotgun Trips
Shotgun Trips 4 Wide
Shotgun Twins Strong

Everyone should know a basic I formation. I Strong is the FB offset to the TE side. I Stack is the Z moved to the other side behind the X in a stack. I Double Tights is two TE 1 WR. What I call I Double Tights Over is moving the WR side TE to an H back by the other TE ( two TEs on one side ).

This is what I call I Double Tights Over X Over - its an unbalanced formation that we used twice in the game:

Idoubletightsoverxover_medium

via i169.photobucket.com

The last two of the I set is what I called I Shift Flex and I Shift Flex Gun ( which is just a shotgun alignment of the first ). We line up in a normal I formation and shift into the below. We could have used this to exploit some match ups ( ohhh, like Randle 1:1 with an OLB? yeah - that happened - we ran a screen instead ) but sadly, we did not:

Ishiftflex_medium

via i169.photobucket.com

Now on to the Single Back formations. The most basic single back formation most folks think of has a TE to one side and a single WR on that side, with twins on the weak side (LSU did not show this in the game). LSU showed 4 variations of the formation: Single Twins Strong ( twins to TE side ), Single Weak Twins Strong ( same as previous but HB is offset to the weak side as he would in the shotgun formations ), Single H Strong ( 2 WR, 2 TE - both TE on the same side ), Single Double Stack - a 4 WR set:

Singledoublestacks_medium

via i169.photobucket.com

In between Single back and Shotgun, we used one Pistol formation, Pistol Twins Strong, where we have twins to the TE side ( ie Twins Strong ):

Pistoltwinsstrong_medium

via i169.photobucket.com

Lastly, we move onto the Shotgun. The most basic Shotgun formation is what I call Shotgun Twins Weak - twins to the weak side, HB next to the QB on the weak side, single WR on strong side. By now, I hope my naming convention makes sense and most are easy to picture. We have Shotgun Double Tight ( take out the slot and put in a TE ), Shotgun Twins Strong ( twins to TE side ), Shotgun Twins Strong Stack ( same as previous, but twins in a stack ), Shotgun Strong Twins Strong ( Twins to TE side and HB to TE side as well ).

Shotgun Twins Weak Stack Strong:

Shotguntwinsweakstackstrong_medium

via i169.photobucket.com

Shotgun Trips:

Shotguntrips_medium

via i169.photobucket.com

And lastly, we have Shotgun Trips 4 Wide ( replace the TE with a SE on that side ).

Those are all of the formations we used in the game. Now, there is something to be said about simplicity & having an identity, but per the play chart, we didn't really run our 'identity' type plays ( ex. Inside Toss ) and by play design, against a base defense, we put 8 men in the box on 4 of those formations ( I Stack, I Double Tights * ), which accounted for 6 plays. That's right - we did that to ourselves, by alignment, as almost every time, as most defenses do, the CB on the side with no WR came into the box.

When you look at the play log ( at the bottom of this blog ), also note how we lined up in the same formation a few times in a row / drive, even running the same play. In that fashion, the playcalling was as creative as a middle school game.

Speaking of plays, let's take a look at a few. As with the formations, the naming is all my own - if there is some standard way to name the plays, in over 30 years of football, I've never heard it.

Here is the consolidated list, broken down by types:

Zone
OT
Dive
Dive Fake Toss
Inside Toss
QB Draw

Dive Option
Speed Option
Lead Option
Zone Read

Spot Z
Spots
Bubble Screen
WR Flare

Streaks
H seam
Quick Slants
Clearouts
Curls

Fake Toss Pass
HB Short Screen

Levels
Rollout
Deep Rollout
X Go Y Hook Z drag ( FB flat, HB ? out wide )
- had no other name for this one

Here are the plays by formation ( removing the fumbled snap, false starts, etc here ):

Pistol Twins Strong
Backside Dive Option
Backside Speed Option
I Strong
HB motion, X Go Y Hook Z drag ( FB flat, HB ? )
I Double Tights Over
Dive Fake Toss Weak
I Double Tights Over X Over
Dive Fake Toss Strong
Inside Toss
I Stack
Lead Option
Lead Dive Weak
OT Weak
I
Motion Z Stack, Spot Z
Zone
Motion Z Bubble Screen
I Shift Flex
FB Zone Weak
I Shift Flex Gun
HB Short Screen ( NOTE RR at HB, Ware at FB, Copeland @ X!!! )
Single H Strong (right)
H seam
Motion H, Option Weak
Motion H, Dive
Fake Toss Pass
Single Double Stacks
Spots
Single Weak Twins Strong
Quick Slants
Single Twins Strong
Rollout
Shotgun Twins Weak
QB Draw
Shotgun Twins Weak Stack Strong
Levels Strong
Shotgun Twins Strong
...WTF is that play? going with Speed Option Weak. No one blocked - no one - play blown up
Shotgun Twins Strong Stack
Motion, Streaks
Shotgun Strong Twins Strong
Quick Slants
Bubble Screen
Zone Read
Deep Rollout
Shotgun Double Tight
Clearouts
Shotgun Trips
WR Flare
Option
Can't see routes
Shotgun Trips 4 Wide
WR Flare
Shotgun Twins Strong
Quick Slants
Curls
Zone Read

Note in the above, many of our plays we run from different formations.

Let's actually look at our favorite plays and the harder to describe ones. We'll start with a few favorites:

Quick Slants

The TE driving off the line clears out the LB and offers a deep threat.

Singleweaktwinsstrong-quickslants_medium

via i169.photobucket.com

Our other passing favorite is an H seam and is as simple as it gets. The HB and the TE stay in and block sometimes; their release is dependent on pressure:

Singlehstrong-hseam_medium

via i169.photobucket.com

I might get death threats if I post a bubble screen or spot pass- those memories are bad enough. Continuing that thought, I won't diagram the speed option or zone read either ( and Lead Option just has a FB leading blocking between the QB and pitch man ). There is one option play that I do want to show because it has to be the worse I have ever seen, particularly out of the formation we ran it from:

Pistol Twins Strong - Backside Dive Option

Pistoltwinsstrong-backsidediveoption_medium

via i169.photobucket.com

Where to start? The formation is what really kills this as being back off the line, the QB cannot press the OLB / DE. The End just sits home and the QB is forced to make the read about 2.5 yards away, which gives the defender plenty of space to watch & recover from. The whole idea with the option is to make the defenders stop & think - fast - and this play / formation slows it down for them.

The one bubble screen like pass I will show is a bubble but with deep routes from other WRs instead of blocks, in effect offering two plays in one.... or something...

WR Flare

Shotguntrips-wrflare_medium

via i169.photobucket.com

We'll pass on the Dives, Dives with a Fake Toss, QB Draw, and OT. I do want to post the simple Zone and our Inside Toss though, because when you look at how Alabama lined up to the formations we ran them from, these were open all day long.

Zone

Izonestrong_medium

via i169.photobucket.com

So Simple and so beautiful. The OL and TE block to play side, HB looks for daylight playside, and the FB attacks the backside defender, creating a natural cutback lane. We ran it once, late in the game, and picked up 5-6 yards.

Inside Toss

Idoubletightsoverxover-insidetoss_medium

via i169.photobucket.com

Its an unbalanced formation, basically moving the center of the defense over but keeping a couple of defenders backside to respect being out ran to the edge. Chances are, you out number the defenders where you really want to - the new middle of the line - and create a nice alley for the RB. Like the zone, we ran it once, late in the game, and our OL plowed ( yes, our OL that night ) a wedge over Bama for ~8 yard gain.

The rest of the plays... Streaks is simple - all WR / TE run a go - and I'll just post the rest.

Clearouts

Shotgundoubletight-clearouts_medium

via i169.photobucket.com

Curls

Shotguntwinsstrong-curls_medium

via i169.photobucket.com

Fake Toss Pass

Singlehstrong-faketosspass_medium

via i169.photobucket.com

Levels ( the X means motion to that spot )

Shotguntwinsweakstackstrong-levelsstrong_medium

via i169.photobucket.com

Rollout

Singletwinsstrong-rollout_medium

via i169.photobucket.com

Deep Rollout

Shotgunstrongtwinsstrong-deeprollout_medium

via i169.photobucket.com

( I couldn't think of a name ) X Go Y Hook Z Drag ( Couldn't see route HB ran )

*The play was flipped the other way when we ran it and thus named according to that alignment... sorry

Istrong-hbmotionxgoyhookzdrag_medium

via i169.photobucket.com

That was our BCS CG playbook - if you feel rather underwhelmed, you're not alone. Only a few plays really take advantage of good combination routes ( ex. no smash routes or TE releases, like Bama killed us with ). The Quick Slants is a good play as is the H seam, but too many of the pass plays are too easily defended, particularly with Bama's base alignments ( ex. Curls, Deep Rollout ).

Now that we all are on the same page with formation & play naming that I'm using, its time for the dirty data - the play log. The really bad news is that as bad as the gameplan, playcalling, and play sequences were, we missed 2 - if not 3 - TDs. Jarvis Landry easily scores if JJ gets the ball to him late in the 4th, but we also missed the TE twice - once on the seam ( Dlo by himself after safeties run out of the picture ) and Joseph on one of the Quick Slant plays ( the safeties probably catch him, as they were split wide but not running out as on Dlo's play ). Our OL got blown up a few times, but many times, we put them in bad positions by formation.

Anyhow, I leave you with the only stuff folks that actually look at this write-up might be interested in - the play log... it speaks for itself...

Opening Drive

1. Single H Strong (right) Motion H, Dive
Defense: 2 deep
pre snap backside S starts coming up
S makes the tackle

2. Single Double Stacks Spots
Defense: 2 deep
OLB shift to def left ( to stack on that side )
quick pass to RR on side with 1 defender up

3. I Double Tights (right)
Defense: 2 deep
CB press, off CB in
fumbled snap


23:25 mark

1. Pistol Twins Strong (left)
Defense: 2 deep
pre snap SS coming up on slot
false start

2. Pistol Twins Strong (left) Backside Dive Option
Defense: 2 deep
unblocked OLB stayed home and made the tackle
poor design / execution as OLB in position to tackle both

3. Pistol Twins Strong (left) Backside Speed Option
Defense: 3 deep
strong CB deep, nickle over the slot
poor cutblock on the flowing ILB
ILB makes tackle on JJ who slipped
was plenty of space if JJ cuts it up

4. Shotgun Trips (right) Option
Defense: nickle
CB press on SE
2 up middle back on trips
pre-snap safety on trips & NB bails
JJ pitches WAY too early, DE tackles Ware


36:30 mark

1. Shotgun Twins Strong (right) Quick Slants
Defense: 2 deep
bad throw complete to Z (OBJ)

- went hurry up -

2. Shotgun Twins Strong (left) Curls
Defense: 2 deep
drop 8
JJ run for first

3. Shotgun Twins Strong (left) Zone Read
Defense: 2 deep
OLB over slot
CB press on SE, other off
JJ pulls and gets tackled by OLB ( BAD read )

4. Shotgun Twins Strong (left) Quick Slants
Defense: 2 deep
CB press
pass complete to Z ( OBJ )

5. Shotgun Twins Strong (right) Curls
Defense: nickel 2 deep man under
DBs press
JJ stared down Blue in flats
ILB on stop, Blue stopped when he should have planted and took off


1:01:30 mark

1. I (right)
Defense: 2 deep
motion Z
CB moves to OLB, other press
false start...

2. I (right) Motion Z Bubble Screen
Defense: 2 deep
motion Z to the left
CB moves to OLB, other press
OLB moves with the motion
CB holds outside leverage
OBJ tries to run outside ( had a lane inside )

3. Single Weak Twins Strong (right) Quick Slants
Defense: 2 deep
OLB moves to slot
complete to Y (RR)
TE was wide open going up field

4. Shotgun Twins Weak Stack Strong (right) Levels Strong
Defense: nickel 2 deep
NB on slot
OLB over to stack
poor throw to Ware in the flats, worse catch
RR 1 on 1 with the safety as CB & two ILBs ( one spying RB ) were at Dlo on the hook


1:17:48 mark

1. I Stack (right) OT Weak
Defense: 2 deep ( safety over stack & in middle )
CBs on stack, in & out

2. Single Twins Strong (right) Rollout
Defense: 2 deep
CB press SE, off on twins
OLB over to slot
pre snap backside S comes up
everyone covered
TE doesn't seal so runs with DE way down the line
JJ fails to go inside, runs outside into the tackle

3. Shotgun Twins Weak (right) QB Draw
Defense: nickle single high
man press
3-3 ( OLB on line )
Ware motioned out to twins
S man on Ware moving with him
play blown dead - timeout by LSU...

4. Shotgun Twins Strong (left) ??? option ???
Defense: nickle
CBs off
NB on slot
pre-snap SS up, showing blitz
no idea
bad snap, Ware looked like going for a pitch
ALL WR and OL released past their blocks going up field


HALF

2:01:29 mark

1. Single H Strong (right) Fake Toss Pass
Defense: 2 deep
CB press
X open on crossing route
missed Z (OBJ) on stop & go

2. Single H Strong (right) H seam
Defense: 2 deep
CB press SE, other off
big gain to Z (OBJ)
if JJ throws to DLo (H) its a TD - no one close and safeties moving to sidelines

3. I Stack (right) Lead Dive Weak
Defense: single high S
SS over stack
CB press, in close
ILB Nico run bliztes, blows up Blackwell and makes tackle

4. Shotgun Strong Twins Strong (left) Quick Slants?
Defense: nickel 2 deep man under
DBs press
all the OL turn left and Upshaw comes untouched for the sack

5. Shotgun Twins Strong Stack (left) Motion Streaks
Defense: dime 2 deep / quarters ( hard to see )
motion stack to slot
JJ holds, runs

2:15:09 mark

1. I Stack (right) Lead Option
Defense: halves
off CB in, stack CB press
pre-snap off CB drops back
S up on stack ( in & out )
FS over stack
TE tries to get to ILB but falls down
Copeland runs past OLB
JJ pitches without pressing
OLB on tackle

2. Single H Strong (right) H seam
Defense: nickel 2 deep
CB press
JJ INT
TE open, Ware open to the right, QB run wide open


2:23:44 mark

1. I (right) Motion Z Stack, Spot Z
Defense: 2 deep
CB press
CB in with motion
OLB moves out with motion
ok gain

2. Shotgun Strong Twins Strong (right) Bubble Screen
Defense: nickle single high
CB off
S up at LB
NB shows blizt, backs off
pre-snap CB coming up
Z (OBJ) watches 2 defenders murder Y (RR)

3. Shotgun Trips (left) WR Flare
Defense: dime 2 deep
press man look
pre-snap 2 ILB move out
ILB blizt, sack ( Ware and Blackwell can't handle DL on stunt )


2:34:35 mark

1. I Strong (left) HB motion, X Go Y Hook Z drag ( FB flat, HB ? )

Defense: 2 deep
CB press
motion HB (Ware) to weakside SE
pass to Y (Dlo) complete

2. I (left)
I Shift Flex FB Zone Weak
Defense: 2 deep
CB press
OLB splits diff on slot

3. I Double Tights Over X Over (right) Dive Fake Toss Strong
Defense: 2 deep
off CB in
run blizt all LBs
KH bulls way for a 1st

4. Shotgun Strong Twins Strong (right) Quick Slants
Defense: nickel 2 deep
SS over twins, FS in middle
SS flying up on snap
gives to Ford ( correct read )
Ford should have bounced it outside - instead puts head down & runs into own man
( LMJ is still running on this play )

5. Shotgun Strong Twins Strong (right) Deep Rollout
Defense: nickel 2 deep
S over twins, FS in middle
D drops to quarters
no one open
JJ runs

6. I Double Tights Over (right) Dive Fake Toss Weak
Defense: 2 deep
CB press, other in
both S cheating up ( 3rd & 3 )
stuffed... Blackwell rolled


2:49:57 mark

1. I (right) Zone
Defense: nickle 2 deep
CB press
nickle up as OLB, bails at snap
good run

2. Shotgun Double Tight (right) Clearouts
Defense: nickle - not sure on coverage
SS & NB up @ line on def right next to each other ( they both blizt )
JJ stares down Ware & holds it
JJ runs

3. I Double Tights Over X Over (left) Inside Toss
Defense: nickle 2 deep
CB press, other in
NB up on H
good run

4. Single H Strong (right) H seam
Defense: 2 deep look
CB press
D goes man ( S on Dlo )
S over top X ( RR )
ILB blizt
JJ takes off up middle for a big gain

5. Single H Strong (right) Motion H, Option Weak
Defense: 2 deep
CB press
Dlo blocks no one, run past multiple defenders
OLB flows past Dlo
JJ doesn't press
ILB flowing close to Dlo
if JJ keeps and cuts it up, he's still running

6. Single Weak H Strong (right)
Defense: 2 deep
CB press
pre-snap LBs move to a 4-3
false start

7. I (left) ( RR at HB, Ware at FB, Copeland @ X )
I Shift Flex Gun HB Short Screen
Defense: 2 deep look
CB press
shift
OLB lines up man on slot (RR)
weak safety cheats up
man to man now, single high
screen, Ware tackled ( should have been defensive holding )
yes, RR was lined up 1:1 with an OLB

8. Shotgun Trips 4 Wide (right) WR Flare
Defense: nickle man 0
all playing off
SS & both OLB blitz
Ware blocks wrong side & gets JJ hit
Y (JLandry) wide open on post for TD, bad throw

( 4th & 18 )..

9. Shotgun Trips (right)
Defense: dime 2 deep man under
press
don't see routes
Hurst missed block
JJ is stripped



I'm stopping there... ( 2:55:35 )

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