“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”.
Ah yes, the futility of game planning against the Alabama defense. Whatever Steve Ensminger tried it didn’t matter. I counted less than 5 times where Alabama actually blitzed someone the whole game. That means that they stayed back in coverage, rushed with the 4 defensive linemen and still got to Burrow. It reminded me a lot of the 2016 game. We all said that Etling got starry eyed against Alabama and the moment was too big for him but playing quarterback is hard when there’s 7 guys in coverage and you still have a dude in your face every snap. Same thing happened with Burrow on Saturday. I certainly don’t think Burrow is an exceptional quarterback but the people in front of him didn’t help whatsoever.
What this means is that Alabama was able to sit in their preferred coverage the entire game and feast on Burrow. They really didn’t call much else. I don’t have the benefit of the coaches film but it seemed like Saban stayed in his “Quarter-Quarter-Half” almost whole game.
Ensminger called some good concepts, I just don’t think Burrow is good enough to execute them in that type of environment.
One of the most common approaches to defeating a Cover 2 or “cut” corner is with a fade/flat concept.
LSU ran a similar variation to this a bunch of times. The concept tries to put the cornerback in a bind. If he bails with the fade route, you can throw the out route. If he sits in the flat, you hit the fade in the hole before the safety comes over.
The hole shot was there behind the cornerback throughout the whole game and Burrow never really pulled the trigger.
When he did, he threw to the wrong person.
If Drew Brees can do it, everyone else can right?
tfw when you know the weakside option route is coming so you play cover 2 to squeeze the route between the corner and the backer but the QB is Drew Brees so you still lose pic.twitter.com/yvuuNCcTIQ— Seth Galina (@SethGalina) June 11, 2018
One of the problems with allowing a team to get pressure on you with only four guys is that the running back feels pressured to help one of his offensive lineman even though he should be reading the linebacker. Now, there’s still pressure and there’s no dump off route.
I liked the one time we took a shot downfield on a go route. We have athletic receivers. Probably should have thrown it up a few more times.
Simple play by Burrow here. Dropback, hold the safety, hitch and throw to the opposite side. It’s a good ball too.
There were a couple RPOs. Again, I would have liked more.
This is the right read and the slant is open but the ball is batted down.
My issue with the running game, and it bothers me that I’m peddling a Gary Danielson narrative, was the lack of QB runs they had for Burrow. A couple zone reads, sure, but there was no QB Zone, QB Power, QB Counter, etc. Biggest game of the year, no reason why Burrow’s athleticism wasn’t used more.
You can see from this play below that although Burrow takes off like he was reading someone, I don’t believe he is. The tackle blocks the defensive end so Burrow isn’t actually reading him.
The sad part is that I probably could have written this article before the game started. Ensminger is a fine coordinator but his offense is too static to really bother Alabama. At least last year, Matt Canada could confuse them for a bit. Lining up and playing against them is not the right recipe especially if your offensive line and quarterback are your two weakest positions. It’s frustrating but hopefully we can take out our frustrations against Arkansas.