Okay, here's the situation. You're the offensive coordinator for an embattled, struggling team. You have an inconsistent offensive line, receivers with the dropsies, and a strong-armed but occasionally inaccurate QB making only his 2nd start. You're facing an aggressive defensive that has great speed, covers well, and is known for causing turnovers. Okay, Couch Guy - what do you do? How do you call the game?
1st Drive: 1Q, Own 49, 12:45
1st and 10:
Recap: Shotgun formation, 21 personnel (2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB). Seven in the box. Safeties are deep. Probably cover 2. Deep pass to Ladner(double-covered) down the seam. Incomplete. Missed a wide-open WR near the 1st down marker, but might have been worried that the DB was sitting in zone underneath like the Wazzu Int.
Thoughts: Interesting decision to come out throwing deep. Everyone knows Oregon has to be expecting a run - maybe this will give them something to think about.
2nd and 10: Under center. 3WR. 1RB. Seven in the box. Safeties are deep. WR motions -> shows man coverage. Vereen runs up the middle and breaks outside for 31yds.
Thoughts: The "predictable" 2nd and run doesn't matter if you execute properly.
1st and 10: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1RB. Under center. 8 in the box, shifts into 7 in the box pre-snap. Rush over right tackle for 9 yards.
Thoughts: Inexplicably, Oregon is still in a Cover 2, anti-pass look. If they're going to play back, take it.
2nd and 1: 2 WR, 1 TE, 2RB. Under center. 9 in the box. Cover 1 look. Rush over left tackle for 4yds. 1st down.
Thoughts: Tougher sledding against a stacked box. But, nice execution.
1st and Goal: 1 WR, 2 TE, 2 RB. Under center. 9 in the box. TE motions left. Rush over left guard for 4yds
Thoughts: Blowing guys off the ball early. Nice work by the O-line.
2nd and Goal: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB. Under center. 8 in the box. One TE lined up as a WR, goes in motion and blocks down. Rush up the middle, bounced over right tackle for 1yard. Touchdown Bears!
Thoughts: Clever wrinkle to motion a TE and use him to crack the outside DE/LB. Vereen with a nice 2nd effort to bounce this one off tackle after the middle was closed off.
1st Drive Summary:
Analysis: Oregon might have out-smarted themselves. Everyone knows Cal wants to run, run, run. So naturally, Oregon schemes against the pass...and we run it down their throats.
1Q, Cal 27, 8:37
1st and 10: 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB. Shotgun. TE motions into trips left. 6 in the box. Zone look with 2 defenders covering our trips formations.(BG special!) Bubble screen Mansion to Jones for 1yd.
Thoughts: Not a bad call trying to exploit 2 guys covering 3. Motioning Miller into the trips formation as a blocker is a nice wrinkle. But, the Duck safety reacts really quickly and cuts off the sideline. Also, the Duck OLB makes a great play and stops Jones in the open field. Usually, you'd take that match-up.
2nd and 9: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB. Shotgun. 7 in the box. Cover 2 look. OLB comes up and shows blitz. Mansion checks down to Vereen for 10yds before the blitz gets there. Vereen does most of it on his own.
Thoughts: Good decision and read by Mansion to hit Vereen before taking the sack. Can't argue with calling a pass on 2nd and 9.
1st and 10: 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 RB. Under Center. 8 in the box. FB motions right. Run over right tackle for 2 yards.
Thoughts: Power play to establish the run. But Oregon has switched to stacking the box. Edwards can't seal the edge + Guarnero and MSG miss blocks on #40, who blows up the play.
2nd and 8: 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB. Shotgun. 6 in the box. Looks like Cover 2 again with safeties deep. Mansion to Miller for 6 yards. Good timing. Accurate throw.
Thoughts: Safe play. Isolate Miller one and one with an LB and see if he breaks a tackle for the 1st down. LB makes a good open field tackle.
3rd and 2: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB. Under center. 7 in the box. KA motions left and sets. Pass play, but Edwards false-starts.
Thoughts: Facepalm. Mansion took a deep drop. Interesting decision to call a pass on third and short vs. cover 2. But KA(near yellow line - no defenders within 5 yards) was open on a quick hitch for the 1st down and Mansion was looking his way when the whistle blew. It would have worked.
3rd and 7: 4 WR + RB split as a WR. Shotgun. 5 in the box. Defense playing zone. D rushes three and drops 8. Deeper WR's are bracketed. Mansion hits Ross underneath for 6 yards. Ross can't break a tackle and is stopped short.
Thoughts: Hard to fault the play. Ross is tough to bring down in the open field.
2nd Drive Summary:
Analysis: Hard to argue with the passes considering down/distance. Many of them were short - almost like extended runs. Could quibble about under center and shotgun formations tipping run versus pass. The one play where we went under center (running look) and threw it would have worked for a 1st down if not for the penalty.
3rd Drive: 1Q, Own 17 yard-line. 3:15 left.
1st and 10: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB. Wildcat. 7 in the box. Safeties move up and make it 9 in the box when Ross starts to motion. Vereen goes over left guard for 4 yards.
Thoughts: If we ever handed it to the fly sweep guy, it will go for some serious yardage. Not a bad job from the Oline to pound out 4 yards against a defense expecting the run.
2nd and 6: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB. Shotgun. 8 in the box. CB's move up tight. Cover 1 look shaded against the run. OLB shows blitz. Mansion throws a little high, Vereen can't make the catch.
Thoughts: Same play as the earlier one that went for 10 yards. Only this time the throw is a little off due to pressure and Vereen can't bring it in.
3rd and 6: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB. Shotgun. 7 in the box, then one safety runs up to make 8. Cover 1 look. OLB blitzes. Only three in the pattern. Nice blocking and pocket forms. Mansion delivers before Ross makes his break for 8 yards and a 1st down. Good pattern by Ross. Accurate throw.
Thoughts: Passing down. Keep a TE and RB in for pass pro. Let your senior WR make a play against man coverage. It worked.
1st and 10: 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB. Under Center. 7 in the box. 1 Safety deep. Hand-off to Vereen, stopped for no gain. Schwenke misses his block.
Thoughts: Spread formation to get defenders out of the box. Run out of a passing look. This is more of an execution issue than a playcall issue.
2nd and 10: 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB. Under Center. 6 in the box. Cover 2 look. Ross motions -> reveals zone. OLB run blitzes, but picked up Miller. Vereen runs for 5 yards.
Thoughts: Un-stacked box, so run it for a nice gain. You can see the chess game. Even with the pass-oriented defense, Allioti sends a run blitz. Good play by Miller stops this one from getting blown up in the backfield.
3rd and 5: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB. Shotgun. 7 in the box. Cover 2. Primary receiver runs a quick hitch, but is double covered. Outside WR's are covered. Checkdowns Miller and Vereen are open underneath. Good protection initially, then Schwartz gets pushed back into Mansion. When Mansion decides to run, but slips down and is sacked.
Thoughts: A more experienced QB might have stepped up in the pocket and delivered to Vereen or Miller for the 1st down. Really good read by the Duck LB to jump the slot receivers route.
3rd Drive Summary:
Analysis: Oregon is starting to show hints of shading their defense against the run and short passing game. We're mixing it up. Hard to complain about the balance. Still tipping run/pass by under center vs. shotgun.
4th Drive. 2Q, Own 20 yardline. 13:58 to go.
1st and 10: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB. Under center. 8 in the box. Oregon called for offsides.
1st and 5: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB. Under center. WR motions tight behind the TE left and sets. Outside WR motions down and reveals man. 8 in the box. Cover 1. Fake fly sweep, handoff to Vereen for 10 yards and a 1st down.
Thoughts: Well, we always run out of this formation and don't disappoint. Power play blows them off the ball for a nice gain.
1st and 10: 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 RB. Under center. 7 in the box, then safety creeps up to put 8 in the box pre-snap. Play-action pass. Mansion one-hops it to KA who was open on the deep out.
Thoughts: Pass play out of a running formation. Can't fault the call. KA was open by 4 yards. Poor throw.
2nd and 10: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB. Under center. Very tight formation. 8 in the box. Cover 2. Mansion drops back, delivers to a wide-open Miller, hits him in the hands, and he drops it.
Thoughts: Pass play out of a formation where we almost always run. Miller is open. Mansion delivers. Miller drops it. Individual error, but a nice playcall.
3rd and 10: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB. Shotgun. 8 in the box. LB's showing blitz. Cover 2 look. Zone Blitz.(only 4 guys rush) Edwards and Vereen whiff. To make them feel better, Miller also whiffs. Mansion eludes a sack and throws it away.
Thoughts: Who knows what type of pass was called, but that was on the O-line, TE, and RB. 4 rushers get through 6 blockers. 'Ain't a playcall in the world that will get you ten yards if your pass pro is playing matador.
Analysis: 1 nice run. 1 poor throw. 1 dropped pass. 1 play with 2 whiffed blocks. The playcalls were fine. Execute already.
5th Drive: 2Q, Own 3 yardline. 8:11 to go.
1st and 10: 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 RB, Under Center. 8 in the box. Tight coverage on the WR. Hand off to Vereen for loss of 1.
Thoughts: Running formation. Run-stopping defensive formation. It's the 3 yard line. What do you expect? [Zone-read, baby!!)
2nd and 11: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB, Under Center. Initial wishbone-like set, then both TE's motion up to a double TE set left. 8 in the box, Cover 1. Hand-off to Vereen for 4 yards.
Thoughts: Different wrinkle with the double FB set, then switch to double TE set. Gives you some breathing room for a make-able 3rd down.
3rd and 7: 1 WR, 2 TE, 2 RB. Shotgun. 8 in the box, Cover 1. Miller motions from left to right. Slant pass to Jones. Jones runs a nice pattern and is open, pass is on the money, but it goes off his hands incomplete.
Thoughts: We're in the shadow of our own endzone, get one-on-one coverage on our best receiver, motion to clear out the underneath coverage...QB delivers on the money - Jones just drops it. Those are the plays you make to upset the #1 team in the country.
5th Drive Summary:
Analysis: Well, what would you call from the 3 yard-line against a defense known for causing turnovers when your own D is playing inspired ball? If Jones makes that catch, we get breathing room and a fresh set of downs.
6th Drive: 2Q, Own 26, 6:27 to go.
1st and 10: 1 WR, 2 TE, 2 RB. Under center. 9 in the box. Play action pass. Mansion over-throws Sparks on the fade. WR on the opposite side was wide open. Tight coverage, but Sparks had a step.
Thoughts: Pass out of a running formation. Good matchup with your fast TE on a LB. It's a tough throw for a young QB to make, though.
2nd and 10: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB. Shotgun. 7 in the box, Cover 2 look, safeties deep. Hand off to Vereen over left tackle for 4 yards.
Thoughts: Run out of a passing formation. Brings up a manageable 3rd down.
3rd and 6: 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB. All split out as receivers. Shotgun. 5 in the box. CB's tight with safety help over the top. Rush 3, drop 8. Even rushing just 3, the DE beats Schwartz and pressures Mansion who has to throw early and low to KA. Pass incomplete.
Thoughts: When 3 guys beat your 5-man protection, you don't have time to complete passes to your checkdowns (open top and bottom of screen), and have to throw it away to your WR's who are both being held.(indisputably) Playcall is okay. Need. Blocking. But the Zebras agree and call defensive holding!
1st and 10: 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 RB. Under center. 8 in the box. Cover 1. Hand-off to Vereen for no gain.
Thoughts: We've been running out of passing formations, and passing out of running formations. Now we go back to the well and try power. Doesn't work because KA misses his block and the safety blows it up.
2nd and 10: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB, Under center. 7 in the box, cover 2 look. Hand-off to Vereen who gets stopped for a 6 yard loss. He fumbles and is lucky to recover.
Thoughts: Makes sense to run against an unstacked box. But, Schwenke misses his block plus a LB comes unblocked off the edge plus MSG/Ladner don't get a great push on the edge. This time, the run blitz wins.
3rd and 16: 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB, Shotgun. 6 in the box. Cover 2. Corner blitz + delayed LB blitz. Picked up well. Mansion forces one in to a double-covered Calvin at the yard marker, knocked away by the CB.
Thoughts: Can't blame us for throwing short of the 1st down this time. There was good protection against a clever blitz (for once), but Mansion and Calvin can't hook up. When you go max protect, you have to rely on your WR's to win some one on one's. That didn't happen here.
6th Drive Summary:
Analysis: Still mixing up runs and passes. Starting to break tendencies and mixing up formations. Execution errors in run-blocking set up a 3rd and long. Credit the D for winning their individual battles during this series.
1st Half Overview:
Really nice run-oriented drive to start the game. When Oregon countered by stacking the box, we had to put it up. Inopportune drops and missed blocks seemed to be the biggest factors in drives stalling out. Not to mention the Ducks have a really fast D with good LB's and DB's. I'm simply not knowledgeable enough to find fault with the play-calling thus far.
7th Drive: Start of 2nd Half
1st and 10: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB. Shotgun. 7 in the box. Cover 2 look, but LB shifts inside and blitzes. Play fake to Vereen followed by a quick screen pass to KA. But 58 comes free off the edge and forces a high throw. Incomplete.
Thoughts: We start the 2nd half trying to get the ball in KA's hand. They decide to bring more pressure. Normally, a WR screen is good call against a blitz, but their LB is too fast and disrupts the play.
2nd and 10: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB. Under center. 8 in the box. Hand-off to Vereen who goes over right tackle...and then fumbles.
Thoughts: Power run would have set up 3rd and short. Disastrous mistake by the normally sure-handed Vereen.
3rd Quarter, Own 22 yard-line. 14:21 to go.
1st and 10: 2 WR, 1 TE, 2RB. Under center. 7 in the box. Cover 2 look. Right before the snap, the CB shifts inside and blitzes. Quick throw to KA is either batted down or one-hopped due to pressure.
Thoughts: Great call. KA has miles of open turf in front of him because the CB is playing off. But, Guarnero whiffs on his guy who blows up the play. We continue to try to get the ball to our playmakers in space. They continue to bring pressure.
2nd and 10: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB, shotgun. 8 in the box. OLB is showing blitz and comes free off the edge unblocked. Mansion forced to check down to Sofele who drops it while being blasted by their MLB.
Thoughts: Great read and coverage by Paysinger. Ducks are attacking. Short passes to defeat the blitz are being negated by the speed of their defense.
3rd and 10: 3 WR, 2RB. Shotgun. 7 in the box. Ducks bring the house and rush 7. Two OLB's rush off the edges, S and MLB come on a delayed blitz up the middle. 2 RB's stay in the block. Initial blitz to the outside gets picked up, Mansion steps up, then the S comes free up the middle and runs past MSG who is helping Schwartz. Mansion gets hit as he throws and misses Jones on the deep out.
Thoughts: Max protect keeps 7 guys in. They rush 7. But their delayed blitz confuses our blocking assignments and get to the QB.
Analysis: 3 straight passes. Early short pass to get KA involved makes sense. You could argue about the 2nd down playcall, perhaps. No other choice on 3rd down. Ducks bring the heat this series and it works.
3Q, Own 31, 12:30.
1st and 10: 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 RB. Under center. 7 in the box. Oregon offsides.
Thoughts: Running formation, but was going to be a play-action pass. Interesting.
1st and 5: 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 RB. Under center. 8 in the box. Cover 1. Play-action to Vereen, throws deep into double-coverage for Jones.
Thoughts: Considering down and distance, I'm okay with taking a shot downfield. Mansion makes a bad read and forces that one. The safety didn't bite on play-action. The other WR was single-covered.
2nd and 5: 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 RB. Under center. 7 in the box, then 1 safety moves up late. Start with bunch formation left, then motion into an offset I. End around to Ross for 1 yard.
Thoughts: Ducks aren't fooled. Their CB stays home and makes a good open-field tackle.
3rd and 4: 3WR, 1TE, 1 RB. Shotgun. 7 in the box. Ducks blitz one, but he's picked up. Mansion to KA on the slant for 9 yards. 1st down.
Thoughts: Good quick pass. Well-blocked and well-executed.
1st and 10: Wildcat. 8 in the box. Vereen rushes for 3 yards. Almost breaks a tackle for a long gain.
Thoughts: Pretty good blocking up front. Shane just gets tripped up.
2nd and 7: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB. Under center. 7 in the box. Vereen rushes over left tackle for 9 yards...but there is a hold on Schwartz.
Thoughts: Sigh. Nice idea to slow down their pass rush by re-establishing the run.
2nd and 17: 4 WR, 1 RB. Shotgun. 6 in the box. Mansion bubble screen to KA for 2 yards.
Thoughts: Might have been expecting a blitz, but this time the Ducks decide to play coverage.
3rd and 15: 3 WR, 1 TE, shotgun. 6 in the box. Ducks blitz and rush 6. Good protection. Mansion hits Jones on the deep out, but he drops it.
Thoughts: Good play by the CB to be aware of the yard marker. Not sure if Jones was supposed to run that pattern deeper or if we were hoping he'd be able to make the last couple of yards on his own.
Analysis: This drive gets killed by the holding penalty.
Bonus: 2-pt conversion attempt after D. Hill's fumble recovery for a TD. 3Q, 9:11 to go.
3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB. Under Center. 8 in the box. Mansion drops back. Does not play-fake. Ladner is double-covered. KA is double-covered. Calvin is open short of the goal-line. Overload blitz to the left - because Ladner releases, two blitzers come free. Vereen tries a cut block, but can only slow one guy. Mansion stares down Jones the whole play, and forces an early throw into double coverage due to pressure. Incomplete.
Analysis: We usually run from under center, so perhaps this was an attempt to be clever. The D calls the perfect scheme which both double covers most of our receivers and gets two guys rushing free on the QB. Mansion would have to check off of Jones and look back to find Calvin - even then, it's questionable that he would make the catch and be able to beat three guys to cross the goal-line. A hard throw to Jones low and outside might have a chance. 'Can't blame execution here - Allioti takes Ludwig's lunch money.
10th Drive: 3Q, Own 11 yard line. 6:21 to go.
1st and 10: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB, Shotgun. 9 in the box. Fake fly sweep, hand-off to Vereen for 4 yards.
Thoughts: Backed up again. Good play and nice blocking by the Oline for positive yardage.
2nd and 6: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB. Triple option set that motions into a standard 2 TE set. Then, fake fly sweep. Shotgun. 7 in the box, but one safety shifts to 8 in the box with motion. QB keeper for 3 yards.
Thoughts: Can't say that we're staying vanilla. New wrinkle in the formation + motion...and tried to take advantage of Mansion's feet.
3rd and 3: 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB. Shotgun. 8 in the box. 1 CB in tight coverage, 1 playing off, 1 LB showing blitz. CB shifts in, blitzes, has a free run at Mansion's blindside. Mansion throws for Ross, incomplete. Harris called for PI. Good call. You can see Harris on top of Ross while the ball is still crossing the 19.
Thoughts: Quick pattern and throw. Relies on Ross winning a one on one battle. Classic case of live by the blitz, die by the blitz. CB is a hair too early.
1st and 10: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB. Under center. 2 TE start in the backfield and shift right to a more strong right TE set. 8 in the box. Hand-off to Vereen over right tackle for 4 yd. Facemask makes it 1st down.
Thoughts: By now, Oregon has to expect that the full house backfield look to standard set means run. And it does. But, good blocking upfront to get a decent gain on 1st down.
1st and 10: 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 RB. Under center. 8 in the box with one safety up. Play-action pass to the fullback, Kapp, for 4 yards.
Thoughts: Throwing out of a previously established running formation. Short, safe throw. Ball control.
2nd and 6: 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB. Under Center. 6 in the box, cover 2 look. Hand-off to Vereen. CB comes unblocked and stops him for a 1-yard gain.
Thoughts: Play design either assumes that CB won't get there in time or someone blows an assignment. Maybe they assumed the CB would be in man and get drawn inside by motion, but he was in zone. Great play by the Duck CB.
3rd and 5: 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB, all split out as receivers. Shotgun. 5 in the box. Mansion threads the needle and splits double coverage to Jones down the seam. 1st down, Bears!
Thoughts: Risky, but nice throw. Good catch by Jones in traffic. Good pass pro.
1st and 10: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB, shotgun. One TE on the line, the other set as an H-Back. 9 in the box. Hand-off to Vereen who gives it to Jones on the reverse for 13 yards and a 1st down.
Thoughts: Nice call. Run out of a pass formation, use Vereen as a decoy, take advantage of an aggressive D.
1st and 10: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB. Start under center then shift into shotgun with RB emptying backfield out wide as a receiver in a trips formation. (that we used against Wazzu) 9 in the box. Looks like Cover 1. Fake bubble screen to Vereen. Play blown dead because Cal takes a TO from the sidelines.
Thoughts: Clever play design. By taking using the same motion and formation that we used last week to throw a bubble screen to Vereen wide, we set up a down the middle throw...But poor execution. Why Tedford had to blow a time-out here just isn't good. Maybe someone didn't line up right. Tedford had words w/ Mansion on the sidelines. I'm assuming some type of execution issue.
1st and 10: 1 WR, 2 TE, 2 RB. Under center. 9 in the box. TE motions from right to left. LB moves up an blitzes. Hand-off to Vereen who runs for 7yards.
Thoughts: Offense shows power run. Defense shows anti-run formation. But, better execution by the offense wins this play. Really nice job by Schwartz, Miller, and Stevens to set the edge and let Vereen get outside.
2nd and 3: 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB. Shotgun. 7 in the box, safeties up. Cover 2 look. Ross motions down, zone-read look. Mansion hands-off to Vereen who runs 5 yards for the 1st down.
Thoughts: Run out of a passing formation. Good blocking up front. If Mansion had kept that, he scores.
1st and 10: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB. Under center. 8 in the box, cover 1. 1 CB tight, 1 back. Mansion goes play-action, throws a slant to Jones. Incomplete.
Thoughts: Passing play out of a run formation. CB hits Jones early, but PI not called. Good throw.
2nd and 10: 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 RB. Under center. FB motions left. 8 in the box. Cover 1. Hand-off to Vereen goes over left guard for 7 yards.
Thoughts: Running formation. Anti-run defense. But, better blocking upfront gives the offense a nice gain.
3rd and 3: 1 WR, 2 TE, 2 RB. Under Center. 9 in the box. TE motions left. Hand-off to Vereen. Blown assignment leaves an unblocked defender rushing free through the right between Schwenke and Edwards. He blows up the play and tackles Vereen for a 3 yard loss.
Thoughts: Not inconceivable to think that we could pick up 3 yards on the ground. But someone misses a block. Badly.
Missed FG. (sigh)
10th Drive Summary:
Analysis: Besides the opening TD drive, this was the best sequence of the game. Short passes, power runs, balance, different looks. I can't complain. I like the decision to pound it near the goal-line...Miscommunication between Schwenke & Edwards really, really hurts.
11th Drive: 4Q, Cal 35 yard line, 11:31 to go.
1st and 10: 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 RB. Under center. 8 in the box. Cover 1. Tight coverage on 1 WR, back on the other. Hand-off to Vereen, goes over left tackle for 7 yards.
Thoughts: Power formation vs. anti-run D. Oline blows them off the ball and Vereen finds some space.
2nd and 3: 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 RB. Under center. 8 in the box. WR motions left to right. Mansion goes back to pass, quick hitch to KA who is open, but overthrows him.
Thoughts: Pass out of a run-look. Should be a short, safe pass. WR gets open, but poor execution by the QB.
3rd and 3: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB, shotgun. 9 in the box. Blitz look. Oregon blitzes two LB's. Quick pass to Jones for the 1st down.
Thoughts: Perfect call against pressure. Bunch formation helps Jones get free. Nice pitch and catch.
1st and 10: 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 RB. Under center. 7 in the box. Cover 2. Hand-off to Vereen, stopped for 3 yard loss.
Thoughts: LB shoots the gap, comes free, and hits Vereen in the backfield. Run blitz + a great read and play by the LB. (Matthews) Reasonable to call a run against an unstacked box - but the D gambles and guesses right with a run blitz.
2nd and 13: 3 WR, 1 TE split wide, 1 RB. Shotgun. 7 in the box. OLB blitz. Slip screen to Jones knocked down by their blitzing LB.
Thoughts: By this point of the game, they're ready for our screen game. Their safety has Jones locked on like a missile and is ready to nail him for no gain even if the pass is completed.
3rd and 13: 4 WR, 1 RB. Shotgun. 5 in the box, Cover 2. MLB blitz. Nicely picked up. Mansion throws a nice pass and hits KA in the seam...who lays out and drops it.
Thoughts: Not an easy catch against tight coverage. But that's a catch you'd expect KA to make.
11th Drive Summary:
Analysis: After mixing up run/pass from different formations all game long, the D guessed right, gambled with a run blitz, and put us in 2nd and long. Their blitzing LB on 2nd down reads Mansion all the way, plays for the knock-down instead of the sack, and makes a great play. Great call on 3rd and long - should have moved the chains.
32 under center
Honestly, I expected to find faults with the playcalling. Or, I expected Oregon to switch things up to over-play the run. Instead, I saw a mix of run/pass out of different looks and different formations. As advertised, they played a combo of Cover 1 and Cover 2 with occasional blitzes. When they started the game in Cover 2 with safeties deep, we ran it down their throats. They made an adjustment to more Cover 1 and stacked the box to take away our run game/limit our short passing game. They also made an interesting adjustment to run blitz out of their Cover 2 look.
Our game plan seemed tailored for ball control and avoiding mistakes. Very reasonable considering our inexperienced QB, inconsistent Oline, and the need to keep their offense off the field. We only took a couple of shots deep - but it's hard to second-guess that considering the pressure that 2nd and long puts on our offense. The only play I can really grouse about was the 2pt conversion. Otherwise, it looks like there were execution issues and sometimes the D just made a good call and won their matchups with our O. The best laid plans amount for nothing if they aren't carried out properly on the field. Considering the quality of our opponent, let's hope this carries over as a learning experience for next week. Go Bears! Let's keep the Axe!