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March 30, 2006

Coaches head to Morgantown to Learn WVU's Offense

"Ohio State, Southern Miss, Ohio, Memphis and Eastern Michigan are here. Even the little guys mill the hallways of the Puskar Center -- Findlay College, Delaware State and Morehead State want to be good, too. They've all come with notebooks and pens stuffed in oversized bags slung over their shoulders.

They are scattered in a room tucked down a short hallway. Some fidget. Others recline. There is food, but the coaches in rumpled sweatsuits watching cut-ups of the 2005 West Virginia Mountaineers aren't eating. Why are they here? "They beat Georgia," pipes a voice in the dark."

This article from the Sporting News talks about how Rich Rodriguez is the it coach. It talks about how the teams listed above are among the many wanting to learn how a smaller team can dismantle a defense like Georgia's. I'm not sure when Rodriguez diagrams the play where you convince the other team's defensive coordinator to only put 6 in the box, not watch any film or practice half ass for 2 weeks. But that's a big key to the blowout. (I'm not bitter. Ok, I am.)

One interesting thing that I like about this article...Rodriguez calls coaches that he has played that he thinks he won't play again soon, and he asks them what it was like to play his WVU team. He's looking for weaknesses and strengths in his own game. He has spent time on the phone with Richt discussing it. Smart move.

The telling passage in the article is here:
It's quiet. Then, it happens: Mountaineers quarterback Pat White stops, starts and goes -- really fast and really far. Amazing. "I can teach my guy to make the first read," a coach mumbles, "but I can't teach him to do that."
BINGO! Scheme is important, and theirs clearly caused us problems. However, if Pat White wasn't one of the two fastest QBs that UGA has played in the past 25 years (Matt Jones being the other) those plays don't work.


Big time wheels.

I like Rodriguez, but I would have preferred to see what that game would've looked like with a more logical / non-suck scheme from our end. (Ht to JimfromDuluth on DawgRun for finding the article)

pwd

12 comments:

Dawgnoxious said...

Rodriguez is a good coach and his offense is well-executed. I don't want to take anything away from him. It is undeniably a one-dimensional offense, even if that one dimension is flawlessly executed. WVU did nothing unusual or unexpected.

Conventional wisdom would seem to dictate you load 8-9 in the box and make a great running team have to pass. Our defensive scheme was neither conventional nor wise.

I'm a Realist said...

What would have happened if UGA had simply made one stop in the first twenty minutes? I bet they would have won, and all this nonsense would be hypothetical...instead, it's the other way around.

Jordan said...

Whether we won or not I would've still questioned the poor defensive play calling in the game. I would've been more happy had we won, but putting only 5-6 en in the box on a team that only runs? That's horrible decision making. If they had scored all those points in the beginning by simply running through 8-9 men or throwing it over our heads in a 8-9 man set then I would be more understandable.

Everyone knew this team only ran. White had something like 118 attempts all year, granted he didn't start all the games, but 118? How did you not know they were going to run? Why on earth would you not bring one of our safties to cover the extra WR who came from the backfield? We started doing that after the 1st quarter, and you saw what happened, and then unexplainably went back to it in the 4th where we gave up that last score.

Like the post said, WVU's success in that game was more attributable to UGA's defenciences than to a "killer scheme".

spoilt said...

From Bill Hartman about a month before he died.

"Our running backs are slow."

"A fake punt should be obvious to everybody, once was bad, two is pretty awful."

Anonymous said...

Figures... you guys all want to say that Georgia losing had nothing to do with the talent, scheme, heart and overall play of WVU... spoiled SEC whiners... didn't your UGA players underestimate WVU before the game??? How'd that work for them??? Now you do it even after witnessing the game... face it, you got beat, fair and square. WVU outplayed UGA, and whether you want to admit it or not, it wasn't just because UGA didn't play to their potential or didn't scheme properly...

paulwesterdawg said...

Anon - did you watch the same game the rest of us watched? UGA outscored WVU 35-10 after waking up.

I'd say that we obviously DID take WVU lightly and obvously did NOT start off strong. Otherwise, WVU doesn't win. Anyone who watched the 35-10 run can see that.

That doesn't take away anything from WVU. You showed up and played 60 minutes. Congrats. We didn't and lost.

But if you're going to act like you won on talent and genius...that's just silly.

pwd

Johnny said...

This was the first place I saw a reference to this article Anon, and I think your comments would have been better left unsaid. We at WV measure greatness by staying in the top 25 all year, and Georgia measures greatness by staying in the top 25 for years, while playing much tougher competition than ours. Like it or not, their program is on a different level than ours. Think what you would say if Marshall comes up to Morgantown and wins.

Anonymous said...

The scoring:
WVU UGA
1st: 21 0
2nd 10 21
3rd 0 7
4th 7 7

Quit claiming some great 35-10 run after UGA woke up. The second half was 14-7 UGA with WVU holding the ball for 22 out of 30 minutes. When you're ahead, you want time of possession and eat the clock. WVU ran a grand total of about 3 passing plays the entire second half.

There was no UGA dominance in the game - ever. In any quarter. If UGA had been dominate in the second half, they could have gotten the ball a little more often. They would have stopped an offense that was one dimensional.

Rodriguez stated in every interview prior to the game, his game plan was to jump up early and eat the clock. UGA never even came close to taking WVU out of its gameplan.

The problem you are missing is this: On every big play - the ones going 30+ yards on the ground occurred when UGA had 8 players within 8 yards of the line of scrimmage at the start of the play. There was no one to stop the runner once he got past the line of scrimmage if the runner could make one defender miss the tackle.

WVU passed very effectively when it saw single coverage in the 1st and second quarters. Face it, the scores and big plays stopped when you switched to a defense in depth, where there were enough defensive players in position to stop the rusher past the line of scrimmage for a 4-5 yard gain. Bend, don't break.

The extra WR was in a spread. This was a single back set, for the most part. The idea is to cause the defenders to have to spead out to cover the entire width of the field. So, whoever was covering the 2 WR on the strong side were completely out of position to cover a rushing play going to the weak side. And the defenders covering the weak side were pulled deep and out of position by having to cover the receivers. The defensive line was pretty much out of the equation as they only defined the gaps. The WVU running plays do not have assigned gaps. They start deep and run to the light, and that effectively removes 2 of the linemen as the QB or RB are just not going to be running anywhere near where they are. That really leaves 4 possible defenders to move towards the runner and usually a couple of those are out of position because they stepped into another gap and are blocked out. You make those 2 remaining defenders miss and you have a TD or 20 yard gain if someone makes a good open field tackle.

What the defensive coordinator saw, which apparently missed most people is that 60+ % of the WVU plays are options plays. Look for an open receiver, then run if they are not open. That means those WR's *have* to be covered tight. Look at how White threaded the TD pass in the early part of the game. (White is a baseball player. When people complain about his passing saying he is a bas passer, that is because he has never shown any lobbing or touch passing. His passes are beeline passes with no arching. Good for threading and quick deliveries, but weak on downfield or over defenders).

A lot of it hinged off White making good reads early, but realistically he only had to worry about 4 of the defenders on the entire field as the rest were schemed out of position to be any sort of threat.

Anonymous said...

The scoring:
WVU UGA
1st: 21 0
2nd 10 21
3rd 0 7
4th 7 7

Quit claiming some great 35-10 run after UGA woke up. The second half was 14-7 UGA with WVU holding the ball for 22 out of 30 minutes. When you're ahead, you want time of possession and eat the clock. WVU ran a grand total of about 3 passing plays the entire second half.

There was no UGA dominance in the game - ever. In any quarter. If UGA had been dominate in the second half, they could have gotten the ball a little more often. They would have stopped an offense that was one dimensional.

Rodriguez stated in every interview prior to the game, his game plan was to jump up early and eat the clock. UGA never even came close to taking WVU out of its gameplan.

The problem you are missing is this: On every big play - the ones going 30+ yards on the ground occurred when UGA had 8 players within 8 yards of the line of scrimmage at the start of the play. There was no one to stop the runner once he got past the line of scrimmage if the runner could make one defender miss the tackle.

WVU passed very effectively when it saw single coverage in the 1st and second quarters. Face it, the scores and big plays stopped when you switched to a defense in depth, where there were enough defensive players in position to stop the rusher past the line of scrimmage for a 4-5 yard gain. Bend, don't break.

The extra WR was in a spread. This was a single back set, for the most part. The idea is to cause the defenders to have to spead out to cover the entire width of the field. So, whoever was covering the 2 WR on the strong side were completely out of position to cover a rushing play going to the weak side. And the defenders covering the weak side were pulled deep and out of position by having to cover the receivers. The defensive line was pretty much out of the equation as they only defined the gaps. The WVU running plays do not have assigned gaps. They start deep and run to the light, and that effectively removes 2 of the linemen as the QB or RB are just not going to be running anywhere near where they are. That really leaves 4 possible defenders to move towards the runner and usually a couple of those are out of position because they stepped into another gap and are blocked out. You make those 2 remaining defenders miss and you have a TD or 20 yard gain if someone makes a good open field tackle.

What the defensive coordinator saw, which apparently missed most people is that 60+ % of the WVU plays are options plays. Look for an open receiver, then run if they are not open. That means those WR's *have* to be covered tight. Look at how White threaded the TD pass in the early part of the game. (White is a baseball player. When people complain about his passing saying he is a bas passer, that is because he has never shown any lobbing or touch passing. His passes are beeline passes with no arching. Good for threading and quick deliveries, but weak on downfield or over defenders).

A lot of it hinged off White making good reads early, but realistically he only had to worry about 4 of the defenders on the entire field as the rest were schemed out of position to be any sort of threat.

Pascal said...

Anon, try to keep up. The score was 28-0 one minute into the 2nd quarter. UGA then scored 35 points, WV scored 10. It ended 38-35. If you can't do the math, get someone to help you with it.

Phil said...

If UGA was so dominant how did they only outscore WVU 14-7 in the second half? And WVU drove the length of the field with time running off the clock. You were within 10 at halftime but couldn't make the comeback. Why? Because your defense never couldn't stop our running game. We'd still be running down your throat if the final gun hadn't sounded.

paulwesterdawg said...

Phil - use your noodle there bro. If WVU was so dominating, why didn't they score more than 7 points the final 40 minutes of the game?

We outscored you 35-10 and lost because we started off asleep and you didn't. Congrats. We all acknowledge that you won.

But if you want credit for being something you aren't, you won't find that here.

pwd

 
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