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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

War Of The Roses: Oregon Battle Plan

We're back in the war room to see how the 'Quack Attack' can exploit a vicious Buckeye defense?

My mentality has always been to test a team's strengths to see if they can consistently perform.

In Ohio State's case we know the Buckeye front four is as dominant as they come, but can they show up for four quarters?



If it's consistency you want look at RB LaMichael James.

He comes into this one with seven straight 100 yard games, and he's gone over the 150 yard mark six times this season.

I'd look to test the Buckeyes with heavy doses of James' speed to see if they can run with the gazelles. Tape up those ankles good and tight defense!

Can that ferocious OSU front four corral this stable of ponies?

Oregon should force the issue and maintain the spread offense mentality: force the defense to play fundamentally sound in the open field.

Now a huge challenge for the Buckeyes is Oregon's returning power element, 6'2" 240lb RB LaGarrette Blount. He brings a completely different hard nosed, I'll punch you in the face-dimension to that backfield.

I'd mix in Blount to keep that active Buckeye defense back on its heels. Especially with the Ducks in that spread shotgun, forcing the Buckeyes to run their Nickel package.

Those five DBs should feel awfully vulnerable with that big bull running down hill like a Pamplona stampede.

With all that being said the Ohio State defense is like nothing Oregon has seen before, and there will be times the run just won't work (OSU allowing 83 rush YPG).

That's when the Ducks need to take to the air.

For all their interceptions (23), Ohio State allowed teams to move the football through the air quite a bit before stiffening.


After holding linebackers with relentless run fakes Masoli needs to get the ball to dynamic tight end Ed Dickson up the seam. Then use "The Twig" WR Jeff Maehl to stretch the field keeping the defense honest.

I firmly believe that Jeremiah Masoli will have to make a handful of critical completions to keep drives alive. Which is something Oregon struggles with, as they're only 36% on 3rd down.

You want x-factors?  How 'bout turnovers?

The Ducks have struggled with fumbles this season and had three against Oregon State. You don't have 'nine lives' with this Buckeye defense, so the Ducks need to execute perfectly to keep their fast-paced attack churning.

Here's the skinny...

62% of the time the ball is going down the defense's throat. It's only a matter of time before James or Masoli spot daylight and go the distance. Tick tock, tick tock...

The Ducks will look to fly ice cold with no mistakes. Wear the Buckeyes down, make 'em bored--frustrated--hope OSU does something stupid and then Oregon's got 'em.

Read the Buckeye Battle Plan


BallHype: hype it up!

8 comments:

Homer S. said...

Again with the "you haven't seen a defense like Ohio State's". Is that all you guys have?

USC, UCLA, Arizona State, and Oregon State, were all "top ranked" defenses when before the Ducks played them.

Let me put it this way. If Ohio State had to play in the Pac-10, where we played every team in the conference, there is no way your defense would be in the top 25. Period.

joe56219 said...

Sounds like a good plan. The thing about Oregon, is that they wear teams down. That is why they are such a good 2nd half team. Can OSU keep up the pace for 4 quarters, I don't think so. Then you have to hope you won't have to.

Anonymous said...

Harley,

Good analysis... except your point about Oregon's inability to convert third downs, 36%. Ohio State, at a 37% rate, does not have a big advantage.

Now, looking at the first down chart, you see that Oregon had 141 first downs to go with their paltry 57 third down conversions. That's a ratio of almost 2.5 to 1. Most teams are at 2.0 or below. Why the discrepancy... Ducks just don't do third down!

Sean said...

Its true we don't do so well on 3rd down conversions but maybe you need to look at this:http://www.cfbstats.com/2009/leader/national/team/offense/split01/category25/sort02.html arrange the list by attempts and we find that Oregon is 91st in 3rd down attempts. That means we get alot of coversions on 1st and 2nd down.

As to this claim:

I firmly believe that Jeremiah Masoli will have to make a handful of critical completions to keep drives alive. Which is something Oregon struggles with, as they're only 36% on 3rd down.

Have you watched the Arizona game? Cal? Oregon State? All those games have some clutch throws near the end. The truth is Masoli seems to thrive under pressure, and rarely throws INTs (5).

Anonymous said...

The owner of every meaningful freshman rushing record in school history, James has eclipsed the 100-yard mark nine times as a rookie, including the final seven games of the regular season. He is averaging 6.9 yards per carry and has run for 14 touchdowns, the third-most in one season at UO.

James leads the nation in runs of 20-yards or more with 20, and his 582 yards against top 25 opponents is also the top total in all of college football.

Eric said...

THe thing about Oregon and Ohio State stats...Oregon actually played one of the toughest schedules in the nation. Top 5 I believe. That includes some of the best offenses in the nation.

5 Pac 10 teams were ranked in the top 25 in defense at the end of the Pac's nationally toughest OOC schedule. Now? Only two teams. That shows Pac 10 offenses are top notch...and the defenses are some of the best in the nation.

Hank Hosfield said...

There's so much emphasis on Oregon's speed and deception that many overlook how physical Oregon plays. This is a strong, hard-hitting bunch that beats up and wears the opposition down. Teams in our conference know this, and opposing coaches have commented on it often. Talk to Fresno State, South Florida, Oklahoma State--or Pete Carroll. That wasn't merely deception that ran over USC. Oregon believes they work harder than anyone, and they play like it. I'm impressed by the Buckeyes' front four. I'll be even more impressed if they can hang with us for four quarters. They better be ready to run and hit all day, with little time to recover, because that's what it's going to take to win in Pasadena.

Matt Barker said...

Hello, Homer?

You said, "USC, UCLA, Arizona State, and Oregon State, were all 'top ranked' defenses when before the Ducks played them."

Actually, that's not really true. There are no top-ranked defenses in the Pac-10. Whether it was before or after the Ducks played them.

Statistically, the best defense UO has face all season was not in the Pac-10, but rather the WAC. It was Boise State and the
Ducks posted a whooping nine points against the Broncos.

In terms of scoring defense, Boise State ranks 16th in the NCAA among FBS teams. Ohio State is fifth.

So no, the Ducks haven't seen as defense like the Buckeyes.

As for Eric's comment, the only thing it tells me is that there's no defense being played in the Pac-10, it doesn't really tell me that the offenses are top-notch.

And for Hank, our front four goes 8 or 9 deep. They will be ready.