Scouting STATE: QB Power

State will run this play 10-12 times a game. They will run it out of every formation imaginable.  But, its the same play.  Generally, they pull the guard and lead with the guard and tailback.  Its an old school power blocking concept.  I’d call QB Power.  It’s a beautiful old school football play.  I’ve always loved it.


You’ll see them run it with 2TEs, trips, 1TE, 1 HB.  Goal line, middle of the field, etc etc.  It’s a bread and butter play for Mullen back to Tim Tebow and maybe before that.  Very simple play: QB takes the snap and allow for his back to lead him through the hole.  The back will block outside threat and the QB cuts inside or outside the block.


The guard also pulls and leads into the hole.


I could show you hundreds of examples of this play going for big yardage. But, on this particular play Georgia, specifically #52, whips the tackle and destroys it.   As always, if the DL whips the OL, run plays don’t work.


Notice how Georgia plays this alignment at the snap.  State has 3 WRs nearside.  And Georgia leaves 1 uncovered, using a safety over the top on that side.  The opposite side corner becomes almost an 8th box defender, because State has a TE on that side.  But this also creates an opportunity for a quick throw to the nearside, because STATE has them outnumbered here.  Again, probably a great job by UGA to play tendencies of a Dan Mullen offense.


Now, let’s contrast that directly with how the Ags played a similar play in 2016.  Notice the 1 TE, 1 RB.  Trips look for STATE.  Ags are in a 4 down look, with a LB walked out over the WR.  Safety on the far hash.  And Armani Watts is 15 yards off completely off the screen!


Ags try to bring their LB on a pressure from the wide side of the field.  But State runs to the boundary and has a huge numbers advantage, especially when you consider 1 defender is a small corner, DCS.  Ags really never have a chance.


It’s green grass for miles. Credit DCS with fighting off his block or this is a TD.  Note that Armani Watts is still not in the screen.  Where are you, sir?

Play Design That Will Work vs. A Grantham Defense

This is just a quick example of a play I came across while doing some film review for STATE.  Todd Grantham is a very good DC, with tons of NFL experience, but his DBs are generally very aggressive in run support and he is susceptible to plays that can bait the DBs using run action and throw it over their heads.  He will also play a lot of cover zero and cover 1 and expects his safeties to be very aggressive in run support.   This was a problem for him at Georgia and it is no small coincidence that this was the first offensive play that Georgia chose to run vs STATE.


1st and 10.  Georgia is in 2 TE look.  2 WRS and a single back. State counters with a 50 front. The Georgia WR on the nearside, motions into the box and sells a down block with some hesitation.


Georgia hands the ball to it’s back and all the defenses eyes are focused on him.  Even the corner #7.  Totally loses sight of his WR.  But, notice by motioning him into the box, they create an opportunity for distraction by the run action.  This doesn’t happen as easily or quickly if the WR is on the hash.  This is a great concept and something the Ags should be doing more with Kirk.


I’ve circled here are the 2 safeties for STATE. #41 and #38.  They came flying up the field after the initial handoff so fast, because they both read the blocks of the TEs.  So I believe STATE actually went cover 0 here.  Notice both TEs blocking and the safeties who I have circled.   Impossible to know, but there is absolutely nobody left in the middle of the field.  state3

The result is a TD on the first offensive play of the game.

To watch live, go to 1:34:

Simple Throws Are Simple, But Not Easy

Ags OC, Noel Mazzone is doing a nice job creating easy reads in the pass game for Kellen Mond.  But, those reads still look like Tolstoy too often to the freshman.  Let’s take a look at one of these plays.

Ags in a signature 1 back look on 3rd and 6.  4 WRs on the field.


Note that the free safety is at 18 yards depth at the snap and on the near hash.  He is probably in a cover 1 alignment and going to provide shade help on Ratley.   He moves out of the screen so I can’t be sure.  I’d also guess he is deeper than normal depth (typically about 15 yards) based on the field position and Ag’s tendencies.  Otherwise it looks like the Florida DBs are in man coverage, with the strong safety bracketing over Kirk.  The safety moves with Kirk.


3 WRs to the top of the screen as Christian Kirk motions to the top of the screen to create a trips look.  Ratley is the single WR to the nearside. Notice how both the strong safety and the slot corner make a fist over their heads.  Not a black power acknowledgement.  I believe they are making a switch call.   They are going to switch their responsibilities based on what routes Buckley and Kirk run.


Kirk waits and stacks behind Buckley.  He is going to use Buckley to rub the slot corner and cut off of this “rub”.  2 things need to happen:  1. Buckley has to create incidental physical contact with the DB and allow Kirk to get to the proper depth to convert a first down.  This is a common route combo to beat man coverage.


Buckley does a decent job of creating contact.  But the rub breaks down for 1 of 2 reasons.  Buckley does not get deep enough and/or Kirk is not close enough to him.  The result is that the DB easily switches off Buckley and plays Kirk on the out pattern.  Meanwhile, the strong safety now has Buckley.


But the beauty of this route combination and scheme is that Mond still gets to make an easy read.  The slot corner can’t play both WRs!  So, there is still an easy window to quickly hit Buckley once the slot corner jumps Kirk.  Note #14 wide open for an easy first down conversion.  But, that doesn’t happen and the ball goes to Kirk, who also is not at first down depth.  The result: bring on the punt team.

These type of route combinations are common in the Ag’s pass game and they work well to create simple, safe reads for Mond.  But, he is still having trouble getting to his secondary reads when needed.  This is a perfect example of that.

To watch live: Go to 4:08


Huge thanks to Woodlands Aggie.

Making of a MIKE LB


Gators are in 2 TE, 1 RB personnel.  Ags counter with a bear front.  This creates a simple read for Dodson. Or perhaps a stunt/blitz.  Don’t know the call, but I think he has made a read.


And he wastes no damn time.  Before the ball carrier touches the rock, he is off like a rocket through the B gap.


Then runs through the tackle who tries to combo off on him, but too late, and hits the RB 2 yards in the backfield.  2 yard loss.  Recognition and velocity to the ball create a negative play as opposed to a short gain.  This is where you begin to see great MIKE LBs separate themselves.

To watch live, go to 2:38:

Big thanks to Woodlands Aggie.