openslotreceiversWe take a little time out here to talk a little bit about college football. I have been reading Chris Brown’s analysis of the USC-OSU game that ended in a Trojan victory. I think Chris’s analysis of the blatantly unimaginative Buckeye offense is dead on.

Tressel’s style has been so bland and predictable over the last few years. I really think OSU needs a reall offensive coordinator and a QB coach who will teach the QB fundamentals to a raw talent like Pryor. I don’t think Tressel should be fired or any of that captrap; he is doing fine as a head coach. He likes to play a “conservative” game. Get a lead and sit on it, run the ball to control the clock, etc. etc. This is so frustrating to watch because you always get the feeling that the Bucks leave plays on the table. That there were essential plays missing. etc. Then there is this, look at the pic on the side:
USC literally lined no one up over the slot receivers, and yet not once did Tressel instruct Pryor to immediately take the snap and throw the bubble screen. For most teams this is an automatic check or sight-adjustment, and it is by no means difficult (every high school runs it). Unless you force the defense tocare that you are spreading the field, then all you’re doing is hurting yourself; Tressel would have been better keeping an extra fullback in the game. Thus the rushing results were obvious. In the diagram above, USC has only one safety back and eight guys in the box, compared to seven blockers for OSU, not counting Pryor. Tressel called an inside handoff that was stuffed — USC had more guys than OSU could block.

Pryor is a raw talent, he needs solid coaching on fundamentals of QB’ing, not how to throw, but how to make reads and checkdowns, that kinda stuff. Tressel Ball is too staid and old fashioned, all Pryor will learn is throwing mechanics and handing the ball off. Throwing to the open receiver to keep the defense honest and open up the running game is sound football strategy. Otherwise the D will load the box and kill your ground game. If the D gives you an open slot receiver then you take it until they learn to stop  it.

Its a testament to the players and the staff that the game was as close as it was. I am not meaning to disparage anyone. I just always get the feeling that something is missing when I watch the Buckeye offense, now I feel that others see the same missing elements and they are able to give concrete examples.

Check out more of Smartfootball.com, for some good analysis of the X and O’s side of the game.