WEEK 9 PREVIEW: OSU at PSU

Posted: October 27, 2012 in All Things Power Spread

OSU 8-0    PSU 5-2 

And now the meat of the season begins with the big name teams of Penn State, then Wisconsin and The Game to finish up the season.  Can the UME go undefeated in the very first year?? We will see…

First up is Penn State. Riding a baffling 5 game win streak with the loss of at least 13 starters, the biggest transition in 50 years, and an off season circus. On top of that is a former New England OC who brings in his pro passing spread concepts to a much entrenched power spread college football landscape. Besides the fact that pro passing spreads can now be stopped with passive aggressive defensive schemes, they are also much more difficult to learn than the power spread and traditional college schemes.

So far, this doesn’t seem to be the case at Penn State this year as QB McGloin has had a big year. What’s more surprising is the top notch defense. Losing the entire DBackfield and most of the DLine and bringing in much maligned DC Ted Roof from Auburn isn’t the expected recipe for success. But O’Brien has been very smart about using the clock and keeping the mistakes to a minimum to put his Defense in good positions.

O’Brien is a former defensive player who quickly became an offensive coach after college.  O’Brien learned the traditional option and passing schemes at Georgia Tech, then a more advanced hybrid pro/college passing spread scheme at Maryland. Eventually he wound up under Bill Belichick at New England. This is where O’Brien not only learned the full intricacies of the Pro Passing Spread, but most likely had some dabbling with Power Spread concepts while Josh McDaniels was on the staff.

Obviously, McGloin isn’t the type of running QB usually associated with the PS and with a new coaching staff and young Defense, there isn’t going to be much in the way of the new hurry up power spread schemes used in today’s game.  Still, things aren’t all peaches and cream for the Nittany Lions.  First, as with most of the Big 10, they have had a very easy schedule. Second, there defense did not fair well against teams who use at least some power spread ideas – Ohio & Northwestern. Third, while O’Brien is aggressive in going for it on 4th down, he has had other very “safe” tendencies that could run into trouble against a full blast aggressive PS team like OSU.

 

What I Would Like to See

Last week I wanted to see at least 5 plays on both sides of the ball where we executed properly to either create a well schemed big play or stop one with a well schemed defense. After a huge TD pass on the very first play from scrimmage by Purdue, our D settled down for the most part. A bad spell in the 2nd Half almost doomed us, but after Big Play-4 against our Defense, we stopped the bleeding with some help from Purdue, who went into a shell late with the lead.  The Good news is that Big Play #5 never did happen on our Defense.

On Offense, we again started sluggishly and only really had two Big Plays where everyone executed to finish off a great call or scheme.  But Miller’s Run, which saw him leave the field, got us to Big Play #4. Like the D, the O seemed stuck at 4. But then suddenly the late explosion by Guiton and company saw us explode with big play after big play to win one for OSU, the PS and the UME!  My final tally was 6 Big Plays for the Offense.

On a very important note that I did not cover in my Preview – our Special Teams started terrible again, but played well in the 2nd Half.

Of all weeks, WE MUST START WELL this week! No more bad mistakes or, on the road in Penn State, we will be doomed.  If we can execute early on at an 80% clip – which hasn’t been seen in the 1st Quarter yet – then we cold not only win this game, but blow this team out of the water.

 

PREDICTION

Call me a fan, but I think this is what we have all been waiting for – a good start on Offense, Defense and SPTeams earns us an eventual blow out of Penn State on the road for our best game to date.

Now, this isn’t just a fan talking BS. OSU is a team in transition, but Penn State is in even more transition, less experience and less talent. O’Brien has done a commendable job to date, but the odds are stacked against him as he gets into the tougher part of the schedule. Plus, I don’t want to make this an old school Pro Style Team vs a new school Power Spread Team, but the old Pro passing spreads can only go so far. And I still don’t trust Roof over on defense. I saw too much of his defenses over at Auburn over the last few years. OSU OC, Tom Herman, will not let O’Brien have the luxury of TIME. OSU will run Hurry Up all game if it has to.  Whatever it takes. And if the PSU defense is on the field too long, we may see big cracks appear.

I feel I’m setting myself up for some embarrassment here. Especially if we have a big letdown from the huge victory last week. But I will say this stays close for a quarter or so then it becomes a complete blowout with no comeback from McGloin this time. A hard less for Penn State, O’Brien and the pro offensive scheme.

~PS

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