Posted: January 12, 2015 in All Things Power Spread


Pregame the Ducks seemed very tight and the Buckeyes loose and free. Could we get the big upset due to the pressure on the Ducks like I said in my preview?

Ducks come out on FIRE! Short passes wide then power up the gut. Right down the field, 10s a play! One fumble and one near fumble, but Ducks keep driving. AGGRESSION=MAKE YOUR OWN LUCK. Fake gut pass wide to true freshman Mighty Mite Charles Nelson. Wide, Middle, Wide. Middle run. Mariota scramble for 1st down. Back to pass, 7yd TD Lowe! UNBELIEVABLE TEMPO VARIETY! 7-0.

Bucks trying to power it, but Ducks D selling out for the run as I said they would. Power scramble by Cardale on the first 3rd down, but he gets caught by a spy on the second 3rd down. Great Punt to Ducks 10 by Johnston! Special Teams.

After all the wide passes and middle runs, now Oregon hits a big one across the middle to start the second drive. OSU stays strong on 2 runs and on 3rd down my man Nelson drops a first down completion. Twittered Chris Fowler on Nelson and Chris correctly calls it a Freshman mistake in a big game. HUGE PUNT TO 2 BY WHEELER. Special Teams.

Big 3rd down pass by Cardale to Corey Smith! Right back with another 26 yd gain down sideline GREAT CATCH MARSHALL off back of Senior Dargan. Again, Oregon will NOT let OSU power up gut! Another 3rd+long. Jones tries another Power Scramble – stopped! 4th+3 Shovel Pass Marshall barely gets it against Oregon blitz. 2 plays later Elliot breaks loose right up the gut for a 33 yd TD! 7-7. Oregon selling out for run, but this time got burned – big block Vannett and great run! Great plays by Cardale made that drive.

Mix run, short pass and another 1st down Oregon. But then Fickell adjusts – brings run blitz creating 3rd+12. Mariota hits Stanford long right on the numbers and it’s dropped! Second dropped 1st down completion by Oregon. Loss of WRs hurting for now, but the Ducks will keep coming. Long way to go in this one.

After a GREAT PR BY MARSHALL (special teams!) Elliot gets 6, Cardale WR Screen to Thomas for 7. Huge PI penalty in endzone on Troy Hill covering long bomb to Devin Smith. This happens to Hill a lot. Right now injuries to WR and DB looking bad for Ducks, but – again – long way to go. Another big 17 yd run off left tackle then power up gut by Elliot with Ducks selling out again! OSU just more powerful right now. See if they can keep it up. Nice play action call by Herman out of Pistol – 1 yd TD pass to Vannett in just over TD pylon in left corner for TD! 14-7    

Vannett a big block for first TD and catch for second TD!

After 11 yd run Tyner, more pressure by Bucks D. Penalty by the shaken Ducks. Then Powell breaks up 3rd dn pass! Another nice PR by Marshall.



Another BIG 3RD DOWN POWER SCRAMBLE BY CARDALE for 17 yds! After short pass, Cardale mishandles the mesh on read option to Elliot for a big TURNOVER! May not be his last… Ball handling! Barrett’s forte.

Ducks a deep middle pass to Marshall for 20, then wide screen to Stanford for 1, then wheel route wide to Marshall for 17. GREAT TEMPO VARIETY! From Bucks 10, Fickell now mixes pressure, faking blitz, and bringing strong zone coverage. 2 passes net 3 yds. 3rd+7, Mariotta fakes sweep left and bootlegs right, but great discipline by DE Bosa and LB Perry staying home! 4th+Goal from 3, again the Ducks fake wide left and run read option up the gut. Fickell/Ash had their D prepared as Senior LB Curtis Grant fakes going with wr in motion left and slams the middle on a run blitz. S Powell does the same and Tyner is stopped at the inch line!!(see video) FANTASTIC SCHEME AND EXECUTION!!

On their own Goaline, big 26 yd blast again by Elliot after another big block by Vannett! Unbelievable. Quick out pass now to Vannett. Another power run by Elliot for 5. Can’t stop the Bucks power which is going to open up the passing. Right on cue, HUGE CROSSING ROUTE UNDERNEATH COVERAGE 50 YDS TO COREY SMITH THEN BIG HIT TROY HILL FUMBLE RECOVERY DUCKS HARDWICK! Holy Cow. Now the depleted DBs of of the Ducks coming up big. TEAM TEAM TEAM. Great read and pass off play action by Cardale.

Momentum of Bucks stymied as they have turned it over 2 drives in a row. Could be 28-7. AGGRESSIVE D BY THE BUCKS. Stuff run then bring 2 LBs on big Blitz for Sack. Mariota does a good job holding onto the ball.

HUGE PASS ON  3RD+12 BY CARDALE AS HE LOOKED LIKE HE WAS GOING TO SCRAMBLE BUT KEPT HIS EYES UP – 45 YDS TO DEVIN SMITH WHO BEAT SENIOR DARGAN!! Great pass route schemes Herman – simple brilliance on the deep post from the left side of field with Smith catching it near the right sideline!! Cardale powers to the Goaline Inverse Read Option. 3rd+inches. Quick Huddle, Quick Snap, QB Sneak TD!! 21-7. Tom Herman calling a fantastic game. Using Power when he can, but keep mixing in the Spread enough to keep the Ducks off balance.

Another penalty as Oregon is barely hanging in. 3rd+11 28yd pass to Stanford over the middle beating OSU zone blitz! Great route scheme now by Helfrich! Up Tempo again and another crossing route 15 yds Marshall. A lot of passes open over the middle on these great passing schemes. Now Fickell dials up the blitzes, but on 3rd+8 Mariota eludes pressure and a big completion to mighty mite Nelson for 14 and another 1st down. This time Nelson hangs on despite the big hit by CB Apple! Now OC Frost dials up two up gut runs leaving a 3rd+4. Why all the power runs by a speedy, smaller Oregon? Mariota  had his TE open in the flat but couldn’t get a handle on the ball off the play action and overthrows him. FG 21-10. 

OSU tries to run out the clock. Usually I’m not for this, but Balanced Aggression calls for this versus an offense like Oregon. Oregon tries a trick play to get in FG position. No go. Halftime



Everything like I said except Elliot with the big runs. I saw the Special Teams coming into play. Both teams Aggressive. Oregon’s Defense selling out for the run. OSU’s mixing it up. Cardale hitting intermediate passes early.

The big runs by Elliot, starting with the first one, has been the difference. The Power part of the Power Spread, when executed with top talent is near unstoppable. The Ducks were ready for it, but OSU just rolling with great play calling by Herman/Meyer and great schemes. Oregon needed to stop that running game to put more pressure on Cardale. Now Cardale gets time in the pocket and has done great without the pressure.

I also am surprised how much Oregon ran power up the middle after a great game plan to start. Helfrich/Frost have been great scheming and play calling all year so my guess is they are setting up the Buckeyes for a lot of big passes over the middle in the 2nd Half. The middle has been the only big weakness on the Bucks Defense so far. Great job by Fickell/Ash and the players!

With Power Spread teams things can turn fast. The Buckeyes need to stay aggressive, which they will. The question is whether Oregon can do big damage in the passing game. They can’t overpower the Buckeyes, but they need to stop the run and put pressure on Cardale. OHIO STATE 21-10



Again Oregon can’t stop the Read Option. Elliot for 22. Fly Sweep misdirection with a bigger line and top RB. Good execution with a big QB that can run. IMPOSSIBLE. Cardale for 5. Elliot for 6. Moving the chains. Elliot 8 more after incomplete leaving 3rd+1. This time Elliot is stopped, but not Cardale on 4th+1 who can’t find room up the middle on a sneak so races to the edge and gets it on the left sideline! Disheartening for Oregon. POWERspread. Nice play action out pass for 7 yds to Marshall, BUT HE BOBBLES IT AND IT’S INTERCEPTED BY LB MATTINGLY!! WHAT THE…. pass was behind Marshall, but he needs to make that grab.

On the very next play 70 yd Touchdown pass to Marshall!! 21-17! OSU called a delayed LB blitz, but a beautiful pattern matching again by Helfrich. When Safety came up for TE crossing, Marshall split the zone on the deep post.

OSU driving again. Elliot for 13 and 9. Again, with fly sweep misdirection. Impossible. 3rd+2 the Ducks sell out to stop Cardale, but on 4th+1 they can’t stop Elliot. On 1st down, nice play action call, but the Ducks brought the big blitz out of nowhere. Cardale tried to throw the ball out of bounds under pressure by LB Coleman, but lost the ball and DE Armstead recovered! Geez…

Now Ducks from OSU 23 start to mix it up better like first drive of the game. WR fly sweep to Marshall for 9. Mariota keep for 8 more. Still OSU run blitzed Tyner for a loss of 2 as Oregon continues to pound too much up the middle. Then on 3rd+4 from the OSU 6, CB Zone Blitz by Doran Grant with great coverage. The TE almost came down with it – just out of the endzone. FG 21-20. Buckeye Victory – nice defensive stand and puzzling play calling Oregon.

Elliot for 8, then 4. Then empty back set slant one-on-one coverage for WR Thomas vs Sub CB Seisay. Match-up football Pro style. Then back to PS. Elliot for 10. Cardale to Samuel out of the backfield for 8. 3rd+3 Cardale power scramble up gut again. 1st down! Cardale to Marshall fo 5, then Elliot pounds for 11 then 9 for the TOUCHDOWN! 28-20!! FANTASTIC PLAY CALLING BY HERMAN!!



Mariota to Lowe for 20 again across the middle. Almost interception by Lee on another great zone blitz scheme by Fick! Then more zone blitz pressure, mixed coverage and inc to Marshallj on wheel route, coverage Reeves. FANTASTIC STUFF FICKELL!!

Marshall 5 yd sweep. Elliot for 12. Play action to Elliot, pass Thomas again, this time an out to the right sideline that he turns up for 23. Sweep Corey Smith. Now Empty Backfield, Cardale big pass to Marshall on switch route 19 more. Samuel run for 6. Elliot 4 and 2 TOUCHDOWN!! 35-20. INCREDIBLE PLAY CALLING BY HERMAN/MEYER!! KEEP MIXING IT UP WHILE OREGON FOLOWS ELLIOT! PS BALANCE!

Big KR by mighty mite Nelson aborted due to holding penalty. The rhythm, balance and momentum all on the Buckeyes side. 9 yds to TE, but another penalty. 9 yd power run Tynder for 1st dn. Mariota gets knocked out of game by Bosa. Jeff Lockie in. Mariota back in for 3rd+26. Debacle, though he completes it for 19. Only half a quarter left.

Now Elliot out of the pistol for 8 more and another 1st dn! Fake jet sweep Elliot up gut! Great schemes/play calling continue. Jones a power scramble on 3rd+7 barely stopped. 4th+1 Meyer says GO FOR IT!! Nope Time Out and Punt. Oregon 15.

Scramble Mariota. Flair to Tyner, huge hit Doran Grant! Then great coverage by Grant. Then LB Darren Lee on 4th Down pass! GAME OVER!!

Elliot and Cardale blast down to the Goaline. Elliot dots the I! 42-20.




What a job by the Buckeyes – The Epitome of a Power Spread Team

WOW. I didn’t expect this.  I said OSU blowout if Oregon crumbled under pressure. They seemed tight in the pregame, but started off great. Super Tempo Execution. But then the 2 dropped 1st down passes and the big run by Elliot and from there it was the POWER of the Power Spread show by OSU. This wasn’t Oregon crumbling from pressure. This was Oregon crumbling from Ohio State.

Urban Meyer did a fantastic job preaching Aggression and not worrying about the mistakes. Last year vs Clemson I saw too much attention to the mistakes. Not this time around. Stay aggressive and go for it. Don’t worry about the mistakes. This is how we played.  Loose,  full of energy – ready to Rock-n-Roll! This is PS Energy and aggression. It’s more important than mistakes. OSU went for it in a way that Pro Football has never seen. So yes there were mistakes. There were also a ton of big plays created from aggression.

There was a lot that went into this OSU Championship. But first and foremost Oregon was out coached. It looked like someone on the Ohio State side had “been there, done that”. That someone was Urban Meyer.

He must share the accolades though as Power Spread is nothing if it isn’t about TEAM TEAM TEAM.

Urban took care of the aggression. Tom Herman took care of the second part – VARIETY. His play calling and schemes were absolutely fantastic as they have been all year!! It wasn’t just Elliot all day as it may have appeared. Herman mixed up the play calling and alignments to keep the Ducks off balance. Can’t just run Elliot. Go back and see 3rd Quarter.

But when we did run Elliot – even with the Ducks selling out to stop the run – the execution was fantastic. Oline coach and fellow coordinator Ed Warinner had his OLine and TEs executing perfectly. RBs coach Stan Drayton, who was in Florida with Urban, has also done a fantastic job with the backs in the option schemes. Even if Elliot goes down, just like our QBs, I guarantee we have others to pick up the slack. The system is in place and it’s about time these coaches get their due.

Power Spread Football combined with talent and execution is literally unstoppable. This is the closest we will ever come to Woody Hayes type football ever again. Can’t run the same sets and plays over and over, but you can win with power – even if the other team knows it’s coming – as long as it’s power spread.

And now for the Defense. Any fans calling for Luke Fickell firing were out of their minds as I said all last year. The combo of Chris Ash and Larry Johnson added to Fickell and Kerry Coombs was working well all year. Schemes looked solid and simple with Aggressive Variety. Once the new players on D meshed with the veterans it all came together just in time when Barrett went down for the year. The defensive staff used more subs this game – for the tempo. Great job all around! 20 pts against Oregon is as good as a shutout!

The Urban Meyer Experience Factor

Im not sure why Oregon kept trying to pound the middle. At the end of the 1st half I figured it was to set up the deep crossing routes. But besides early in each half Oregon didn’t maintain their spread balance and they simply weren’t big enough to keep powering the middle. Again, I think this was some panic and inexperience with the coaching staff led by Helfrich. They didn’t stick to the game plan and stay aggressive. OSU did. Only OSU’s balance is more towards the Power side. It doesn’t matter, but you have to stick with what got you here and not lose your balance.

I should have paid more attention to the Urban Meyer experience factor. Instead I was focused on the fact that OSU hadn’t played a team like this all year. What I learned is that if your own team plays like this – Power Spread – then it’s a big help. A help Florida State didn’t have. Combined with the fact that OSU simply was coming together at the right time on both Offense and Defense, regardless of the QB, was just too much for Oregon.

The End of an Era – The Dawn of Power Spread Football: Jim Tressel, Drew, Kurt & Urban Meyer

And so this is an end and at the same time a beginning. The UME is the Urban Meyer Experience that I started yelling about before Urban was even officially named head coach. In reality this goes back to when Kurt and I started yelling about what we called Power Spread back in 2009. We loved Jim Tressel, but also knew the schemes needed to change. They have and now OSU is National Champions again.

The Power Spread is here for good. Soon expect it in the NFL. I can’t wait to see how it works with that kind of talent. Then the future. Maybe a rebirth of the Steve Owen A-Formation with flexible snaps to a multitude of players – not just the Quarterback. Total Team Sport again. We will see…

As for powerspread.net,  I will take time to organize my own blog and do more to consistently share all the ideas I have and find simple ways to explain heavy concepts. Maybe Kurt will get more involved again in the future. There may also be some surprising developments happening soon.

In the end this isn’t just for Kurt or I or Ohio State or Football or Sports in general. It’s for everyone. It’s a paradigm shift and I feel I saw it first in the game I played and still love. My love for Ohio State made me study their loss to USC in 2008 until I understood. Kurt joined me. Others have heard and are trying to understand or at least interested to see where it all goes. The love is where we are all headed. It’s all you take with you.









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