Monday, January 10, 2011

Defensive Blocking

That's how Oregon can win tonight. This was the game plan laid out by ESPN's College Football Podcast with Ivan Maisel. The idea is as follows:
-Cam Newton: excellent runner
-Cam Newton: subpar passer
-What the Ducks should do: promote Newton passing, not Newton running

Essentially, the idea is to play a lot of single coverage and cheat up a safety. Additionally, the defensive line is also responsible for playing contain. Ends are told since middle school to ensure no one gets outside, but this is particularly true against Auburn. If a tackle tries to push you inside, sacrifice 'easy access' to the quarterback for the sake of keeping containment. Let your linebackers cover the rest - the D-line's sole responsible is to keep containment. They actually called for the linemen to act as 'blockers,' more responsible for occupying linemen than actually rushing the QB. You couldn't pull this off if Vince Young was slinging arrows, but Newton's accuracy may allow for it.

Personally, I think this idea is simply genius. It sounds downright luny initially - why would you ever tell your defensive linemen not to charge full bore ahead? Attack, attack! However, putting linebackers on Newton and relying on your secondary to knock down his average passes demonstrates one method for addressing nonconventional offensive packages with nonconventional tactics. If only someone had been brilliant enough to proffer such a unique approach before.

Another idea I liked that the podcast did last month was outlining their dream BCS match-ups. For the record, here's what I would have liked to see play out:

Rose Bowl: Wisconsin v. Alabama (UW the best team in the Big 10(+2) this year. Arkansas probably deserved to make it in over Alabama based on record, but this is the match-up I'd prefer to see. Note: SEC team in the Rose Bowl to accomodate important pairings involving the Pac 10(+1.5) and some non-BCS schools.)
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma v. Boise State (UConn didn't deserve a bowl game, and who wouldn't watch this classic rematch?)
Orange Bowl: Stanford v. Virginia Tech (Stanford absolutely annihilated Virginia Tech, and I admit I was worried about this beforehand. I still think this was a good pairing. Virginia Tech by all accounts ran roughshod over the ACC and demonstrated it deserved to be in a BCS game. I'd still watch this game if it were to be played again in February.)
Sugar Bowl: TCU v. Ohio State (I'm dubbing this the "Little Sisters of the Poor v. Annually Overhyped, Can't Beat the SEC" Bowl)
National Championship: Oregon v. Auburn. Easy.

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