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CL34's Causes of Offensive Drive Failure: Q1

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by Darth Snow, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    By CL34 at Rivals.

    http://colorado.forums.rivals.com/threads/causes-of-offensive-drive-failure-q1.11597/#post-165122

    This analysis series will focus on the last series of downs on all of the drives where CU had to punt. That means there will be no first downs reviewed here. The purpose here will be to see how and why the offense was unable to convert for first downs throughout the game. This analysis will start with the first quarter possessions however, it will cover all the possession where CU had to punt, so stay tuned.

    Instead of doing a full breakdown on each play, this analysis will recap the drive up to the final series and then on that series just try to isolate the root cause of the failure on each play to move the sticks.

    Quarter 1 Possession 1

    Recap

    This was the first offensive series of the game for CU after Arizona put together a nice opening drive for a field goal. The first play of the game results in a first down for CU, Liufau passes to Fields on a slant off of a run/pass zone option for an 11 yard gain. The second play is a well blocked Power run to Lindsay to the left side for 4 yards. This play and the next play are both run out of the I-Form Big formation which features 2RBs and 2TEs. The third play is out of the same formation as the play before but is a 5 yard hitch to Spruce who picks up 6 yards for the second first down of the drive. This is a nice combination of plays to get offense into a rhythm to start the game.

    1-10 Colo 25 Liufau, Sefo pass complete to Fields, Shay for 11 yards to the COLO36, 1ST DOWN COLO
    1-10 Colo 36 Lindsay,Phillip rush for 4 yards to the COLO40 (Matthews, J.;Magloire Jr., P).
    2-6 Colo 40 Liufau, Sefo pass complete to Spruce, Nelson for 8 yards to the COLO48, 1ST DOWN COLO

    Final Series

    On first down, the play is a run to Lindsay design to go through the B-gap between Kough and Nembot. The play fails because Kough misses his block on the LB. It appears that Kough might have thought Kelley was coming with him and the LB wasn't his responsibility or maybe he just whiffed pretty hard. Regardless the LB slips through to make the tackle at the LOS. Due to this slow down, the backside DE was able to also pursue the play from the backside, as Irwin did not get a good initial block on this player or perhaps was expecting combo block from Kronshage.

    [​IMG]

    On second down, Lindgren tries to open up the playbook. He goes with an option reverse to Fields. As we see, the defense was caught totally off-guard by the initial option; the LBs are inside and the DBs are ten yards off of the LOS. If the play was just a regular option, this is probably a huge gain, especially if Liufau pitches to Ross. The only guy on the Arizona defense that really seemed to see what was happening was the DE to the field side of the play. He plays disciplined, assignment football and tackles Fields for a loss. This was actually a fairly creative play call, maybe too creative but clearly not conservative.

    [​IMG]

    Third down is now a perilous situation because of the risk taken on second down. The play call here is a double screen. Version of this play have not worked all year, basically a quick screen to RB on the boundary side. Not sure if Liufau is suppose to make a read here or not, but the throw to the RB doesn't make much sense because there are two DBs and an LB to that side of the field with only one WR. To the other side, not only is there more space but the numbers situation is even as there are an equal amount of blockers to defenders. Had the ball been faked to the RB and then thrown to the WR Ross, the play actually looks like it could have a ton of potential, especially with how fast Ross is and how far the DBs are playing off of the LOS. With that said, based on how quickly Liufau gets rid of the ball and how he doesn't really sell the play as a screen, it would appear that maybe the play was predetermined to go to the RB. This is just really frustrating.

    [​IMG]

    Quarter 1 Possession 3

    Recap

    Coming off the long TD to Fields, CU starts the drive where they left off. The Buffs rack up three consecutive first downs and even over come a holding penalty. The buffs utilize the Power play early in the drive for a long gain and Liufau makes a great play stepping up in the pocket and hitting Fields on a deep out for a 23 yard gain.

    1-10 Colo 24 Lindsay,Phillip rush for 12 yards to the COLO36, 1ST DOWN COLO
    1-10 Colo 36 Liufau, Sefo pass complete to Spruce, Nelson for 12 yards to the COLO48, 1ST DOWN COLO
    1-10 Colo 48 Lindsay,Phillip rush for 6 yards to the ARIZ46 ( PENALTY COLO
    holding (Callahan, Shane) 10 yards to the COLO38, NO PLAY.
    1-20 Colo 38 Liufau, Sefo pass complete to Fields, Shay for 8 yards to the COLO46
    2-12 Colo 46 Liufau, Sefo pass complete to Fields, Shay for 23 yards to the ARIZ31, 1ST DOWN COLO, (a great deep crossing pattern after Liufau steps up in the pocket.

    Final Series

    On first down, CU runs a trap play to the left side of the line behind a pulling Callahan and picks up 4 yards. This is not a bad play and puts CU ahead of the sticks.

    [​IMG]

    Second down, CU runs the same play in the other direction. However, there is a catch, and CU does this a couple times per game. CU has swapped the position Sean Irwin and Stephane Nembot. Nembot is now outside Kronsage. In theory, this kind of makes sense, just ram it down their throats. However, this alignment totally tips of Zona who now expects run. Ultimately the issue here is not that Zona has seven in the box vs our six blockers. It appears that Nembot may have read his blocking assignments incorrectly. We see here, he blocks down and obviously devastates the pile in the middle. However the DE was already slant inside, so the decision to block down was a bit redundant. Maybe he really should have just combo'd instead of wholesale blocking down? Had he either gone upfield or kicked out the LB, chances are the play executes much better. Lindsay still displays some nice vision picking up two yards, squeezing between the pile and Huckins.

    [​IMG]

    Third down and four, CU aligns in an 11 personnel shotgun formation. Both Irwin and Fields motion pre-snap indicating man to man. The key to this play is the field side OLB that has aligned on the LOS right outside of their DE. Kronshage / OL identifies him as a rusher but he is in fact in man to man on Lindsay. This throws off the protection for the whole play. At the snap, this miscalculation causes a rusher to come free up the middle. Zona only brought five rushers, so the protection should have been adequate based on numbers.

    This play ends up being a huge waste because the scheme was actually quite good. It's a standard rub/pick design where Ross's man gets caught up in the traffic from both Irwin and Fields running crossing patterns in the other direction. Liufau almost makes a great play to stiff arm a defender and make the throw. It looks like Ross may have underestimated the throw and couldn't quite make the adjustment to make the play.

    [​IMG]

    Diego Gonzales misses a 43 yard field goal on fourth down.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
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  2. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    Quarter 1-2 Possession 4

    Recap

    This is the last legitimate drive of the first half for CU and it comes after a fumble recovery by Jordan Carrell on a botched shotgun snap from the Zona center. This also marks where the CU defense starts to gain a foothold against the Zona offense. They would go scoreless from here to the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, after this drive, the CU offense reel off three straight three and outs before another dumb mistake by Zona grants CU excellent field position to convert for a TD right before half time.

    To start the drive CU gets set back by several holding penalties but a ferocious rushing attack more than mitigates the setbacks:

    1-10 Colo 49 Carr, Patrick rush for 1 yard to the 50 yardline (Magloire Jr., P).
    2-9 Colo 50 Liufau, Sefo pass complete to Fields, Shay for 15 yards to the ARIZ35, 1ST DOWN COLO
    1-10 Ariz 35 Carr, Patrick rush for 2 yards to the ARIZ33 (Zellers, P.), PENALTY COLO holding 10 yards
    to the ARIZ45, NO PLAY.
    1-20 Ariz 45 Carr, Patrick rush for 6 yards to the ARIZ39 (Parks, W.), PENALTY COLO holding (Nembot,Stephane) 10 yards to the ARIZ49.
    1-24 Ariz 49 1st and 24.
    1-24 Ariz 49 Lindsay,Phillip rush for 15 yards to the ARIZ34
    2-9 Ariz 34 Lindsay,Phillip rush for 11 yards to the ARIZ23, 1ST DOWN COLO, out-of-bounds
    1-10 Ariz 23 Lindsay,Phillip rush for 5 yards to the ARIZ18, out-of-bounds
    3-4 Ariz 17 Start of 2nd quarter, clock 15:00.
    3-4 Ariz 17 Liufau, Sefo pass complete to Spruce, Nelson for 6 yards to the ARIZ11, 1ST DOWN COLO,
    2-5 Ariz 18 Powell,Christia rush for 1 yard to the ARIZ17
    3-4 Ariz 17 Liufau, Sefo pass complete to Spruce, Nelson for 6 yards to the ARIZ11, 1ST DOWN COLO

    Final Series

    First down from the AZ 11 yard line for CU.

    On first down, CU is in a Big I-Form which features a 22 personnel grouping with 2RB and 2TE to go along with 1WR. CU had run plays successfully out of this formation for most of the first quarter. Here CU runs the Power again. Zona crowds the LOS expecting run. Got no problems with this call. The Zona LB simply recognizes the play and slides through a seam before Callahan can get off of the combo block to impede his progress. His presence causes Lindsay to sift wide and then he is able to wrap Lindsay's legs until reinforcements assist on the tackle. Had this LB not made the play, Lindsay probably scores. The play was otherwise blocked to perfection with a huge crease to the endzone.

    [​IMG]

    Second down features a play that I believe was daylighted by @SD Buff in another thread. CU returns to their typical 11 personnel shotgun formation. Zona brings five defenders at the snap but the protection is decent enough, though one stumbling blitzer does grab at Liufau's towel. For some unknown reason, Sean Irwin draws a double team while Ross runs a drag across the middle, opening up a void the middle for the field for Fields on a post. Liufau may have been a little late on the throw and maybe was more disturbed than he let on by the pressure but probably leaves one on the field here.

    [​IMG]

    Third down features a similar passing concept, where a receiver fills a space clear by another receiver. In this case, Lee lined up at RB runs angle route and follows Fields who has run a drive route/shallow crossing pattern attempting to vacate the middle. Zona is sitting back in a zone and is able to come forward to make the tackle short of the sticks. This play maybe makes a bit more sense if we had decided to go for it on fourth down with perhaps the QB power that Liufau would later score two TDs on. However, also understand taking the points after the last drive yielded a missed FG. MacIntyre's philosophy is often not to make coaching mistakes to lose games and allow the players to go out on the field and win it with their play.

    [​IMG]

    This particular series in the redzone somewhat underscores some personnel issues that we have. We don't have a jump ball redzone threat on a fade or a big target that we can just force the ball to on a back shoulder throw. Some speculate that Bobo might develop into this guy but he hasnt proven it yet. Huntley may eventually become this guy as well.

    Please remember that each of these offensive possessions had converted a number of first down previously and so studying the offense in this way may cast it in a dire light. That is not the intent here. The intent is just to see where the actual shortcomings occur. In a few cases, the OL missed an assignment, in a few cases the Zona front seven made nice plays by either disguising their intentions or making a good play. The receivers and Liufau had two plays where maybe the throw could have been better but at the same time, a WR could have made a noteworthy catch but didn't. The offense was moving the ball, so it's hard to totally chastise Lindgren at this point aside from the option reverse. Maybe he could have taken another shot or two to the endzone on the last two drives earlier in the possession. He elected not to probably in an effort to be efficient. So enough blame to go around.

    The next post will feature quarter two's setbacks.
     
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  3. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    I still haven't had a chance to watch the game, so this was weird for me to look at. What continues to frustrate me is that I'm not seeing it being a case of the other team simply having talent that was blowing things up. Against Oregon, CU was simply overmatched against Buckner and then they had the team speed elsewhere to recover from a lot of mistakes. I can accept that to a degree.

    Against Arizona, what I'm seeing is that guys are being put in position to make plays. Sure, the DC is going to make the exact right call at times and the QB is not always going to recognize and have an audible to move the team out of a doomed play. That's football. I can accept that will happen several times a game.

    But the frustration I'm having is that there are so many little breakdowns. Maybe Sefo doesn't sell a fake. Maybe the back misses the cutback lane. Maybe the WR doesn't make the correct sight adjustment to the coverage. Maybe one OL whiffs on his block. Maybe Sefo doesn't find the open man or makes a poor throw. We all know that CU doesn't have the type of overwhelming talent and playmakers to overcome that stuff by just getting a Paul Richardson type the damn ball and letting him make a spectacular, explosive play outside of and regardless of whatever else is going on during the play. CU needs to play with efficiency and needs to be able to trust all 11 guys to do their job on any given play. It's a veteran team that's been in the system for a while now. And they're simply not executing with any consistency.

    P.S. Thank you @Darth Snow and please thank CL34 again for letting you bring this to Allbuffs. It's great content and a fantastic opportunity to talk real football while developing more informed opinions on what is going on.
     
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  4. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    This is a better version of my first post after he did this for the oregon game. And yea, cl34 is a good dude
     
  5. SBG

    SBG Formerly known as EFNMB Club Member Junta Member

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    I'll go through this later. Only issue was the first one was that it was a bit homerish. If every team perfectly executed every play it'd be 80-67 type of Big 12 games. Missed assignments and missed catches are such a part of the game, especially w/r/t college ball.

    If like to see some analysis of Arizonas plays after they started off really strong.

    But it does lend credence that it's our talent holding back. Gave me pause evaluating MM.
     
  6. AeroBuff99

    AeroBuff99 Club Member Club Member

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    Less talented teams have to rely on perfect execution to win, more talented teams can win despite poor execution because they are bigger/faster/stronger. That is why Navy and Airforce succeed against other teams when you would expect that they shouldn't (Army). They run systems that when executed require perfect execution by the defense to stop and they are pretty good at running those systems. They still get beat though because they still make mistakes and when they do, the other more talented team wins out even if they crap the bed.
     

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