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Clinic Talk: Film Preview of Notre Dame vs the Miami Hurricanes

2016 edition of the Catholic Convicts vs the ‘Canes

NCAA Football: Stanford at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the 2016 edition of the 1980’s best college football rivalry, the Hurricanes of Miami (I hope you could hear Keith Jackson saying that) versus the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. For me this game evokes VHS tapes, commercials for Alf, Lou Holtz in a trucker hat, and the main networks trying to sell the game on the Catholics vs the Convicts moniker more than any annoying fan would do on a message board today. However, instead of playing for a national title chance like in almost every meeting from 83-90, these two teams meet up for the battle of the basement with the ‘Canes fully in the ACC and Notre Dame having some kind of shared custody thing.

The Irish fired their Defensive Coordinator, Brian VanGorder, so we won’t get to see his Costanza jacket in 2016. But we also won’t have as much film on the defense and its tendencies.

Above, take a look at the Irish check to an empty set. They check to a 3-1 defense with their linebackers flexed over the slots, 2 deep safeties, and a robber player to the trips. Essentially leaving Stanford with a draw (6 on 4 counting the QB) but come away with a sack from a 3-man line- and after all that noise from Ty of the Solid Verbal about ND’s quest for a sack.

Below, you can see ND align to Stanford’s 11 personnel 2x2 look (I call it Doubles). The Irish are flexed over the slot so any RPO game is out the window with that alignment except maybe a fade to the X receiver at the top of your screen. To the bottom, it looks like a double-move corner route could free the Z. The TE is well taken out of the play between the possible jam from the SAM and the FS over the top. Miami also uses this formation and personnel group often.

Below, there’s more 11 personnel 2x2 from Stanford and this time Notre Dame lines up relatively the same, and brings pressure and a line twist. Stanford completes the nice out route which Kaaya is supposedly so adept at throwing.

Below, Check out Stanford using the old Madden fake dive/toss play against this stacked between the tackles look from ND.

Above, the Irish run a 21 personnel look from the gun down by the goal line. This is a common Oregon under Chip Kelly look with the TB a step to the side of the QB, which indicates inside or split-zone. If he was more side car (out over the OT) I would assume outside zone (OZ).

As you can see in the GIF above, when the DE squeezes on the running back the QB pulls and follows the H-Back. The diagram below is from my article on Mark Richt’s use of split-zone. In normal split-zone the H-B will kick the DE, but with SZR (Split Zone Read) the H-Back avoids the DE and blocks a LB or Safety in the alley.

In the GIF and diagram below, you’re seeing the use of a classic passing concept to layer your WR’s across the field.

This is an interesting play because it’s hard to tell exactly when the draw was ordered. Is this an in the huddle call? It wouldn’t see so except the OG that blows up field. Is this something the QB yelled when he saw the post snap look? One way or another you have to spy mobile QB’s and when you don’t- this happens.

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