Notre Dame gets to an early 20-0 lead by picking apart Manny Diaz’s pass defense and keeping the ‘Canes honest with the run game. The GIF below is a shovel off power read. Urban Meyer’s old shovel play at Utah was ran with speed option, a pulling backside guard and someone running the shovel (TE, Slot, RB). But for Brian Kelly, he ran it off power read, so the same backside pulling guard but off a mesh not speed option and the slot comes back for the shovel. In either instance you’re reading the playside DE. If he attacks the RB the look is to pitch the shovel underneath.
Below, the Irish run split-zone. If the QB pulls and keeps, he has a lead blocker in the h-back that you see blocking for the cutback up field. If #82 doesn’t block in the alley that play is stopped instead of going for 6. Miami has attempted this same play, but it’s a little less effective with Kaaya unwilling to pull and keep if the read is there.
Below, Notre Dame runs the inside zone hesitation step speed option play. What they do is leave the play side DE unblocked. He’s used to seeing the inside zone go away from him in this look. Instead, the Irish then arc block the ILB and stalk the CB and S to that side. This allows the pitch to come off easily without a read. The QB really isn’t going to be able to keep because the DE is unblocked, and with the guy reading pitch blocked, why not just pitch? Washington has been using this for much success too this year.
With everyone bitching about RPO’s in the ‘Canes offense, I think the bigger issue to look at is Brad Kaaya staring down his receivers, holding the ball for four seconds when you know you can’t take a sack (watching too many Dolphins lowlights) and his inability to read the flat defender in RPOs. You could actually see some negative body language towards him from the slot receiver and the back after a couple of reads-gone-wrong in the run game.
Below, watch Mr. NFL caliber QB stare down the receiver and throw a pretty weak ball on the out route.
Below, the outside receiver is going to block the most dangerous man. The corner is about 9 yards off so the MDM is the flat defender. The X will cross block him and the slot comes free for a bubble. Instead of pulling and throwing, he gives and the back is eaten alive.
Now, his pre-snap read isn’t bad at all, it’s reading run:
Count the box: 6 (run)
The shell: 2 high (run)
CB leverage: Off (pass)
Flat leverage: split difference (50/50)
It’s post-snap where he goes wrong.
The ‘Canes ran a series of successful RPO stalk/bubble from inside zone plays during the come back. I wish I had more film to use as a display, but when you saw the Hurricanes offense complete a succession of screens, that’s RPO fellas, and it worked when BK made the right read.
Above, Kaaya holds the ball for nearly 4 seconds before being sacked. He has to know on 3rd and 2, he can’t take a sack and he has another down if he throws the ball away. That’s terrible time/game awareness from a junior QB who has started for three seasons.
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