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Scheme Chat: Miami and FSU Week Scheme Chat Recap

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Our Twitter #SchemeOfTheU chat recap from 10/30

NCAA Football: Miami at Notre Dame Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, October 30th, Marsh Thomas (@hurricanesmarsh) and I (@IMFB_Blog) held a Twitter chat called #SchemeOfTheU. In honor of the Florida State versus Miami rivalry we thought we would take an extra step and not only hold a scheme theme chat but also give the busy folks of SOTU fandom a chance to see the recap here.

To hold the chat, Marsh selected five scenarios from the Miami versus Florida State game in 2018, and I broke down those scenarios, what I would call and why on the chat. Here are the five defensive fronts that Marsh pulled from past FSU tape and my five play calls and responses. Enjoy!


Play One

1st and 10 I didn’t notice last night that the slot to the top of the field is covered so he is ineligible. However, that’s okay here. We’ll run inside zone read with the h-back arc blocking on the same side.

Below- I’ve drawn the concept against the look from FSU. This would be a nice running lane for the QB with the slot able to pick off the overhang and the h-back able to either pick up a missed block or the safety. The QB can break off a 15 yard run if the pull read is there.

This is what having a mobile quarterback is great for, especially against aggressive defenses like Leavitt’s that like inside pressure. The GIF below is a give read so the QB hands off but you can see the spacing if it was a pull read, and how the h-back stayed play side to lead block for the QB.


Play Two

During our chat (I was only giving myself 60 seconds to call a play based on the screenshot given) I called Hoosiers. You’ll see it down at play 5. I’ve chosen here to explain a different concept just because it’s boring to detail the same one twice. During games and on the SOTU game chat for the Pitt game- I talked about Stick. I love Stick.

The progression is the h-back to the slot. If the outside receiver pushes all the way out to the back pylon, using an outside release, the flat area at the front pylon should be open to hit the speed out to the slot. The h running the stick will be covered by what they’re showing.

On the top part of the screen, slant-arrow in the empty look is an easy call if you like what you see there. You could probably hit that or the speed out.


Play Three

On 2nd and 12 an O.C. needs to realize it’s about cutting the distance in half. Pick up 5-7 yards now and 5-7 yards on 3rd down. Too often guys want to get all 12 yards back on 2nd down. Can’t do it. FSU is prepared for Miami to do just that and it’s the perfect time to call a split zone with an RPO bubble.

For the ancient people on here that long for the days of the I-Formation and 32 Iso, those days are kinda dead. We saw what happened to Wisconsin when a team could get them into “and long” or even trailing in a game. It works great, until... someone can match up size with you.

Like Marsh said above, it’s the unwillingness to adapt. Dub Maddox wrote the book Adapt or Die and I fully believe in what Dub sells. I’ve read Adapt or Die, Helmet to Headset and What is Open? All three books circle back to the point that doing it the “old way” is just that, the old way. Innovate!

This is a split zone to our freshman (yes, this kid is 14) running back. The running back read for our split zone is play side B, play side A, then back side B.

Here is an RPO off of base zone but just see how the bubble works. This is the 2nd series against our rival and we take a bubble screen 80 yards to the house. It just takes one block and a little speed to turn a 5 yard gain into an 80 yard touchdown.


Play Four

On 3rd and 8 I can’t think of a better down and distance, or look, to run middle screen against than this. If that overhang linebacker (he’s the last man on the line of scrimmage at the top of the screen) brings pressure you’re throwing behind him, if he runs out the h-back has to get hands on him. Could we have also called Hoosiers here? Sure. What about a smash concept on the trips side with the RB running the “Texas” or angle route (Madden or NCAA Football fans)- yes.

But with the down and distance being what it is, the ‘Noles clouding the line and the fact that 3-4 defenses and especially Jim Leavitt like pressure- I think middle screen is a great idea here. What’s great about the concept is it is actually better to be bad at pass blocking. If a Zion Nelson can let his man rush inside, this is a great play.


Play Five

4th and 3 is a hard down and distance. As an O.C. you want to run the football but three yards when they know it’s a short yardage situation is a hard three yards. Below is a concept that I love to run. I like it so much that we can run it out of 2x2, 3x1, 3x2. I like it so much this is the 2nd time I’ve called it during the chat (even if I have changed play 2 here in this post).

The progression goes rhythm-read-rush-release. Thus, we’re going to split the formation with our read. Here let’s assume we’re throwing to the trips side. The QB will read the lookie who will try to settle in space. If that’s covered he reads the dig to the corner route. Honestly, the dig is open 90% of the time in my offense.


...at Miami...

In the end I expected Dan Enos to have learned a lot from his time at Alabama; in the realm of discipline, organization, and adapting your scheme to fit your talent. However, it seems like Enos has gone back to his scheme from Arkansas and that’s not benefitting Miami one bit. The ‘Canes are scoring at an all-time low and the offense is holding the ball but not getting into the end zone. With the kicking woes Enos has to find ways to score.

Think about the plays I’ve posted above: inside zone read, split zone with a bubble RPO, Hoosiers, Stick, and Middle Screen- all of those concepts are easily doable at Miami. Jarren Williams and/or N’Kosi Perry could run inside zone read, especially if they have a lead blocker. Brevin Jordan might be more of a passing threat but then you can use Michael Irvin II or Will Mallory as the “fullback” lead blocking for the QB.

A focus on the slot would be great if they can get the ball into a speedy wide receiver’s hands. The corner on Hoosiers would be great for someone like Jordan and the middle screen should be easy for quicker guards and centers like Corey Gaynor and DJ Scaife when he’s inside.