Diagnosing one play

LIV4GOD

HR All-State
Nov 23, 2020
810
1,684
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BRIAN FERENTZ: It's a read play, so there is an option there to hand the ball off. We chose to shovel, and obviously, it didn't end the way we wanted.

We would have liked to score a touchdown, but the good news is we maintained possession of the ball.
What an asinine answer. It's just as dumb as Petras' decision.

OF COURSE, we maintained possession . . . it was a shuttle pass. If dropped it's just an in complete pass.

The risk aversion is nauseating.
 

obfuscating

HR Heisman
Jan 8, 2016
7,770
4,408
113
I know there are a lot of plays to analyze, but there was one play in particular that had it all. Play call, scheme, formation, execution, read; it was all there. It is on Iowa's first drive, 2nd and goal from the 9. It ended in a 1 yard loss with a little inside flip to LaPorta, but, there is so much more to it than that.

Formation: Spencer in shotgun, Bruce in the backfield to his right. Ragaini far left with, Brecht far right. Lachey on the LOS on the right with LaPorta off the line to his right. The unbalanced formation made the linebackers shade to the tight end side, and with a single high safety, it left Brecht in man coverage on the right with his corner playing 7 yards off of him and Ragaini man coverage on the left with his corner playing 10 yards off of him. I love the formation and the personnel because it put all of the playmakers in their best spots and the tall QB can see over the top of the defense to read what the safety is going to do.

Motion and pre-snap read: So we send Ragaini in motion to the right and Illinois responds by rotating the single high safety with him and the left corner rotated into the safety position. Now, at this point the only contain the Illinois had on the left was the defensive end, which you would think should have been the next read because we know that we are going to counter Bruce to that side of the field post-snap as well as LaPorta. To me breaking it down, the defensive end is all that mattered.

Play-call: It was a great play call because we were in control up to the snap. Illinois was forced to respond to what we were doing and they responded in a very predictible way. I love everything about this play up to this point.

Snap: Bruce breaks to the left and Spencer shows the ball to him with this run option. Before Bruce ever gets to Spencer, the defensive end crashes to the inside to engage the pulling right guard and never had his eyes in the backfield.

Execution: As soon as Spencer saw the defensive end crash, he should have handed the ball off to Bruce who would have been in a foot race with the single safety to the pylon. He either scores or gets really close. But Spencer kept the ball who fooled nobody because there was really nobody to fool as the defensive end was already engaged. Instead Spencer flipped it to a pulling LaPorta who tried to turn it up inside the left tackle. However, the gap was much tighter because of the crashing defensive end, Richman totally gets beat on his block, Stephens, the right guard gets beat on his block (in his defense he was blocking someone he didnt think he had to as the defensive end shouldnt have been there) and the result is there were two defenders standing all alone at the line of scrimmage waiting for LaPorta.

Analysis: This play really stands out to me because of the all the elements within it. Like I said above, I love everything about the play up until the snap. But the first thing that I really question is the read. Was this play designed to be a read-and-react play or were we dead set no matter what that we were going to flip it to LaPorta? That question alone is the basis to why this offense is not very good. If this was a designed read-option play, then Spencer is at fault here because he totally failed to make the right play with the very obvious key he would have had. If it was not a read-option play, then we are expecting to be able to "guess" as to what the defense is going to do in the huddle, which seems incredibly difficult to do, which would show to me that the OC is not doing a very good job. But in this particular play, it is not both, it is one or the other.

The other thing it shows me is that we have zero confidence in throwing to a receiver with single man coverage. Ragaini could have stayed where he was and not went in motion and Spencer would have had 2 options on the edges. Is this because we have no faith in our WR's to make a play? Is it because we have no faith in Spencer to make the throw? Both? Either way, this is a glaring weakness that makes things very difficult for us to do anything in the box because there are so many defenders there.

My take: To be an effective offense, you need to be able to counter anything the defense shows you. If you can't, if there is even one weakness, it will be exploited and you will not be very good. Any good offense, college or pro, would have thrown to either of the wide receivers with both of them being manned up with a single safety. Not complicated. You can throw the fade, a fade-stop, a curl, a break to the pylon, or even just get it out quick and see if he can make a play and beat the corner. When this is successful the OC looks brilliant. But we dont do that so we have to scheme everything, which is much much harder. In this case, if Spencer missed his read on the defensive end, then that answers the question of what is the upside of playing another QB. The upside is that we have a QB that makes the right decisions based on the keys he is given. But, if Spencer was not supposed to read anything post-snap and the RPO action was just for show, then we seriously need to look at the upside of a new OC because most high schools can execute post-snap read options.
Guarantee that it wasnt even a read, it was suppose to go to LaPorta, period. RPO requires a mobile QB, SP ain't it, not his fault, he just isnt.
 

mthawkeyes

HR Heisman
Mar 22, 2007
7,623
13,834
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Fourmile Creek
So many high school freshmen qb’s run it very well. It is reading one guy, the end! If the end crashes down like he did, he hands it off to Bruce. It’s pretty simple and elementary. I have to think he knew he made the wrong decision as he was doing it.
This. Any good high school OC finds the guy on the opponent's front 7 that is likely too good to block consistently, and put him in conflict as often as possible. And any decent high school QB makes the correct read 80-90% of the time.
 
Dec 31, 2014
13,605
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My fav played was against Michigan, we are 3rd and 3yrd on about the four yard line. We run a screen to the right. Michigan of course is all over it cus they watch film and we are predictable. They blow it up. So Michigan just showed us they are looking for the screen. What do we do next? We run a screen to the left. Result?

It's forth down and we try a pick play which the refs catch. It was easy to see it BTW. The tight end runs a yard short of the first down any way. Our fabulous qb throws it a yard short.

Conclusion. In one play, we run a dumb play, an illegal play, a bad route and a horrible pass, so the play was so bad, if you take out 3 of the 4 negatives, it's still Michigan ball on downs.

That’s our learning on the job “QB coach” for ya….
 

Sett1997

HR Heisman
Nov 27, 2004
8,861
10,717
113
BF digging his grave with Petras. But at the end of the day...trying someone different... "What is the upside?"
Most stupid comment ever, what a fing douche he is. 131 of 131, not anywhere else to go but up. Lol
Plus It was a complete insult to the backup quarterbacks. These dickheads are going to harm Iowa fb for years on their current trajectory.
It really is time for the Ferentz family to go.
 

walleye hunter16

HR Heisman
Gold Member
Sep 25, 2016
6,215
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In his press conference, Brian said it was a designed read-option. So Spencer just made the wrong decision.

Q. The one Arland was in the backfield and there was a shovel pass. Was that the quarterback's read there, or was that always going to be a shovel?

BRIAN FERENTZ: It's a read play, so there is an option there to hand the ball off. We chose to shovel, and obviously, it didn't end the way we wanted.

We would have liked to score a touchdown, but the good news is we maintained possession of the ball.



Video of the play:

I really thought that the 1st option on that play was AB. Just watch how he reacts to not getting the ball.
SP is so brain dead during a football game it's unreal. He seeks success from LaPorta 80% of the time. I'd defend the pass against Iowa with 3 guys around Sam every time. SP will still throw it to him, he just can't help himself.
He reads outside and crossing plays too slow and guns it in to the TE last minute because he is always behind the time on the play.
 
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KFsdisciple

HR Legend
Jul 3, 2003
12,679
2,912
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What an asinine answer. It's just as dumb as Petras' decision.

OF COURSE, we maintained possession . . . it was a shuttle pass. If dropped it's just an in complete pass.

The risk aversion is nauseating.
It was a real Challenger, and the play blew up
 

sbhawk64

HR MVP
Apr 7, 2009
1,568
1,392
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Thank you all for telling me that BF was asked about it and he actually admitted it was a read play that Spencer missed. I have to say I am absolutely shocked by that admission, as much as it was even asked in the first place.

I am not saying BF is a great OC because he has things we can pick apart, but, not on this play. First you have to know that a team like Ohio St., Bama, Georgia, etc. would have scored a touchdown on us in about 5 different ways with this play and everyone would be salivating to hire that OC as their next head coach. Their first two options would have been to just beat either corner with a better wide receiver. Third, handing the ball off to any one of their backs would have scored, even if the safety (which was the corner) gets there because the back would either beat him straight up or run him over. Fourth, the QB, if he would have kept the ball, would not have flipped it to a covered TE and instead threw it in the flat to the completely uncovered RB. And 5th, the QB could have just kept the ball and ran to the left and let the back in the flat block the safety.

But you are a pretty decent play-caller and play-designer if you can call a play that can score a touchdown 5 different ways. Now, as far as being a QB coach, he gets an F-minus on that!
I'm guessing there isn't a lot of OCs that were offensive lineman calling plays and coaching qbs. There is probably a reason for that. Most were ex qbs
 

SchwartzUndGold

Scout Team
Nov 20, 2019
146
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I really thought that the 1st option on that play was AB. Just watch how he reacts to not getting the ball.
SP is so brain dead during a football game it's unreal. He seeks success from LaPorta 80% of the time. I'd defend the pass against Iowa with 3 guys around Sam every time. SP will still throw it to him, he just can't help himself.
He reads outside and crossing plays too slow and guns it in to the TE last minute because he is always behind the time on the play.
Petras would have had to throw to his left and he struggles to even throw short passes that direction. He just can't trust himself anymore .
 

hawkeyekid

HR Legend
Dec 2, 2001
12,836
3,276
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Brian Ferentz has never done anything to earn my respect, so I think he is lying about this play.

There is no way Petras gets to read this play. He was going to that TE no matter what.
 

obfuscating

HR Heisman
Jan 8, 2016
7,770
4,408
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RPO absolutely does not require a mobile QB. The R in RPO is run, but doesn't necessarily mean QB run and in fact rarely does. I think your confusing RPO with zone read option.
A mobile qb gives every offense a better "run" option regardless.
 

Chewback

HR Legend
Feb 14, 2002
22,242
5,190
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Good breakdown and as other posters have said, BF said it's a read play. That was a great call, just great. The QB just needs to make the right decision.

This play was fantastic in that it put the defense in conflict, forced the defense to make decisions and put the players in a position to succeed. Just need the right decision to be made and give the ball to Bruce. It is not a guarantee that it's a score, but it's close. And IF the right decision is made and Bruce is given the ball, you could could come back to that play later, run it again and if the defense reacts to Bruce's motion then the pitch to Laporta would be open. Looks like a case where the QB made the decision before the ball was snapped.
I'm pretty sure Spencer ALWAYS makes his decision before the snap.