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this is a worthwhile analysis of Alabama's run game

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 07:56

Bama's worst rushing games were vs Ole Miss and A&M

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 10:17 @ HumanRobot

(and also vs Western Kentucky, but I'll chalk that up to disinterest, since the game was a laugher)

Versus A&M and Ole Miss, Alabama averaged under four yards per carry. Maybe it's more instructive to look at those games instead of the SEC championship; after all, Georgia's defense let up more rushing yards and a higher yards per carry from Alabama than anyone except Mizzou.


Manti is a much better LB than anyone on Georgia

by Mark, Cloud City, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 08:44 @ HumanRobot

and its not even close.

In the film study in the article, Georgia's LBs are playing on their heels. Manti plays down hill and is not that easy to block, since he often beats RBs to the hole.

#FAIL. That article is way off in its expectations.


UGA's run defense was pretty bad this year.

by Bryan (IrishCavan), Howth Castle and Environs, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 09:10 @ Mark

Jones and Ogletree are both first-round picks; Geathers and Rambo are probably 2nd round picks. But they were a poorly coached squad and the DL rarely substituted, which meant teams ran on them fairly easily, esp. in the 2nd half.


They were terrible, in my opinion.

by FunkDoctorSpock, Your Nightmares, B* tches, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 09:14 @ Bryan (IrishCavan)

I think they gave up at least 250 yards rushing in each of their last four games of the season, including over 300 to both Georgia Tech AND Georgia Southern. I understand that the option can confound some teams, but by comparison, BYU (an elite rush defense) held Georgia Tech to 117 yards rushing. That was a week after giving up 270 on the ground to ND, btw....


They gave up @200 yds. per game on the ground

by Bryan (IrishCavan), Howth Castle and Environs, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 09:23 @ FunkDoctorSpock

if you take away sack yardage. And this includes an OOC of Buffalo, Fl. Atlantic, GA Southern, and GA Tech. They gave up 200 yds. to Buffalo and Kentucky.


Manti's tackles trailed off late in the season

by Pat, Right behind you, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 09:01 @ Mark
edited by Pat, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 09:28

1st quarter of the season - 30 tackles (Navy, Purdue, MSU)
2nd quarter of the season - 29 tackles (Michigan, Miami, Stanford)
3rd quarter of the season - 28 tackles (BYU, OU, Pitt)
4th quarter of the season - 16 tackles (BC, Wake, USC)

What is it about the BC, WF, USC games that caused such a drop? Were teams avoiding Te'o on purpose? Were they doing a better job getting a guard or fullback on him? (I seem to remember Mayock pointing this out a few times late in the year). Anyone have any ideas why Te'o's productivity dropped like it did?

A bit can be explained by the fact that he played fewer snaps in the last three games, but the percentages weren't that off.

1st - 26%
2nd - 25%
3rd - 27%
4th - 22%

Perhaps it would be best to look at the USC game and see what they did (or didn't do, I guess) to keep Manti to a season low 5 tackles.


The Pitt game can be explained by Nix's illness.

by Kevin @, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 09:24 @ Pat

Manti was bottled up by interior linemen who didn't have a 330 pound teddy bear to deal with.


some hunches, w/o looking anything up

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 09:09 @ Pat

* Pitt gameplanned him

* BC just didn't have many snaps

* Wake passed a lot


Manti also had the flu for Pitt, as did Nix, which was a

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 09:15 @ Jay

double-whammy because that meant it was a little easier for opposing linemen to beat Lou and get up to Manti.


My recollection

by Greg, sittin on the dock of the bay, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 09:07 @ Pat

Sorry, no facts to back it up right now and not in a place to get any until much later today, is that teams went away from Manti and that he did a much better job this year in staying in position and doing his job/trusting his teammates than he had done in previous years. In fact, I think his interception against SC can be attributed to him not getting sucked out of position (which I think is what SC was trying to do in going away from him). It was one of the areas of growth (along with the dropped weight and better pass coverage) that had been mentioned as key to his season.

Hopefully somebody with access to videos or write-ups on the game can back that up.


Calabrese might be a better run defender, too

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 08:46 @ Mark

He's pretty good at block destruction.


I'm curious to see how hard Alabama goes after

by hobbs, San Diego, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 09:00 @ HumanRobot

Ishaq when ND subs him in. He hasn't held the edge well against lesser teams so I expect UA to run to his side early and often. Hopefully he's gotten stronger at the point because if he has not he's going to be a liability when he's on the field.


I agree.

by ⌂ @, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 08:46 @ Mark

I do think the analysis is pretty good, but it does miss the point that GA's LBs play with crap fundamentals in the run game. And they're on skates as often as not.

Sometimes I rhyme slow sometimes I rhyme quick.


Warmack worries me

by Pat, Right behind you, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 08:40 @ HumanRobot

He is a fantastic guard. If he does get a free release most of the time, he will do a good job limiting the effectiveness of our linebackers.

However, the analysis you linked focused exclusively on a 3-4 alignment with the nose tackle right on the center. ND only lined up like that 40% of the time this season. Against the opponent that might most closely resemble Alabama (Stanford), ND only lined up that way 20% of the time. On the other hand, it was nearly an even split against MSU.

I expect ND to use Shembo, Tuitt, Nix, Kap lines the most because (a) it gets more bodies on the line and (b) it works out better when we have to use our subs. There is still a pretty big dropoff from our front-line guys to Day, Springmann, and Ishaq (at least as far as run defense goes). If/when Alabama goes on long, run-heavy drives, ND will have to sub in linemen and will be even more susceptible to big gainers from Lacy and Yeldon. But if we can avoid just having Springmann out there one-on-one with Jones, that will help somewhat. Warmack will still make quick work of him, but better Springmann than Te'o or Fox.

If folks want to look at trends, try to categorize our opponents from run-heavy (not many) to spread-ish(many) and see how our straight up 3-4 lineup frequency compares to a look with four down linemen (when our nose tackle is shaded to one side or other of the center)

         3 down    4 down   3 down %
Navy       7         53       12%
Purdue    21         46       31%
MSU       34         37       48%
Michigan  39         29       57%
Miami     28         25       53%
Stanford  13         53       20%
BYU       16         47       25%
OU        44         32       58%
Pitt      24         39       38%
BC        20         46       30%
Wake      37         23       62%
USC       21         31       40%

Regarding MSU, wasn't KLM hurt? Makes sense that we would

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 09:06 @ Pat

have had to use fewer DL while trying to figure out what Springmann and Day could do.


good call

by Pat, Right behind you, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 09:14 @ BillyGoat

Here's the full snap breakdown. KLM barely played against Purdue and was limited against MSU.


not sure about that

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 09:12 @ BillyGoat

Per Pat's spreadsheet, the snaps against MSU:

Shembo - 70
Tuitt - 58
Nix - 43
KLM - 38
Day - 24
Schwenke - 15
Springman - 11


Right, but like I said below, it's not the total number

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 09:16 @ HumanRobot

of snaps for Day or Springmann (both guys played quite a bit and played quite well), it's the amount that they played together -- which I believe increased as the year went on and the coaches' trust in them increased.


Actually, those two played a bunch of reps against MSU...

by FunkDoctorSpock, Your Nightmares, B* tches, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 09:07 @ BillyGoat

Day, in particular.


Yes. But if we didn't trust their conditioning levels, then

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 09:14 @ FunkDoctorSpock

using only 3 down linemen at a time would limit their workload and basically shift it to Shembo.


Good point.

by FunkDoctorSpock, Your Nightmares, B* tches, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 09:15 @ BillyGoat

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awesome information, thanks

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 08:43 @ Pat

Look at Navy, Stanford, BYU, and even BC. Really good information.


just 20% against Stanford. Bet we see similar vs Bama

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 08:58 @ HumanRobot

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interesting read, although

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 08:27 @ HumanRobot

there's a lack of awareness of how often we run a 4-3 front, which last I checked was a little over half the time.

If Warnack is as good at getting to the second level as he described, then we'll probably need to cover him up more often than not.


I agree we'll possibly need to cover up Warmack

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 08:40 @ Jay

...but that's why I'm a little less afraid of their OL than perhaps I should be. You're using the best guard in the country to hit linebackers. Who's neutralizing the defensive linemen?


I'm sure Jones makes it easier for Warmack to do this.

by Kevin @, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 09:22 @ HumanRobot

I haven't watched the tape, but my guess is Jones makes it easier for Warmack to leave the line. Jones does such a nice job against the NT or the DT in that first gap that Warmack can release.

In a perfect run-blocking scenario, Warmack should be taking on inside linebackers. If you stick to the rule against mismatches, 300 pound linemen against 240 pound linebackers is a mismatch. Therefore, the offensive linemen want to quickly get the DTs back or over, then get to the linebackers. Tge defensive linemen need to give their linebackers clear shots at the ball-carriers. The linebackers are generally bigger than the backs, yet much faster (and hopefully less encumbered by an OG) than the DTs.

So that means keeping Warmack off Manti, Carlo, and Fox. That's essentially impossible with a true three-man front, and much harder in a four-man front that has to account for Jones. If Jones is out or way less than 100%, one of our DTs can threaten that gap enough that Warmack will have to stay put. If that happens, Yeldon and Lacy will be bottled up inside and something will have to change.

As I re-read this, I realize these two battles probably explain as well as anything why the spread has become so popular. That poor little linebacker is starting to look more and more like Te'o or Urlacher -- 260, not 240, yet faster than before. And the defensive lineman growth chart may go to infinity. They are huge and more mobile than ever. You have to find a way to get outside a/or get these DTs farther apart from each other, so that even they can't fill the entire gap.


That's what I have always thought would be the biggest

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 09:25 @ Kevin

impact of the Jones injury. I always expected him to play and be prepared to play pretty well. But "pretty well" ain't gonna cut it against Nix (especially with him essentially playing at home) and it's likely that Bama will need to use their guards to help on Nix more than usual, which will help our LBs.


It's the most important angle of this game.

by Kevin @, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 09:29 @ BillyGoat

Just as Cave's injury last year torpedoed this offense, if Jones can't go and/or the backup isn't great, ND will win.


Per Jones, he's playing (story on espn)

by JN @, Seattle, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 11:21 @ Kevin

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Is that the same guy who wrote the "* myths" thing?

by Dylan, Santa Barbara, CA, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 08:24 @ HumanRobot

Further "adieu?" Manti has "average athleticism"?


inside I found an interesting Saban critique

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Thursday, January 03, 2013, 08:00 @ HumanRobot

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