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is anybody up for breaking down some NC plays?

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 15:14

I just gotta see what happened on some of that stuff. I've skimmed the game but am still scratching my head on what exactly happened.

Too soon?



Final two possessions

by Mike (bart), Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 21:14 @ Jay

The OL seemed to give up a little bit as the 2nd half wore on. Still, Golson and the receivers were so locked in it didn't stop us from moving the ball.



1 and 10
Shotgun, Riddick left.

Unblocked Sunseri off the right edge, Golson heats it past eifert. Incomplete.

2 and 10.

Look pass to Daniels. Davaris does a nice job getting upfield. 1st down.

1 and 10

Under center. Blitz comes in unaccounted for (Sunseri again). Golson throws it away.

2 and 10

OL seems to be losing interest. Rush gets straight to Golson, EG breaks contain, finds TJ for 9 yards

3 and 1

Blitz comes furiously at Golson. Just gets rid of it to Eifert. Eifert breaks a tackle, ND gains about 15.

1 and 10
shotgun. Wood left left

Wood flares left. Catches pass for a loss

2 and 13
Shotgun. Empty set. Eifert split left, Niklas slot left, Daniels slot right, Jones split right.

ALA looks to be in Cover 1. OL holds up ok, Daniels runs a nice skinny post. Great throw by Golson hits him in stride. Gain of 30-something.

1 and 10
Under center. TE left, Eifert split left. Daniels slot right (motions left), Jones split right.

Handoff. OL gets crushed. Riddick makes 2 guys miss and still loses yards.

2 and 11
Shotgun, Riddick left. Golson changs play

Tons of time. Golson rolls right deliberately, hits TJ in a verrrrry small window along the sideline. Jones was held on the play but makes the catch anyway.

1 and GL
Shotgun. Riddick left. TE right, Eifert split right. Assuming Daniels slot left, Jones split left

Riddick motions to #3 left. Gives a great stutter step to the LB (as though he were going to break his route right across the field) and gets vertical into the end zone. Really nice throw and catch. Touchdown. You're lucky the clock is running down, Bama.


Offensive Possessions 5-9

by Mike (bart), Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 20:17 @ Jay

Some quick thoughts:

- Daniels didn't even step on the field until we were well behind. I think we may have underestimated the physical talent Alabama was bringing in their back seven.

- Golson played much, much better in the 2nd half. If he'd played that well in the first half we may have made it respectable

- The OL was doing alright against the Alabama DL. The argument that we should have tried the run more has some definite merit.

- This must have been a miserable game for Toma. He was out there a lot and a total non-factor.


Punt Return (1:04:36)
ALA punter largely outkicked his coverage. The left gunner had an angle on Neal. Neal was too shallow on the punt -- he caught it going backwards, as opposed to sinking under it, ready to make a move. Had he made the first man miss he had some room to run. Instead, he muffs it going backwards and has to hit it out of bounds at the 10. Cierre Wood was on the punt return team.

1 and 10 (1:05:53)
Shotgun. RB left (Riddick). TE right (off the line). Daniels split right. Toma(?) slot left, Jones split left.

OL fires out really well. Cave crushes Jesse Williams. Watt Deliverances a dude. Even Golic brings a man to his knees. Eifert whiffs on a blitzer off the edge, but Riddick makes him miss. ALA, fortunately for them, had a safety playing very deep, otherwise this would have been an even bigger gain. Gain of 19.

1 and 10 (1:06:23)
Same formation, Tempo.

We run a zone-read look, but I think Golson was giving all the way. It's unfortunate, because Alabama was blitzing Clinton-Dix off the left edge and the blitzer hit him 3 yards behind the LOS. Watching this again, this play doesn't make a damn lick of sense, as Eifert pulls from R (RB give side) to L (QB keep side), getting directly out of the way of Clinton-Dix.

2 and 13
Shotgun, RB right (Wood). 2 TE right. Daniels slot right, Jones split right.

ALA gets good push. The pocket, while shrinking, retains its integrity. Golson sticks in the pocket, zips one out to Jones, who makes a really nice catch. Gain of 8.

3 and 3
Empty set. Riddick near slot left, Eifert split left. TE right, Toma slot right, Jones split right.

Looks like man coverage. Pocket swings nicely right, Golson drifts left, eyes downfield. He is just a split second late in deciding to make a break for the 1st down marker. Makes 2 of the 3 yards necessary before he's forced out of bounds. Miscommunication with Eifert on this play.

Defensive set. Motta, ack. Ishaq Williams is having one of his better games.


Neal misjudges the ball in the air again. Instead of catching the ball and making a move, he has to catch the ball and stop his backward momentum. Never had a shot after that point. ND ball at the 3.

1 and 10 (1:14:25)
Shotgun. RB left. TE left, Daniels split left. Toma slot right. Jones split right.

Riddick releases into the flat left, where he has ample room to run. #74 gets beat badly by the edge rusher. Golson gets rid of the ball in the nick of time, finding Eifert for 1st down yardage.

1st and 10 (1:14:47)
Up-tempo. Golson under center, everything else the same.

Handoff to Riddick. Line does it's job, but Alabama is tough. Gain of 4.

2nd and 6 (1:15:18)
Shotgun. RB Right. Daniels split left. TE right. Toma slot right. Jones split right.

Golson changes the play at the line. Riddick shifts to his left side. Pass -- Riddick and Eifert stay into block (max protect). Riddick gets beaten off the left edge. Golson releases, making a really good throw in rhythm to Daniels down the sideline for about 20 yards. Daniels ran a great route, he had Clinton-Dix beat by a significant margin. Had this play bot been starting from the left hash it might have gone for more.

1st and 10 (1:16:02)
Under center. Riddick single back. 2 TE right, Daniels slot right, Jones split right.

Nice play action off of zone right. Golson wants to go deep, bugs out of the pocket even though Eifert ended up coming across and pancaking the edge rush from that side. Golson starts strafing (that's the only word I can think of for it) left and throws left deep to Daniels. The throw, predictably, isn't good. Incomplete.

2 and 10 (1:16:35)
Shotgun, RB left (Riddick). TE left, Eifert split left. Toma slot right, Jones split right.

Eifert gets a clean release up the seam and is open but Golson is looking right off the snap. Golson looks right until the pocket collapses, at which point he bugs out left, pump faking wildly. Fades backwards, pump faking the whole way, until he finds Eifert coming back to the ball. Great throw under the circumstances. Gain of 7.

3 and 3
Under center. Riddick single back. TE left (motions to right), Daniels split left, Toma slot right, Jones split right

PA right to Riddick. Eifert is beaten badly by the edge rush, Golson can't make the throw to Riddick (we ran this play vs. Oklahoma). Golson magically escapes the sack, runs forward for 5 yards (behind the LOS) to take a much smaller sack.

8TH POSSESSION (7th was pre-halftime nonsense)


1 and 10 (1:41:27)
Shotgun, RB left, Eifert slot left, Daniels split left. Toma slot right, Jones split right

(Inside?) zone to Riddick. he finds the hole nicely and shoots through for about 6.

2nd and 4
Shotgun. Same as previous play (tempo), except Eifert is lined up left as a TE

Golson immediately hangs up a back shoulder toss for Daniels, who goes up and gets it over Millner. Gain of about 20. This time the back shoulder play worked. A leading throw probably would have been picked off.

1 and 10
Shotgun, Riddick right. TE left, Eifert split left. Toma slot right, Jones split right.

Bama blitzes off the right side. Chipped by Watt, but Golson still has a man in his face. Golson makes a nice throw from deep in the pocket to TJ, who runs like a bastard for the first down, falling just short.

2 and 1
Under center, Riddick deep. Can't tell the formation as we're going up tempo and ESPN joins the play in progress.

OL does ok and Riddick picks up about 3.

1 and 10
Shotgun. Riddick right, TE right, Eifert split right. Toma slot left. Jones split left.

Miscommunication between Toma and Golson on the depth of the route. Incomplete. Really, it makes little sense why Toma is playing over Daniels at this point in the game.

2 and 10
Shotgun, Riddick left. Jones split left, Toma slot left. TE left. Daniels split right.
Golson changes the play. Deep fade to Daniels. Millner makes a nice play on the ball and Clinton-Dix intercepts.


GAIII with nowhere to go. Ball short of the 20.

1 and 10 (1:55:10)
Shotgun. Riddick right. 2x2. Eifert and Daniels left, Toma and Jones right.

PA, nice toss in rhythm to Daniels for 1st down yardage.

1 and 10
Same formation except Riddick starts left. He flips.

Out to Eifert. He catches it then fights for 1st down yardage. Good, quick decision.

1 and 10
Shotgun. Riddick right, TE left, Daniels split left. Toma slot right, Jones split right.

Riddick motions out right, The rush gets through so Golson has no choice but to drift back and throw it away.

2 and 10
Shotgun. Wook right. Daniels left. Trips (Eifert, Toma, Jones) right.

Sprint draw left. No one blocked the DT. Loss of 4.

3 and 14
Shotgun. Wood left. Daniels split left. TE right, Toma slot right, Jones split right

Play is initially covered. Golson drifts right, away from the rush. Finds Jones on a broken route for about 22. This is our first 3rd down conversion

1 and 10.
Shotgun. Wood left. TE left., motions right. Toma slot left, TJ split left. Daniels right.

Rusher unblocked off the left hand side. Pass thrown near Eifert's feet. Roughing the passer though.

1 and 10
Shotgun. Riddick Right. TE right. TE left, Toma and Jones left.

Golson makes one read, throws it out of the back of the end zone.

2 and 10
Shotgun, Riddick left. 2 TE left. Daniels slot left, Jones split left.

PA. Back shoulder fade to TJ, who outmuscles the ALA corner at the 2 yard line.

1 and GL
Shotgun. Riddick lt, Wood rt. 2 TE right, Toma slot right, Jones split right

Dive action to Riddick while Golson and Wood carry out option play fake right. Gain of like 3.

2 and GL
Same formation

Golson keeps this time. Eifert, pulling, makes a nice block. Golson cuts it upfield for the TV.


1st 4 offensive possessions

by Mike (bart), Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 17:05 @ Jay

I missed the pregame show. ND is visibly tight in the tunnel. Inanimate is the best word I could use to describe it. Overfitting based on known results, yeah, but still obvious nevertheless.

KOR (28:25)

1 and 10 (29:12)
Empty Set. 3x2. Looks like 2 TE, Eifert split wide.

OL gives Golson plenty of time. Golson still drifts back a tad, throws off his back foot
complete to TJ Jones. Can't see much of the field, my guess is this was a smash concept to the wide (left) side, with Niklas running a short curl from the left TE position. Gain of 8.

2 and 2 (29:52)
Shotgun, 1 RB. 2 x 2, TE left (Niklas). Eifert split left.

PA. Looks like 4-verticals with Riddick releasing underneath off of play action. It's not clear if Alabama is in Quarters or if they're just in Cover-2 but had the corner go with Eifert because both men to the near side went vertical. Throw deep to Eifert -- pass carries him out of bounds, never had a chance. A good throw could have worked here, Eifert had a step. For what it's worth, Niklas was open down the seam (though he might have gotten killed by the safety). Also, Riddick went the wrong way on his release. He went into coverage (i.e., to the left), whereas the flat to the right was wide open on account of the LB dropping with the vertical route. In any event, it's immaterial, as Golson threw it to Eifert as soon as the play fake was completed. No one else even got a look on this play.

3 and 2 (30:37)
Same formation. Millner is rolled up tight as can be on Eifert. Golson changes the play, very possible this was originally called as a run.

Line picks up the ALA rush perfectly. Golson gets off a better (but still substandard) throw which Eifert catches, albeit (debatably) out of bounds. ALA looks to be in man coverage here. No release from Riddick. A better, leading throw could have been a huge gainer. Credit to Millner, though, for giving up on his jam while still maintaining coverage. That's the difference between going against Alabama on this situation vs. going up against JT Floyd. For what it's worth, Millner was hands all over Eifert the entire route. Could have been called.

(Fast forwarding through the youtube. My god did Motta have a rough game.)

KOR (41:58)
Atkinson had a nice seam to his right, but saw it too late, spatially. That is, he was too far upfield by the time he decided to cut.

1 and 10 (42:57)
Shotgun. 1 RB (left). 2 TE (left). Twins left. Basically, we have 5 eligible players to Golson's left. Ball on right hash.

Play fake right to Wood with Golic pulling left on bootleg action. Line picks up rush nicely. Golson makes a nice toss for an easy completion to Eifert, who battles forward for 3 more yards. Fumble called but overturned. Gain of 8. Really a nice playcall for the game situation.

2 and 2 (45:22)
Shotgun (RB right). 2 TE (Niklas motions Rt to LT, Eifert slot RT)

Alabama corners are up ultra tight again, looks like either man or some kind of rolled up Cover 3. We run that chest pass pitch right to Wood. Eifert picks up a nice block. Excellent read by Alabama - Cierre gets the corner, but the pursuit is immediate and fast. ALA #49 (!) chases Wood down from behind for a gain of about 4.5. There wasn't much more there, anyway. Alabama's flow to the ball is really impressive here.

1st Down!

1 and 10 (45:59)
Golson Under center. 1 RB (Riddick). TE (Eifert) Motions Righ to leftt, Niklas (?) split right. Toma slot left, TJ split left. Daniels has not played to this point.

Toma motions down towards the line pre-snap (e.g., the Daniel Smith job). ALA sends a blitz off the left side, Toma does a nice job of getting his body in front of the blitzer. The OL fires out, but the Bama DL stop them cold. Golic was supposed to pull and pick up the contain guy, but Martin gets beat badly so Golic runs into an ALA guy in the B gap, creating a pileup for Riddick. Riddick has nowhere to go, squirms into the pile as best he can, then gets German Suplexed.Gain of 0.

2 and 10 (46:42)
Shotgun. RB Right. TE Right (Eifert). Trips Left (looks like Niklas, Toma, Jones).

Golson stares at TJ the entire play. The line holds up ok (pun sort of warranted). Golic got beaten hilariously badly by Jesse Williams, but Cave comes over to help out, re-forming the pocket. Golson drifts backwards out of the pocket, even though he doesn't need to do so. Hard to say what was open on the right side, looks like Toma ran a cross that was well covered, Riddick took off on a wheel route, which was open early but impossible to determine downfield. Golson scambles out of the pocket (left) too soon, fires a pass to Jones (who is doing a nice job coming back to the football), but Golson's release point, momentum, etc. pull Jones out of bounds while making the catch. Would have been a first. An amazing throw of sorts, but not a good one. Gain of 0.

3 and 10 (47:22)
Empty set. Eifert split wide right. Riddick very near slot right (nearly attached). TE left (Niklas), Daniels slot right (1st appearance), TJ split left. Alabama shows Cover 1 before the snap.

Alabama shows blitz from the left side. Golson makes a check, ALA shift at the last moment and brings a blitz form C gap left side and C gap (off tackle, since there is no TE) right. It looks like our check played right into their hands, as #47 comes off the edge unblocked. Golson breaks right (presumably since he's right handed, lefthand side has much less pressure). Breaks contain, throws it away. Gain of 0. Everyone was covered anyway.

Farley makes an awesome tackle on punt coverage. McCarron's girlfriend babefies the entire world. Also, to this point it really doesn't look like Barrett Jones has "controlled" Nix, Alabama just won enough other matchups that it didn't matter. I can feel why he would deny losing physically, he is fucking people up. Motta continues to take angles to the ball as though he is an AI bot set to Varsity.


KOR (55:23)

1 and 10 (58:15)
Shotgun, RB left (Riddick). 2 TE right. Daniles slot right, TJ split right. Probably our most talented 11 on offense at this point.

Riddick releases vertically backside (wide open, at first Golson doesn't see him. A quick throw probably picks up 15). More good protection by the line. Golson makes a nice throw to Daniels, up the seam who goes up and gets it. Golson actually, I think, was fooled by the coverage. ALA showed 1 high safety pre-snap but then played Cover 2. Golson ends up throwing right into the right-half safety's path, but the throw and catch are such that ALA had no play on the ball. Gain of 32.

1 and 10 (58.52)
Shotgun, RB right (Riddick). 2 TE left. Daniles slot left, TJ split left. Basically the same formation we just ran, only flipped. We're going up-tempo, so this makes sense. Riddick them motions out split right.

ALA blitzes, picked up seamlessly by the OL. Golson still drifts backwards. Throws left off his back foot, well over Daniels' head (who was covered anyway). Catch and throw by Golson, who is really playing as though he has no time to throw, when he's being well-protected. I wonder if this was coached into him, or the Bama name giving them a phantom pass rush. This is a shame, because Golson's post-snap reads have been a real strength all year. Gain of 0.

2 and 10 (59:27)
Golson under center. Single back (Riddick). 2 TE left, Daniels slot left, TJ split left. Alabama is showing 2 deep safeties pre-snap. We have the numerical advantage in the box.

The OL gets a decent push to the left hand side. Riddick runs up behind the push, but then hesitates. Too bad, because a decisive cutback would have led to some solid yards. As it is, he smakes his decision and cutback move too slowly, allowing #32 to wrap him up at the LOS. This is exactly the type of play that ALA is killing us on, we don't make them pay the same way. Gain of 0.

3 and 10 (60:01)Empty set. Eifert split left. Riddick near slot left. TE Right. Daniels slot right, Jones split right. Alabama is playing combo coverage here, I think (C-4 to boundary, 2 to the field)

3-verticals. with Riddick breaking to the sideline left (open with a nice throw). OL handles ALA pass rush nicely, opening up a big running lane for Golson up the middle. I'm wondering if that isn't actually the play design, after all. Golson goes to run, Bama DL get off their blocks and chase him down after about 7. If they hadn't, CJ Mosley would have made Golson die. SEC Speedâ„¢ Gain of 6 or 7.

4th and 5
Up-tempo. Same formation.

4-verticals. OL is shaky on this one. The DE breaks through on the right side, Golson does a nice job of stepping into the throw, but he still doesn't get enough into it. TJ had a step on his man. With a good-to-great throw this would have been a TD. Given the success we had with the intentional underthrow this year, Golson might have underthrown this on purpose. The release point on the throw was awfully high.


Good stuff. It's hard to tell coverage from TV sometimes.

by Buck Mulligan, Martello Tower, Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 19:13 @ Mike (bart)

Quarters makes sense - I'm guessing Bama was comfortable loading up on the half of the field they expected us to use.


What is Martello Tower?

by Mike (bart), Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 20:17 @ Buck Mulligan

[ No text ]


A Martello tower is one of a couple hundred small

by hlewis, Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 07:44 @ Mike (bart)

stone forts the British built around what they claimed as their empire in the 18th century. Stately, plump Buck Mulligan lived in one in the Sandycove area of Dublin (at the coast) as of 16 June 1904. He lived there with a simpering Brit named Haines and another guy named Dedalus.

Rumor also has it that a guy named James Joyce spent the better part of a week there in the same year.


Look to see if EG was putting too much hang on his throws.

by Buck Mulligan, Martello Tower, Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 16:56 @ Jay

I thought he was at the time, but I haven't rewatched.

Even though it has to out in front or above the receiver when there's man coverage, the excessive amount of air under his throws allowed the DB's, especially Milliner, to decrease any separation that was there.

I'd have liked to have seen more underneath routes, especially some slants.


He's really not great with that throw

by Jeremy (WeIsND), Offices of Babip Pecota Vorp & Eckstein, Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 18:28 @ Buck Mulligan

If that's going to be a bread-and-butter of this offense, he's going to need to get a whole lot better there.


He's a bit of an oddity. Mindful that he's a redshirt frosh,

by Buck Mulligan, Martello Tower, Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 18:39 @ Jeremy (WeIsND)

it's funny to note that he seems to throw more naturally on the run - all arm with one or even both feet off the ground. And without his fingers on the laces. Great schoolyard instincts that you wouldn't want him to lose.

A hard throw on a slant, grabbing dirt with the front foot should be an easier throw for a QB, but it obviously isn't for him. Yet.


I wonder if that's a height thing

by Mike (bart), Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 18:56 @ Buck Mulligan

I can imagine that little guys feel more of a need to pitch the ball over the opposition. Throwing on the run he typically has a cleaner line of sight towards the receiver.



by Mike (bart), Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 17:05 @ Buck Mulligan

Just watched the first 4 drives (posting in a second). Given the success we had all season with the intentional underthrow, I'm wondering if he'd been coached to hang it up. Error-free but still pretty rough 1st half from EG.


Looking through some ND offensive series now

by Mike (bart), Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 15:46 @ Jay

For what it's worth, Papa November's NDN defensive breakdown is really good.


We noticed in chat

by Jeremy (WeIsND), Offices of Babip Pecota Vorp & Eckstein, Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 15:28 @ Jay

That ESPN actually did a pretty half-ass job with quite a few of the replays/angles etc. Particularly on some of the bigger plays.


My in-game chat

by Dylan, Santa Barbara, CA, Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 15:35 @ Jeremy (WeIsND)

Dylan: (sips beer) huh.

Jay: (sips beer) we're fucked.

(sips beer)

(sips beer)

(sips beer)

(sips beer)

(sips beer)

(sips beer)

(sips beer)

(sips beer)

Jay: we're fucked.

Dylan: uh, yeah.

(sips beer)

(sips beer)

(sips beer)

(sips beer)

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