"That little inside zone play..."
As we head into game week vs. the Ole' Ball Coach and his Gamecocks, we're going to take a look back at last year's match-up. In 2010, South Carolina defeated Georgia in Columbia 17-6 in what was Marcus Lattimore's coming out party. He romped his way as the SEC's top tailback by rushing for 182 yards against Todd Grantham's first year defense. After the game, Spurrier took a jab a Grantham.
"That little inside zone play, the NFL doesn’t run that play,” Spurrier said. “So that’s a new little scheme, I guess. Anyway, you’ll have to ask them. I’m sure they knew we were going to run it, but they certainly didn’t stop it much."
Sure, Todd Grantham fired back at Spurrier in the media, but, this year, he'll need to do a lot more than jab the Evil Genius to lead the Dawgs' Defense to victory. The first thing the Georgia D will need to do is fix what went wrong vs. the inside zone read that gashed the Georgia D. First, what is the inside zone read? The inside zone read is a fairly popular concept with today's spread offenses. It uses zone blocking schemes and a handoff option out of the gun to keep defenses on their heels. Lets look at the blocking concepts vs. Georgia's 3-4 defense (or 4-2-5, which is what I'm sure we'll see).
The whole point of this play is to use the defense against itself. The defense MUST play assignment football and not be selfish. The key read for the QB is the BSE (back side end). If he crashes into the backfield, the QB pulls and gets what he can. If he stays, the QB gives and the running back either presses the heels of the playside A gap, or looks for the cut back should the defense over pursue. The key for the defense is to get take up blockers up front, not let the linemen get up to the linebackers, and for the backside in to SQUEEZE down on the backside tackle. As you can see in the diagram, the BST wants to get up to the linebacker by going across the end's face. Should the DE feel this, he must squeeze and not get up field. This accomplishes 2 things, it keeps the BST off of our ILB, and closes the cut back lane for the RB. Inside, our NT must demand a double team and not let the C to get up to the LB. The playside offense will just try and wash out the defense. The key for those guys is to squeeze back and try to fight the block. In the secondary, the backside linebacker and safety MUST fill down to take away the cutback. Lets see, compared to our keys, what we did wrong last year:
0:10 You can see the backside DE does a good job standing his man up and squeezing down. However, the OLB (#50 D. Gamble) flies up field and leaves a HUGE cutback lane for Lattimore. The TE just lets him go outside because he knows he is making his job easier. The safety (#18 B. Rambo) does not fill fast enough and Lattimore barrels him over into the endzone.
0:55 Another goal line situation. We have everyone rolled up, which should make stopping this play easier, because we have the numbers. At the snap, again the OLB (#42 J. Houston) flies up field. The end man on the line of scrimmage - because is is not touched - seals off the linebacker. The line and other linebackers do their job, however, because the OLB flies up field and doesn't chip the EMOLS (end man on line of scrimmage), he is the ONLY person that can make a play. He flies too far up, and when he realizes Lattimore is going to cut back because the playside A is washed, all he gets is an arm tackle on Lattimore as he goes into the endzone. These are two small examples of how going for the kill shot and being selfish will cost you the game. Hopefully we work on our assignments this week and learn how to stop the non-NFL play - or else, Lattimore and Co. will be one step closer to Atlanta and we'll be one step closer to chaos in Athens.