2014 Offense Prediction: Return of the Midline Lead Option

AE 87

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I think 2014 will be a lot like 2008.

Return of the Midline Lead Option:
I expect to see a lot more midline lead intermixed with triple option. Maybe my memory is faulty, but I don't think we ran as much midline with Tevin (though we used it well in 2011 vs Clemson). I noticed that we did run it some in the Spring game this year.

The midline option is basically a double option where the QB will give to the B-Back on a dive straight up the middle (the center has to get his guy out of the way) unless the play-side DT moves to tackle the B-Back in which case the QB keeps and loops through the b-gap vacated by the DT crashing down. The "lead" refers to the A-back in motion cutting up through the b-gap as a lead blocker for the QB.

This is what it looked like in 2010 vs VA when Joshua kept it:

This is what it looked like when he handed it off to Ant:

Other stuff:
Our Spring game also featured a few other QB keepers designed to get the QB into space. I also expect us to run more Speed Option to Laskey (just a hunch). I think Laskey and Thomas will each have over a thousand yards rushing in 2014.
 

Whiskey_Clear

Banned
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10,487
These were also my favorite unis of recent years. (Couldn't help going there)
I agree though. I think we will run the trip option and midline much more effectively this year and expect both to go over 1000.
 

daBuzz

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965
I doubt you see it a lot versus Miami, VT, UGA or Clemson. As long as they stack the DT's inside our tackles, it's difficult to run the midline effectively.

Also, I'm not sure how effective JT would be running the midline. I know he has the speed to take it to the house if he can get through the trash, but running the midline with his slight build might not be conducive to keeping him healthy.
 

AE 87

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I doubt you see it a lot versus Miami, VT, UGA or Clemson. As long as they stack the DT's inside our tackles, it's difficult to run the midline effectively.

Also, I'm not sure how effective JT would be running the midline. I know he has the speed to take it to the house if he can get through the trash, but running the midline with his slight build might not be conducive to keeping him healthy.

Could you explain why you see that use of DTs as a problem for the midline?
 

daBuzz

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Could you explain why you see that use of DTs as a problem for the midline?

Because all 4 of those teams I named have larger, athletic DT's. At least two of those teams (Clemson & VT) often line those DT's up in a 1 technique and have them both shoot their respective A gaps and attempt to disrupt the mesh. With the wide offensive line splits we run, it's virtually impossible for either guard to be able to get over and disrupt the guy on their side.

The mid-line is a read mesh, followed by a negative step by the QB on a keep and then he takes the ball outside to the B or C gap but that's difficult to do with a DT in your face. Bigger, athletic tackles have a better shot at dropping the QB when he takes that negative step.
 

AE 87

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Because all 4 of those teams I named have larger, athletic DT's. At least two of those teams (Clemson & VT) often line those DT's up in a 1 technique and have them both shoot their respective A gaps and attempt to disrupt the mesh. With the wide offensive line splits we run, it's virtually impossible for either guard to be able to get over and disrupt the guy on their side.

The mid-line is a read mesh, followed by a negative step by the QB on a keep and then he takes the ball outside to the B or C gap but that's difficult to do with a DT in your face. Bigger, athletic tackles have a better shot at dropping the QB when he takes that negative step.

Whether an option play is a good call should assume that the QB can make the read, imo. Since the playside DT is the dive key, a DT will not be in the QBs face.
 

nodawgs

Jolly Good Fellow
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It depends on what the defense is running and what they are giving you. For example if we are facing the 3-4, the midline becomes a veer track for the b back, so you can't run it. The more traditional 4-3 we see, the more midline you will see. You can't just run the midline because you have a gut feeling. The defense has to be lined up favorably for it to be used.
 

Longestday

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Byerly will run more mid lines.
JT most likely will not due to his size.

Byerly got hit on a lot of his midlines, but he took the punishment well and he dished some out.

JT should be better in space versus close quarters. Triple option, speed option, and I would love to see him do the fake rocket toss with the B-back leading blocking back the other way. There is also a roll out play (think boot leg pass) that Vad ran.
 

iceeater1969

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Byerly will run more mid lines.
JT most likely will not due to his size.

Byerly got hit on a lot of his midlines, but he took the punishment well and he dished some out.

JT should be better in space versus close quarters. Triple option, speed option, and I would love to see him do the fake rocket toss with the B-back leading blocking back the other way. There is also a roll out play (think boot leg pass) that Vad ran.
Agree! Wonder if head coach standing on side line calling the next play is getting or asking for info that would lead to calling these plays? Has always seemed to me that he should not call the next play . He should be communicating the keys he sees to be used on the plays for the next series .

With JT I Agree we need plays that get him in space with an occasional mid line
 

33jacket

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midline is no problem to run vs a 1tech/3tech, the 1tech DT becomes the drive block and the 3tech....if shoots the gap you keep and go b gap, if he stays wide you hand off...really easy. here is a classic example vs Miami at the 2:09 mark


at 4:36 is a double 1tech....we run the lead play. I don't think this was going to be an option at all, its meant to look like one but with a double 1 we drove block and attacked the b gap. Again, no problem. Blocking back then WAY better than now thats for sure. Nes coulda handed to Ant...but didn't as the 1tech pinched and we kicked out the end.

at 4:49 is a great 1tech midline attack. The 1tech shot the gap, nes kept and dwyer led the bgap....

What is more eye-opening is the quality of the blocking with the team new to the option vs today. WOW. Man what is going on...we need to fix this...if we do this offense would set records.

For me i don't know if we see more midline this year. My gut tells me we don't since thomas is more slight we want him on the edge with speed. Nes is a banger.

What I do predict is more hurry up.....and wrinkles to take advantage of more speed at those positions...(jet sweep options out of the gun)
 

presjacket

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Agree! Wonder if head coach standing on side line calling the next play is getting or asking for info that would lead to calling these plays? Has always seemed to me that he should not call the next play . He should be communicating the keys he sees to be used on the plays for the next series .

With JT I Agree we need plays that get him in space with an occasional mid line
Are you saying that Coach Johnson should not call the plays?
 
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