Midline Fumble

GTNavyNuke

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On old school option, there used to just be a loose mesh and the qb would ride the mesh with the bback. the bback would have a loose grip on the ball and the qb would decide to pull or give, and if he gave , the bback would clamp down on the ball, more based on timing than feeling the qb let go. Nowadays the mesh has been sped way up, which makes it harder on the qb, and the qb uses the angle of the ball to signal to the bb if he is getting it or not by brushing the top elbow of the bb with the tip of the ball. This also allows the qb to have a tighter grip throughout the process.

Thanks. So the QB is in charge and whatever the BB reads doesn't affect whether the BB gets the ball or not.

I don't know that the quicker mesh is always good - don't we want to wait for the defensive player who is being optioned to commit sometimes?
 

Ash

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This is what happened to Tevin in the OT loss to Miami. The NT lined up head up with the center so he checked to the toss. The D shifted and he tried to run the sneak while everyone else ran the toss.

Oh how I remember that. It was so obvious they were giving us the read they wanted to make sure Tevin kept the ball. As soon as I saw the check and shift I knew it was over.
 

dressedcheeseside

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Oh how I remember that. It was so obvious they were giving us the read they wanted to make sure Tevin kept the ball. As soon as I saw the check and shift I knew it was over.
I think that play is kudos to Miami's coaches and anti-kudos to ours. They knew what play we'd check into based on their look and forced us right into it. Iirc, Tevin only had permission to make one check at the LOS and even though he saw Miami counter it before the snap, he had no choice but run the play he checked into. I'm not sure if we had any timeouts at the time, but that would have been the perfect time to call one.
 

Pj4prez01

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Thanks. So the QB is in charge and whatever the BB reads doesn't affect whether the BB gets the ball or not.

I don't know that the quicker mesh is always good - don't we want to wait for the defensive player who is being optioned to commit sometimes?

Correct, the qb is 100% dictating everything.

That somewhat lack of of a fuller commitment is the primary drawback of the quicker mesh, particularly if you have an athletic read that may take a step or two inside to show taking the dive before popping out and taking the qb. In this and other instance though, the typical rule of thumb is if the read doesn't fully commit to the dive, you give to the bback, and that was where vad really struggled. In his defense it is very difficult to do, especially when you are going up against freakish athletes the are getting drafted in the first round of the nfl.
 

Ash

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I think that play is kudos to Miami's coaches and anti-kudos to ours. They knew what play we'd check into based on their look and forced us right into it. Iirc, Tevin only had permission to make one check at the LOS and even though he saw Miami counter it before the snap, he had no choice but run the play he checked into. I'm not sure if we had any timeouts at the time, but that would have been the perfect time to call one.

I chalk it up to being out coached, not the players. If we had a different kind of athlete at QB we might have been able to overcome it, but maybe not. There have been plenty of other times during the season we have been out coached that way. VT is especially good at this.

I think there is enough film out there to break down CPJ's play calling tendencies. My gripe is that he does not seem to counter that much. Its like he gets in a rut and will not change up enough to get out.
 

iceeater1969

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I chalk it up to being out coached, not the players. If we had a different kind of athlete at QB we might have been able to overcome it, but maybe not. There have been plenty of other times during the season we have been out coached that way. VT is especially good at this.

I think there is enough film out there to break down CPJ's play calling tendencies. My gripe is that he does not seem to counter that much. Its like he gets in a rut and will not change up enough to get out.
This is the year coach will get his swagger back!
 

forensicbuzz

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I chalk it up to being out coached, not the players. If we had a different kind of athlete at QB we might have been able to overcome it, but maybe not. There have been plenty of other times during the season we have been out coached that way. VT is especially good at this.

I think there is enough film out there to break down CPJ's play calling tendencies. My gripe is that he does not seem to counter that much. Its like he gets in a rut and will not change up enough to get out.
I'm not sure I agree with this. I'm not sure I disagree with this. Here's what I'm thinking:

I think for the average fan (and I'm one of them for sure) the play calling looks exactly the same. I don't think that's the case, though. I think CPJ is calling the same play but changing the blocking schemes as the game progresses based on what the Defense is doing. I think he has a thorough enough grasp of his offense to totally change how successful a play is by making small blocking tweaks. The guys still have to execute properly and remember the changes, so it's not so easy as "just do it".

I could be wrong, and if I am, I'm sure many will comment, so just a thought.
 

GTNavyNuke

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You are probably right about the details of blocking. But I was getting pretty good at calling the play last year when it was as simple as dive, pitch, QB keeper or pass. Probably the easiest CPJ year to predict what the play would be was last year. Maybe it was Vad or maybe just watching CPJ call games for 6 years there is a pattern. Since he goes by what he sees the D doing, this may not be fair. But there is a rhythm to the calls ......

When we get live to the games this fall, we can see on chat how people do in predicting the calls.
 

Boomergump

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I will readily admit that I don't know exactly how the MESH is executed. I don't know what the fundamentals of communication are that allow for such a reliable rate of transference of possession in the blink of an eye, so many times a game, in heavy traffic. Having said that, I feel sure that the BB and QB are not both reading the same things like in the option passing game between a WR and his QB. That would lead to disaster. How many times a game do you see a WR go one way where the ball is thrown another? TB may have made a poor read there, but if Laskey is anticipating a keep read and therefore was not ready for a give, he is very much at fault. I would think....correct that..... I feel very sure, that the QB is responsible to read the defense and put the ball where it needs to be and the BB is responsible for being ready to accept the ball on every option MESH. The BB may read the defense, but only in terms of getting his feet ready and balance right to run into the trash effectively.

I would love for somebody of in-depth football knowledge, not just someone like me who thinks they might know, to step forward and explain the fundamentals of the MESH. What are the physical signals between the BB and QB? I have been intensely curious about this for years. Is it ball position or orientation? Is it pressure against the gut with the football? Is it length of time in the belly? Surely it can't be verbal, right? That makes no sense. Whatever the case, I know it takes a lot of practice between both players to get the feel of it just right.
 

Longestday

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I think indecision and hesitation adds to the confusion. Seeing that you are not the read and being given an indecisive ball and "late" in the mesh at that may also add to a fumble.

This is a good one I found while going through the games. Sims is looking right at a take down and the give seems a little late?

 

AE 87

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I will readily admit that I don't know exactly how the MESH is executed. I don't know what the fundamentals of communication are that allow for such a reliable rate of transference of possession in the blink of an eye, so many times a game, in heavy traffic. Having said that, I feel sure that the BB and QB are not both reading the same things like in the option passing game between a WR and his QB. That would lead to disaster. How many times a game do you see a WR go one way where the ball is thrown another? TB may have made a poor read there, but if Laskey is anticipating a keep read and therefore was not ready for a give, he is very much at fault. I would think....correct that..... I feel very sure, that the QB is responsible to read the defense and put the ball where it needs to be and the BB is responsible for being ready to accept the ball on every option MESH. The BB may read the defense, but only in terms of getting his feet ready and balance right to run into the trash effectively.

I would love for somebody of in-depth football knowledge, not just someone like me who thinks they might know, to step forward and explain the fundamentals of the MESH. What are the physical signals between the BB and QB? I have been intensely curious about this for years. Is it ball position or orientation? Is it pressure against the gut with the football? Is it length of time in the belly? Surely it can't be verbal, right? That makes no sense. Whatever the case, I know it takes a lot of practice between both players to get the feel of it just right.

You're right about everything except what some of us were saying about the Bback's "read," it seems to me.

The Bback's dive lane was taken away so he became a lead blocker. There wasn't supposed to be a mesh. In fact there wasn't one, really.

Also, the QBs HOK was washed out, so there was nothing for him to read. No one is saying that both QB & BB are making reads at the mesh. The BB is just feeling the pressure of the ball in his gut oslt to know to clamp down.
 

vamosjackets

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My highschool ran a version of the CPJ GSU option and/or the Nebraska option back in the late 90's. We went to GSU camps in the summers. We ran out of an I formation with a TE normally. I played fullback in this formation (which is the equivalent of the BB) and we worked on the "mesh" a lot. It's kind of an art with a little bit of science. For us, the QB was the decision maker. He would put the ball in the FB's gut as soon as possible (ie while the FB was still in the backfield early in his track), and "ride" the handoff for about 3 steps. The QB had to make the decision within those 3 steps while he was riding the FB. If he was still hesitant, the FB was taught to go ahead and clamp down on the ball after that to avoid a fumble even if the QB was trying to pull it. During the early part of the ride, the FB was supposed to have a lose clamp on the ball so that the QB could still make the decision to pull it. The FB wasn't the decision maker, but he was also seeing the same thing as the QB but couldn't be as focused on the read because he's focusing on exploding out of a sprinter's stance through that hole as fast as possible. It certainly wasn't without its errors for us as a highschool team. But, we had a lot of success with it too. We didn't have nearly the sophistication as CPJ's actual offense, but we had a good offense for our level and could change blocking schemes and all that to make it very tough on the defense. QB's had to be very smart, savvy, and cool under pressure. Fullback had to be a bat out of hades with great balance and toughness.

I do wonder if CPJ has kept the same methods as he had back then or whether he's continued to tweak them. Sometimes it looks like the BB is doing some reading as well as the QB, but I don't know. It's definitely an artform, and I'm always impressed by how well they do it. Millions of reps.
 
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wingsrlevel

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I will readily admit that I don't know exactly how the MESH is executed. I don't know what the fundamentals of communication are that allow for such a reliable rate of transference of possession in the blink of an eye, so many times a game, in heavy traffic. Having said that, I feel sure that the BB and QB are not both reading the same things like in the option passing game between a WR and his QB. That would lead to disaster. How many times a game do you see a WR go one way where the ball is thrown another? TB may have made a poor read there, but if Laskey is anticipating a keep read and therefore was not ready for a give, he is very much at fault. I would think....correct that..... I feel very sure, that the QB is responsible to read the defense and put the ball where it needs to be and the BB is responsible for being ready to accept the ball on every option MESH. The BB may read the defense, but only in terms of getting his feet ready and balance right to run into the trash effectively.

I would love for somebody of in-depth football knowledge, not just someone like me who thinks they might know, to step forward and explain the fundamentals of the MESH. What are the physical signals between the BB and QB? I have been intensely curious about this for years. Is it ball position or orientation? Is it pressure against the gut with the football? Is it length of time in the belly? Surely it can't be verbal, right? That makes no sense. Whatever the case, I know it takes a lot of practice between both players to get the feel of it just right.

Both the QB and BB are reading the same thing on this play..the DT. This was the key to either handing the ball to the BB or following the BB through the hole. The BB knew he wasn't getting the ball and was setting up to go get the LB. TB missed the read and tried to hand it off. For those who were at the game , CPJ ripped TB pretty good for missing the read and trying to hand Laskey the ball. It really is a quick developing play and this is what Vad struggled with so much last year.
 

Longestday

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Both the QB and BB are reading the same thing on this play..the DT. This was the key to either handing the ball to the BB or following the BB through the hole. The BB knew he wasn't getting the ball and was setting up to go get the LB. TB missed the read and tried to hand it off. For those who were at the game , CPJ ripped TB pretty good for missing the read and trying to hand Laskey the ball. It really is a quick developing play and this is what Vad struggled with so much last year.

Are you a player? I think this is the best write up and the clearest picture. The QB has ultimate give or take because they have the ball, and the BB "reads"/expects based on what he see too, but should be ready for a "bad" read: give or take.
 

wingsrlevel

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No not a player just a fan! On this particular play when the DT slants down Laskey then knows his job is to go through the hole and block the LB...not get the ball. Both ZL and TB have to read the DT correctly for the play to work. At full speed not much time for hesitation and it happens quick. When you hesitate IMO this is when plays look bad and fumbles occur. This is a great play to look at and discuss. Thanks for taking the time and putting it int slow motion.
 

LongforDodd

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No not a player just a fan! On this particular play when the DT slants down Laskey then knows his job is to go through the hole and block the LB...not get the ball. Both ZL and TB have to read the DT correctly for the play to work. At full speed not much time for hesitation and it happens quick. When you hesitate IMO this is when plays look bad and fumbles occur. This is a great play to look at and discuss. Thanks for taking the time and putting it int slow motion.

What would have been Laskey's key that he was getting the ball?

It's easy to see in slo-mo that perhaps TB should have ridden that mesh for a step or two longer to see the LB coming up to fill that hole and then keep it to the outside. WSBHD? What should Byerly have done?
 

wingsrlevel

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The key is the DT. If the DT goes outside shoulder of the guard, the guard releases to the second level and blocks the LB. Laskey then knows that he is getting the handoff and Byerly follows through with the fake to the outside. In this particular play you can see the DT slant down which the guard would block (he did) and Laskey's job was to pick up the LB (which he did) and Byerly would follow Laskey through the hole that was created by the slanting DT. It's a bang bang play which requires everyone to be on the same page. 2 of the 3 were on the same page and you see the result....FUMBLE. JT and TB already appear to be better than what we had last year at plays that require the QB to make split second decisions. Of course mistakes will be made but IMO they shouldn't occur so much that you don't have confidence in your QB. I believe we saw basic dive plays last year because we struggled in this part of the offense. TW was very good at making the correct reads. Hopefully JT and TB will also.
 

zhavenor

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I still have a hard time believing ball security and play success depends on several guys all making the same and correct read. If the qb gives when he should keep, it should go for no gain, not a fumble.
It's because it doesn't. I think what wingsrlevel is trying to say is that because of where the d tackle lined up the play was changed from midline to something else pre snap which would have been done by the qb. Then it was the qb and or Laskey fault for running the wrong play depending what the was audible was. If in fact midline was in fact keep as the play and Mason blocked down to refuse immediate, and too close, penetration then the error is on Laskey because the qb was reading it and Laskey was not meshing. The play to me does not look like a midline. It looks like it was a straight give or a QB follow. That's my take.
 

GTNavyNuke

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I still have a hard time believing ball security and play success depends on several guys all making the same and correct read. If the qb gives when he should keep, it should go for no gain, not a fumble.

I'm with you. This is why I asked the question in the first place. If two people have to make the same read, then bad things are likely to happen. There has to be a protocol, otherwise you'll get lots of fumbles. Given the TO is set up to grind out yards if need be or get big plays if the D screws up, having a lot of fumbles kills the entire system. Thus this communication / protocol is important.

I didn't realize that we were so bad in 2010 and 2008 but here are the stats. I realize that we run a lot more, but this stat is fumbles lost, not just fumbles. THis is probably why CPJ talks about fumbles and ball control so much.........

Year, then fumbles lost, then ranking of about 120 D1 teams http://www.cfbstats.com/2008/leader/national/team/offense/split01/category17/sort01.html
2013, 11, 86th
2012, 12, 87th
2011, 11, 61st
2010, 20, 119th (we tied for the worst in CFB, awful year where we would drive and fumble like clockwork)
2009, 12, 79th
2008, 20, 118th (we were learning the system till we forgot it in 2010)

For passing routes, often times the QB will throw to a certain area when he sees a certain D. It's up to the receiver to make the same read and adjust his route. In that case, you usually get an incompletion. In our case with the BB/QB, you get a fumble.
 
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