Monday, March 12, 2012
Breakin It Down: From Oregon vs. SC 2010
As you should know by now, I am a HUGE football guy...an X's and O's type. I love the strategy involved, and learning how plays work. That's what makes studying Chip Kelly's offense so fun; there's so much strategy involved. I decided to take a play from Oregon's win over SC in 2010 to illustrate this.
Now, this was also a good choice because you had TWO coaching genius's matching wits in Oregon's Chip Kelly (offense) and USC's famed defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. It was a cat-and-mouse affair, which you figured it would be.
One of the cat-and-mouse games Kiffin and Kelly played was with the backside safety. Kelly would line up in trips (3 receivers to one side) and look to run the ball, with the constant threat of the QB pulling the ball out to run to the backside. This combined threat of BOTH inside AND outside runs, with the overload of three receivers to the right, forced Kiffin to overload his defense to the trips side, and keep a safety deep.
To help against the run, however, he often dropped his backside safety near the line to help in run support. Kelly's response was simple: run four verticals straight up the field, letting the innermost receiver to the three receiver side work across the field to the backside.
If the now-single deep safety played to the trips side, the receiver who crossed was wide open; if he ran with him, the other slot receiver was open. So either way the safety is murked.
From this set, LaMichael James had a number of big runs, and Jeff Maehl had a career night, including this touchdown catch: