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Stadium and Main: To: Lloyd Carr and Ron English

Monday, September 11, 2006

To: Lloyd Carr and Ron English

From: Nick

Re: Notre Dame’s Red Zone and 3rd Down Offense

Notre Dame will run these 3 plays. These are plays that have consistently burned other teams in the past, including Michigan. Why? I’m not sure. They’re not that innovative or complicated, but they are well-executed. You are paid six or seven figures to understand why these plays work, and figure out how to stop them. If you can stop these 3 plays consistently, especially on 3rd down and in the Red Zone (when these specific plays are most often called), you can win the game. If you can’t, you can’t.

1 – The Quarterback draw

Michigan has been burned by the QB draw plenty of times in the past, and was beaten by it against Central Michigan due to shoddy tackling. Notre Dame must know this. Seeing that ND isn’t afraid to use this play (they scored a TD against Georgia Tech by running it at the end of the 1st Half, with no timeouts left), I expect them to try it against us. Any time you see 4 or 5 WRs around the Goal Line, expect a QB draw.

2 – The “quick play-action pass over the middle to Jeff Samardzija”

I watch a good portion of most ND games, and I can’t remember one where I haven’t seen this play. QB Brady Quinn will quickly fake a handoff, take a short drop, and fire or lob a pass (depending on the LBs’ positioning) to WR Jeff Samardzija, who is in the back of the endzone. It worked against PSU last week, and I expect to see it this week. It’s hard to defend because it happens so fast. The LBs need to be aware – when Samardzija lines up close to the linemen in the slot, or even as a Tight End, this play is coming.

3 – The “fake quick pass draw play”

Another play that worked well against PSU. Fake a “Breaston lateral pass” out to a WR (often Samardzija), and then quickly hand off to the RB for a draw up the middle. I’m not sure what the blocking scheme is on this play, since, again, it happens very quickly. But as I mentioned above, you get paid the big bucks to diagnose and defend against this stuff, so get there.


Blogger Jake said...

Tell me you actually sent this to someone at the Athletic Department! As sweet as your blog is, I have my doubts as to whether Carr and English read it or not.


4:07 PM  

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