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View Full Version : stopping the spread: an x's and o's discussion


Jericho@SC
07-25-2007, 04:23 PM
The whole PC vs. Meyer thread got me thinking, do people see the Spread Option really having the same success in the SEC that Meyer had with Utah in the Mountain West?

It's hard for me to picture the likes of LSU, Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas giving up 40 point games.

I confess that while I've researched it a little, I don't really know that much about the spread. All I really know is that it incorporates the option with shotgun formations.

I've read that part of the reason why the option doesn't work in the NFL is b/c defensive ends and linebackers are

1. Too smart to get fooled by the misdirection and gimmicks
2. Too fast to consistently get beat off the edge for 4+ yards each time they're run on.

But I imagine that the option part of the spread has to be extremely confusing for college defensive players that don't see it very often since it's pretty much died out in the college game. All those fake handoffs, reverses, direct snaps, option passes, fake pitches, zone reads, etc. And that's not even including the playaction if Meyer decides to play straight up I-formation.

And if Meyer continues to recruit the kind of elite speed he's been recruiting, how will teams match up against QB's that can run in the 4.7's, RB's that can run 4.4's, and WR's that can run 4.3's? No team can match up with that kind of speed at the skill positions pound for pound. Not even LSU.

This brings to question what kind of schemes you'd have to use to counter the offense. Do you just blitz away from the edges to stop them from running laterally? Then that leaves their WR's one on one to burn you deep.

Also most teams usually run a standard 4-3. But if Florida goes 4 wide every down, do you stay in your base defense and keep your best players or do you have to go to dime packages every down to match their speed? Then what if you don't have enough quality cornerbacks to match their receivers?

I guess the question is whether or not Meyer can continue to get speed demons and quality linemen that can control the line of scrimmage.

Another part of it is whether or not teams will catch on to his scheme and figure out effective ways to stop it just from experience. I wonder what the likes of Bo Pelini and Tommy Tuberville's staff think the best defense would be.

Iamcanadian
07-26-2007, 09:43 AM
The whole PC vs. Meyer thread got me thinking, do people see the Spread Option really having the same success in the SEC that Meyer had with Utah in the Mountain West?

It's hard for me to picture the likes of LSU, Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas giving up 40 point games.

I confess that while I've researched it a little, I don't really know that much about the spread. All I really know is that it incorporates the option with shotgun formations.

I've read that part of the reason why the option doesn't work in the NFL is b/c defensive ends and linebackers are

1. Too smart to get fooled by the misdirection and gimmicks
2. Too fast to consistently get beat off the edge for 4+ yards each time they're run on.

But I imagine that the option part of the spread has to be extremely confusing for college defensive players that don't see it very often since it's pretty much died out in the college game. All those fake handoffs, reverses, direct snaps, option passes, fake pitches, zone reads, etc. And that's not even including the playaction if Meyer decides to play straight up I-formation.

And if Meyer continues to recruit the kind of elite speed he's been recruiting, how will teams match up against QB's that can run in the 4.7's, RB's that can run 4.4's, and WR's that can run 4.3's? No team can match up with that kind of speed at the skill positions pound for pound. Not even LSU.

This brings to question what kind of schemes you'd have to use to counter the offense. Do you just blitz away from the edges to stop them from running laterally? Then that leaves their WR's one on one to burn you deep.

Also most teams usually run a standard 4-3. But if Florida goes 4 wide every down, do you stay in your base defense and keep your best players or do you have to go to dime packages every down to match their speed? Then what if you don't have enough quality cornerbacks to match their receivers?

I guess the question is whether or not Meyer can continue to get speed demons and quality linemen that can control the line of scrimmage.

Another part of it is whether or not teams will catch on to his scheme and figure out effective ways to stop it just from experience. I wonder what the likes of Bo Pelini and Tommy Tuberville's staff think the best defense would be.

Teams playing a spead offense will just incorporate more Cover 2 type defense where the LB's and CB's play zone and each Safety cover 1/2 the field. As the SEC gets used to Meyer's schemes, they'll respond accordingly. LSU had absolutely no problem with Notre Dame's spead offense.
College football is all about recruiting. If Meyer can outrecruit his SEC opponents, he'll dominate them but I wouldn't hold my breath just yet. The SEC is full of schools with excellent recruiting records and I think Meyer will find that they compete very well with him. Florida also has Florida St and Miami sucking up top prospects from Florida, so it won't be an easy ride for Meyer. Remember, if the public didn't want to see a rematch between Ohio St and Michigan, Florida doesn't even make it to the NC game and this conversation is mute.

TigerBait45
07-26-2007, 01:30 PM
The SEC will eventually learn how to gameplan against Meyer's spread. The speed is already there, its just a case of how teams prepare for it.

VY10
07-26-2007, 05:47 PM
Correct me if I am wrong but the best example of the Spread Option was at Texas with Vince Young. It really requires a QB that can run as well as he can throw. QB's like that are difficult to blitz because if there is an open gap they will take it for a touchdown and leave everyone else in the dust. I'm no expert but I'm sure that every play in a spread option playbook has a receiver running some sort of route that would allow the QB to get it to him if he read blitz. That is the real advantage of the formation. It allows QB's to hand it off, take it themselves, or throw the ball based on the pre-snap reads they make. It is very difficult to stop in the hands of the right QB.

Jericho@SC
07-26-2007, 06:15 PM
The thing with Vince was he ran about a 4.5/4.6 whereas Tebow probably runs about a 4.7 or 4.8. I think that makes a difference as most defensive players will be able to get an angle on Tebow if he decides to run.

Also, the QB is more likely to get hurt the more he runs it but Meyer's on to something with the two QB rotation he's doing.

TACKLE
07-27-2007, 01:35 AM
I'm curious to see how a 3-3-5 would do against the Spread O. You have enough speed on the field with out comprising your run D. West Virginia doesn't run it too well but I'd be interested to see an SEC team run it.

Sniper
07-27-2007, 01:45 AM
Teams playing a spead offense will just incorporate more Cover 2 type defense where the LB's and CB's play zone and each Safety cover 1/2 the field. As the SEC gets used to Meyer's schemes, they'll respond accordingly. LSU had absolutely no problem with Notre Dame's spead offense.
College football is all about recruiting. If Meyer can outrecruit his SEC opponents, he'll dominate them but I wouldn't hold my breath just yet. The SEC is full of schools with excellent recruiting records and I think Meyer will find that they compete very well with him. Florida also has Florida St and Miami sucking up top prospects from Florida, so it won't be an easy ride for Meyer. Remember, if the public didn't want to see a rematch between Ohio St and Michigan, Florida doesn't even make it to the NC game and this conversation is mute.

First thing about ND. ND didn't/doesn't/never will have the same kind of speed as Florida, so that point is kind of moot. But I do agree that a Cover 2/3 may is probably the best way to go.

Sniper
07-27-2007, 01:49 AM
I'm curious to see how a 3-3-5 would do against the Spread O. You have enough speed on the field with out comprising your run D. West Virginia doesn't run it too well but I'd be interested to see an SEC team run it.

I actually like that idea. Like you said, WV doesn't have a great defensive team and isn't the poster boy for the 3-3-5. You would need massive run stoppers on the inside and linebackers that run a 4.5 because they're going to have to cover the edge so quickly since there's only 3 on the line. Your DBs better be fast and they need to wrap up well. A 3-4 could also be a possibility if your OLB are speed demons and your secondary can cover.

bwillie26
07-27-2007, 04:02 AM
Don't ask the Nebraska fan. I still have nightmares about Brad Smith running that offense against us.

But in reality, I would tinker with a 4-2-5 look if I had a stout front four. If my line can hold up against the run well, I would throw in a rover just to combat speed.

If I'm not as stout up front, I would look to a 3-4, just so I could disguise my coverages and hide blitzes.

The fact of it is, their is really no good way to stop a good spread option attack. They will get their yardage, it is just that you want to avoid the big play.