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Inside the Play Offense: Purdue

The Situation
Michigan leads 14-7 with about 5 minutes left in the third quarter. They face a 1st-and-13 from their own 22-yard line. Driving the field for a score could stop Purdue's momentum, as the Boilers brought the score back within 7 on their previous drive.

The Personnel and Formation
Michigan is in its 2-back spread set, with Brandon Minor to Threet's left and Michael Shaw to his right. Martavious Odoms is in the right slot with Darryl Stonum wide left and the wideout to the right out of the screen. Purdue is in a standard 4-2 nickel package on defense.

The Play
Upon receiving the snap, Threet gives a token fake to Minor, who then pass blocks. The wide receivers are running crossing routes, but none of them are able to get open. Threet checks down to Shaw, who has looped behind him and is now running a swing to the left. Threet throws behind Shaw, and the ball is tipped by a Purdue defender, who would have had a clear path to the endzone had he been able to get both hands on the ball.

Why It Didn't Work
The first thing to note is that Ortmann gets completely crushed by his man, who essentially runs right by him and has a free run at the quarterback. With Minor set to pass block to the left on this play, there really isn't much excuse for getting beaten by a pure speed rush. That said, Threet makes the mistake of throwing behind Shaw. Shaw wasn't open on the swing, but had Threet been able to give a pumpfake of sorts and step up, leading the Shaw on the wheel, Michael would have been wide open for a huge gain (maybe even a touchdown, depending on how well he could dance through the secondary). Again, this isn't really on Threet, because he was about to get killed by Ortmann, but this play is a great example of good design being ruined by poor execution.

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“Inside the Play Offense: Purdue”

  1. Blogger gsimmons85 Says:

    wasnt their a very simular play last year in the Citrus bowl, where henne is facing a huge rush, and throws a perfect little wheel route down the sideline. Qb's have to be able to get rid of the ball against a rush, and put it where it needs to be. Difference between a 4 year starter and a redshirt freshmen....

  2. Blogger Anthony S Says:

    It looks to me like Threet should have stepped up in the pocket. Ortmann's blocking wasn't great, but he did force the rusher wide and Threet would have has another second to throw the ball if he had stepped up, as there was no interior pressure, and Minor was sitting there with no one to block. Is there a reason Threet faded so far back? Is that the design, or is it merely a lack of experience in knowing when to step up to avoid the rush?

  3. Blogger Tim Says:

    Threet could theoretically step up a bit, but the play was designed for him to drop back after taking the snap. Ortmann didn't really force his guy that wide, and the end had a shot at Threet pretty much no matter what. By the time he gets to Threet, the end has been all the way around Ortmann for quite some time.

  4. Anonymous I know less than nothing Says:

    Threet had no chance!!! Step up into what?, more certain death. The only chance would have been to get rid of the ball quicker, and with that you miss the misalignment of the DB, who is forced to jump the route, and it turns into a 2 yard loss, vs. the line making the block, buying a pump fake, and a UM TD. There are so many times this year, and especially this game, where 1 breakdown, or more specifically one misread costs us points. OOOOHHHHHHH what could have been! We will get better. (ON O)

  5. Anonymous I know HD Says:

    By the way guys, the new player is nice. Much improved. I don't know if you changed it, or just my gig is working better, but damn near HD quality.