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Franks Tanks

Running Game

As many have noted, the offense has for the most part struggled since 2009.  We've had flashes, but the general theme has been a mistake prone unit that struggles to sustain drives, and operate with any level of consistency.  The lack of a running game is a major reason for this.  With the exception of a few years with a tremendous talent like Ross Scheurman, we've had no running game under Mickey Fein.  The lack of a running game has allowed opposing defenses to "pin their ears back" in the pass rush, and not respect a large element of the game.  

Our running game is predicated around the inside zone. We however run that inside zone out of the shotgun, with no running threat from our QB.  I was reading a recent article about Chip Kelley, and they had a quote on this very topic attributed to him.  I know Chip's reputation as an offensive genius has taken a hit, but they guy has directed some of the most prolific offensive units in college football history.  Anyway, Chip said this.

Kelly once said that the shotgun inside zone “is not a great play if the quarterback hands off to the running back and everyone in the stadium knows who has the ball.”

This is the exact play that our entire running game is built around, and it sucks.  I have issues with Clayton and his ability to develop players, but Stan and his guys are getting no help from a schematic standpoint.  Mickey in fact hangs his guys out to dry with the play.  Why?  We run the inside zone out of the shotgun with no threat of the QB run.  This allows DE's/OLB's or any other defender at the end of the line to crash down as soon as they identify the play. This play often loses 3-5 yards.  A running game has to be broken beyond the point of no return to lose 3-5 yards consistently when trying to run an inside zone!  There is no threat that our QB will pull out the ball and attack the vacated space (like Colgate).  We run no play action which attacks the edge either.  We are making it damm hard for our guys to block this play based on our scheme.

We ran the inside zone with great success under Faragalli/Heffner.  Other than the fact that those two were much better coaches and teachers, their scheme had two main ideas that allows the inside zone game to flourish.  

1- QB lined up under center.  The RB is moving downhill, and receive the ball in a much better position than when in the shotgun.

2- They attacked the edge, to keep edge defenders honest on the inside zone.  Heff's favorite play was probably the inside zone, and his 2nd favorite play was the naked boot (especially with Mauer).  We ran that naked often, and it worked very well.  It kept the DE from crashing like crazy on the inside zone, cause he had to stay honest for the naked.  This play functioned as Colgate's QB keeper.  We don't do anything like that now, or really since 2008.


Bottom line, I believe our scheme is sub par, and it makes our guys look bad.  I also think development and teaching of the scheme is probably just average, but we have no chance with average given the dis-advantages we put ourselves in from the snap.
seenalot

From an non-playing observer of the sport and specifically our team over the years I think you have it dead on.  

Would add that I recall one or maybe two runs that were designed to use CJs speed to the edge all game.  Instead we stubbornly run the 185lb guy up the middle on slow to develop plays.  We don't make any effort to adapt our game to the talent we have - instead we stubbornly force the talent to fit a mold.

Maddening to watch - frankly has to be a bit maddening to play.
edge29

I agree 100%. The scheme is crap and has no identity.  

Hefner created and molded the identity of what was once a powerful smash mouth LC offense.  That wasn't Tavani's creation.  It came from Hef and Tavani can't get those good ol' days out of his head.  He, I, FT, and a whole mess of alum long for the Hef days!

And I'll add...we do have a mobile QB in the line-up that can help us be more successful at running inside zone. At Colgate in '14, he put on the best QB performance I've seen since the Maurer days.  Use him!!

I agree that our OL is not completely inept.  With our scheme, we require them to physically dominate every opponent that lines up opposite them.   And that just doesn't happen at this level. We have a good group right now.  The addition of Marotti, Bradley and Murphy will improve the OL even more in the near future.

I'm just so tired of watching great athletes trying to play with one arm tied behind their back.  Let's just line up in a 2 TE set and run outside zone left and right with some bootleg thrown in.  I guarantee it would be much better that what we do now.
Pards Rule

Yeah I was a HUGE Hef fan and still am!
Pards Rule

seenalot wrote:
From an non-playing observer of the sport and specifically our team over the years I think you have it dead on.  

Would add that I recall one or maybe two runs that were designed to use CJs speed to the edge all game.  Instead we stubbornly run the 185lb guy up the middle on slow to develop plays.  We don't make any effort to adapt our game to the talent we have - instead we stubbornly force the talent to fit a mold.

Maddening to watch - frankly has to be a bit maddening to play.

Yeah damn didnt he get almost 10 yards on an outside draw? I SWEAR I never saw that play the REST of the game!!!!!!  WTF!!!
Franks Tanks

[quote="edge29:55600"]I agree 100%. The scheme is crap and has no identity.  

Hefner created and molded the identity of what was once a powerful smash mouth LC offense.  That wasn't Tavani's creation.  It came from Hef and Tavani can't get those good ol' days out of his head.  He, I, FT, and a whole mess of alum long for the Hef days!

And I'll add...we do have a mobile QB in the line-up that can help us be more successful at running inside zone. At Colgate in '14, he put on the best QB performance I've seen since the Maurer days.  Use him!!

I agree that our OL is not completely inept.  With our scheme, we require them to physically dominate every opponent that lines up opposite them.   And that just doesn't happen at this level. We have a good group right now.  The addition of Marotti, Bradley and Murphy will improve the OL even more in the near future.

I'm just so tired of watching great athletes trying to play with one arm tied behind their back.  Let's just line up in a 2 TE set and run outside zone left and right with some bootleg thrown in.  I guarantee it would be much better that what we do now.[/quote]

Yes.  Maybe 4 years ago or so Frank went on a long rant to the media stating they will run the ball, and did a bunch of yelling. Of course at the time we lined up in the shotgun and tried to run inside zone just like we do now.  At the time I remember thinking if you want to run the damm ball commit to running the ball.  If that takes bringing the QB under center, and using a 2nd TE or FB, then do it.  Of course this ended up being all talk and nothing changed.  

As long as the current people are in place Frank will continue to try to run the ball without success.  He will talk about how he likes running the ball, but will take no steps toward actually improving the running game.
bethlehempard

ESPN's matchup predictor now gives Lafayette a 1.8 percent chance of beating Army.
Princeton should not be viewed as unbeatable as far as match ups, regardless of history.
Franks Tanks

bethlehempard wrote:
ESPN's matchup predictor now gives Lafayette a 1.8 percent chance of beating Army.
Princeton should not be viewed as unbeatable as far as match ups, regardless of history.


Army has improved a great deal since last year.  Congrats to them.  

Andy Davidson from Emmaus high school has been their catalyst on offense, and scored 3 TD's yesterday against Rice.  I recall that Andy had Lafayette and Lehigh in his final 3.
flyfisher

Personally I think serval things contribute to a weak running game.
1. We can't stretch the field. Haven't since Mark Ross. It's been 2 years. Allows defense to put 8 in the box.
2. OL recruiting, development and injuries.
3. Lack of a dial threat QB. Not a slam against Drew or Blake. Just think a dual threat guy would increase our options.
4. No great back since Riss S. I think we have some better talent now but not a guy that can carry an offense.

Just my thoughts.  The season is just 2 games old. We have some tough games ahead but also some opportunities. We have to strive for improvement. While we don't know what this season holds, we have to continue to work toward the same end goal of a winning program. If not today, tomorrow. Personally I think it will happen but not soon. It will take culture change.

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