Film Study: How Glenn Spencer Puts OSU’s Defensive Speed to Work

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Yesterday, we looked at how disruptive Oklahoma State’s defensive linemen are which allows its linebackers and secondary to make plays. Today, we’re going to look at how relentless they are in pursuit of other teams’ QBs.What UT’s offense was doingTexas is in a spread formation with 4 WRs split out wide (two up top, two at the bottom) and the RB lined up to the left of Heard.Being third-and-long with less than a minute left in the game, it was reasonable to assume Texas would be passing the ball to get the first down, with the dead giveaway being the offensive linemen’s stances – all are in two-point pass protect stance. When the ball is snapped, the linemen take their steps backward and begin to read the rushers on defense.Heard gets the snap and immediately takes a quick five-step drop. However, he isn’t too far into his progressions before he decides to tuck the ball and run with it. What OSU was doingLike the last play, OSU is in its 3-3-5 Psycho nickel package. In addition to the three linemen (Taylor, Ogbah, and Bean), Ryan Simmons and Seth Jacobs are also playing up on the line of scrimmage.The other linebacker, Jordan Burton, is lined up across from the inside receiver at the bottom of the screen.Of the five defensive backs on the field, three are CBs and the other two safeties, who are both playing 10-12 yards off the line to prevent the deep ball.The way the defense is lined up before the snap and how it looks after is two very different things, which means OSU was disguising blitzes and coverage schemes to confuse Heard and his offensive line. It appears there’s no big stunts called for this play. Every rusher on this play, except for Bean, is actively engaged in trying to get to the QB. Bean, though, is playing as a first line of containment on Heard, with Burton adding some reassurance containment behind him. Notice when the ball is snapped, Burton, who had been assigned the tough task of playing “spy” on Heard all game, leaves his man and drifts a little to the left to play contain on Heard. Jacobs, who looks to be blitzing on the play, backs out and picks up Burton’s man. By the way, it’s pretty amazing that someone who weighs 225-230 pounds like Jacobs does is able to pick up an inside receiver that quickly and stick with him—yet another example of the speed that defines this defense and its players. On the other side of the defense, we see two CBs lined up across the two WRs, with a high safety behind them. Miketavius Jones is covering the inside WR. Just before the ball is even snapped, Jones takes steps toward the line. Once the snap occurs, Jones flies in full speed on a CB blitz and the high safety picks up his man.Why this worked for OSUUnlike the previous play we looked at, Texas has more blockers than OSU does rushers. That seems like it would be to UT’s advantage and buy Heard some time to make a play downfield. However, the OSU line is still able to push around the offensive line way while the disguised blitz by Jones is effective in getting to Heard on time.All remaining DBs (and Jacobs) who are playing coverage do a good job of not allowing the WRs to find any room, which, obviously, means Heard is unlikely to pass it. Once Heard sees Jones closing in, he decides to take off but is quickly corralled by members of OSU’s athletic line and brought down for a big sack. The 3-3-5 Psycho defense is an ideal defense for OSU to run; it relies on players being able to fly around fast. To run the 3-3-5 Psycho, specifically, a defense needs to have guys in the first two levels that are big, strong and fast. As you might have noticed, OSU’s defense is predicated on these things so it’s not too much for OSU to execute it.To really appreciate how far this program has come from a defensive standpoint, think back to the days when dual-threat QBs would do whatever they wanted to our defense. I still remember being in the stands for the Mizzou game in 2005 when Brad Smith ran for a cool 184 yards and passed for another 193. Two years later, I remember witnessing Colt McCoy run for 106 against us while gaining 388 total yards of offense. And I know we all still remember the 2011 K-State game when Collin Klein nearly gave all of us a heart attack while he rushed for 144 and 3 TDs and threw for another 231 and a TD.Fast-forward to 2015, and Heard, who had a school record 527 total yards of offense the previous week – by the way, the previous record belonged to Vince Young, who had 506 total yards in 2005 against…you guessed it—was held to 48 yards rushing and only 167 yards total. The great thing about this team is that, even if the offense isn’t performing up to par, the defense will keep us competitive in every game we play this year.last_img read more