Bringing back the Film Study this season. But rather than looking at the entire game, I’m going to focus on a couple aspects that stood out and most contributed to the outcome.
This week, let’s look at three things: The diamond/trey package, Clint Chelf’s plays and the defensive look that saw nobody in a stance.
Item 1: The Trey
Formerly called the diamond by Dana Holgorsen and Todd Monken. Always called the full house (but not the kind with D.J., Stephanie and Michelle Tanner) backfield by colleague Berry Tramel and now called the trey by new offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich.
This formation isn’t new to the Cowboy offense. But an option play for J.W. Walsh is. It was installed by Yurcich after coming over from Shippensburg (he said they ran option plays at the D-II school, but not out of a three-back look) and allows Walsh to follow two lead blockers and pick up tons of yards with his legs. The formation sprung Walsh for that 46-yard touchdown that really sparked the Cowboy offense.
Here’s a breakdown of every play run out of the trey formation.
First and 10 from the OSU 20 (Walsh’s first play): Walsh fakes the handoff, keeps to his left for six yards
Second and 4 from the OSU 26 (next play): Walsh fakes the handoff, keeps to his right for six yards (would have been a first down, but OSU called for illegal block)
Third and 1 from the OSU 40: Walsh fakes the handoff, keeps to his left and dashes down the sideline for 46 yards. Jeremy Seaton and Desmond Roland had the key blocks on that play.
First and 10 from the Mississippi State 14 (next play): Walsh fakes the handoff, keeps to his left for 11 yards and first-and-goal sitation.
First and goal from the Mississippi State 3 (next play): Walsh fakes the handoff, rolls to his right, throws incomplete to Roland in the end zone
Second and goal from the Mississippi State 3 (next play): Walsh fakes the handoff, keeps to his left, easily trots into the end zone for the touchdown that gives OSU a 7-3 lead.
First and 10 from the Mississippi State 19: Walsh goes play-action, misses a wide open Roland near the pylon. A throw Walsh wishes he had back.
First and 10 from own 20: Walsh fakes the handoff, keeps to his left for six yards (tripping penalty)
Second and 12 from own 18 (same drive): Walsh drops straight back, hits Jhajuan Seales for a nice 14-yard catch hear the sideline for a first down.
First and 5 from the Mississippi State 38 (same drive): Walsh goes play-action, scrambles to avoid the sack, takes off to his right, dodges another potential tackler by cutting back inside, dives for the sticks and a first down
First and 10 from Mississippi State 33 (next play): Walsh gives to Jeremy Smith for a five-yard carry up the middle.
Second and 5 from the Mississippi State 28 (next play): Walsh drops back, pump fakes and throws way out of bounds.
Second and 11 from own 37: Walsh hands to Roland for a one-yard gain up the middle.
First and 10 from own 24 (final possession): Walsh hands to Smith for a two-yard gain up the middle.
Second and 8 from own 26 (next play): Walsh hands to Smith for a four-yard gain up the middle.
Third and 4 from own 30 (next play): Walsh fakes handoff, keeps to left, cuts inside and upfield for a 16-yard gain.
Item 2: No-stance defense
I don’t know if there’s a fancy name for this package. I’ll fully admit I meant to ask Glenn Spencer about this Monday and it slipped by mind. But what we saw on certain third-down plays were defensive linemen not in a stance, along with a couple linebackers showing blitz near the line of scrimmage. Some rushed the passer, some dropped into coverage.
Third and 7 from the OSU 16: From right to left, OSU went with Joe Mitchell, Tyler Johnson, Calvin Barnett, Trace Clark, Sam Wren and Shaun Lewis crowding the line. Mississippi State, likely confused, called a timeout.
Third and 7 from the OSU 16: Coming back from the timeout, OSU went back to the look. From right to left: Johnson (faked the rush then dropped into coverage), a player I couldn’t identify (coverage), Barnett (rushed passer), Wren (rushed), Lewis (rushed), Zack Craig (rushed). Tyler Russell hit running back LaDarius Perkins on a screen pass for three yards, but the Bulldogs were called for holding.
Third and seven from Mississippi State 48: Lineup was Jimmy Bean (rushed), Barnett (rushed), Lewis (didn’t fully rush or drop into coverage), Clark (rush), Johnson (rush), Mitchell (rush). Russell tossed an incomplete pass.
Third and 24 from Mississippi State 40: Lineup was Wren (rushed), Craig (coverage), Lewis (rushed), Barnett (coverage), Mitchell (rushed), Tyler Johnson (coverage) and Lyndell Johnson (rushed). Again, an incomplete pass for Russell.
Fourth quarter (last defensive play, actually)
Third and 10 from the OSU 31: Bean (rushed), Clark (rushed), Ogbah (rushed), Tyler Johnson (coverage), two others I couldn’t identify (rushed). Craig interception.
Item 3: Clint Chelf’s audition
Here are the plays Chelf ran on OSU’s first two offensive series before being replaced by Walsh:
First play (two-back set): Play-action to Smith, underneath pass to Tracy Moore near the sideline for three yards.
Second play (one-back set, Smith goes in motion): Swing pass to Smith that lands at his feet.
Third play (one-back set): Option play, Chelf tosses to Smith for a six-yard gain short of the first down. (This play call was…interesting).
Fourth play (one-back set): Quick pass to Charlie Moore near the sideline for seven yards.
Fifth play: Handoff to Smith, free play because of an offsides penalty
Sixth play (one-back set): Screen pass underthrown and at the feet of Smith. Chelf was under pressure on the play.
Seventh play (one-back set): Quick pass to Charlie Moore on the outside for one yard.
Eighth play (one-back set): With plenty of time, Chelf throws directly into coverage and would have been intercepted had Marcell Ateman not knocked the ball away from Jay Hughes. If Mike Gundy and Yurcich weren’t already thinking about going to Walsh, this throw likely convinced them the switch needed to happen.