Ron Jaworski Film School: Iowa-Wisconsin, Offense, First Half

I have a job.  I have a house.  I occasionally have a girlfriend.  I generally don't have time to go back and watch Iowa games.  But when Iowa scores 13 points for two straight weeks, I need to know why it happened.  It's like an autopsy, done by a clown doctor.  Tonight is the first half, tomorrow (hopefully) is the second half.


(HT to mGoBlog for doing this bigger and better than I possibly can.  This is really tough work.)


Line Down-Dist Form Def Type Yards Brief

O26 1-10    Shotgun 4WR    4-2-5 Nickel    Pass    0    Fly

Um...not exactly the start we were looking for.  Christensen (inaccurate, 1) takes the snap in an empty backfield and throws 5 yards behind James Cleveland, who wasn’t even looking for the ball.

O26 2-10    I 2WR   4-3   Run    4    Off-tackle right

Bet they didn’t see that one coming.  Chapman plows through Vandevelde (-1) and is in the backfield before Young gets the handoff.  Young slips a leg tackle before Hayden gets to him.  No Hawkeye should be tackled by someone named Hayden.

O30 3-6    Shotgun 3WR    3-2-6 Dime    N/A

Timeout.  We’re already screwed by the crowd.

O30 3-6    Shotgun 3WR    4-2-5 Nickel    Pass    -1    Sack

Wisky brings both LBs and a DB off the corners, as a team playing a sophomore QB who can’t figure out Iowa State is wont to do.  Nobody picks up Henry off the left.  JC missed DJK open on the slant.  Musberger says "First sack of the night for the Badgers" like a man who is expecting a lot more where that came from.

O29 4-7 Punt – 32 yards

First Drive:  3 plays, 3 yards, 13:26 1Q, 0-0

50 1-10    I 2WR TE left    4-3 Strong (S up)     Pass    14    Swing pass

Wisky puts 8 in the box.  JC takes a quick drop and goes to Young in the left flat.  No checkdown; this was designed as a RB swing pass, and well-executed

W36 1-10    Ace 3WR    4-3   Run    5    Trap

Wisky OLBs show blitz from either side.  Blockers gash a big hole (+1), but Moeaki is unable to move Casillas out of the play, and he makes the tackle with the help of a handful of facemask (5 yd. penalty).  Moeaki had an excuse; he got hurt

W 26 1-10    I 2WR   4-3 (S up)    Pass    0    Swing pass

Wisy puts 8 up front.  Quick drop, swing to the left flat (again).  Christensen (inaccurate, 2) throws it at Tacopants Young.

W26 2-10    I 2WR   4-3 (S up)    Run    -12    REVERSE!!!

Leave it to Kenny Boy to go high-risk low-reward once we sneak into field goal range.  The initial blocking is pretty solid to the right, but Calloway (-1) completely whiffs on Shaugnessy, forcing Cleveland to slow up and cut further into the backfield.  Calloway (-1 more) compounds the error by pushing Shaugnessy further into the backfield (a missed clip, to tell you the truth).  Christensen does a better job of blocking than his lineman and temporarily stops the carnage, but the damage is done.  Levy comes from the LB spot to clean up.  Just an awful, atrocious, idiotic, certifiable playcall.

W38 3-22    Shotgun 3WR    4-2-5 Nickel    Pass    0    In

Initial blocking is good.  JC drops back, steps into the pocket (yeah, a pocket!) and slings it across the middle right on the numbers (accurate, 1) to Brodell.  We all know what happens next (-1).  Would have been short of the first down, but would have left a 35 yard FG to get on the board.  The last two plays summed up the entire last 2+ years of Iowa offense.

W38 4-22 Punt – 30 yards

Second drive:  5 plays, 12 yards, 10:16 1Q, 0-0

50 1-10    Ace 2TE    4-3   Pass    3    Out

JC rolls left.  The OL holds.  JC (accurate, 2) puts it on the numbers to Brodell on a 3 yd. out route.

W47 2-7    Ace 3WR    4-3   Pass    0    Throw-away

JC play actions to Sims.  Myers can’t stop Newkirk off the left edge.  Moreover, Eubanks (-1) gets pushed 10 yards into the backfield on a bull rush by Chapman.  The penetration short circuits the play.  JC rolls left to avoid the rush and gets rid of the pass before being flattened by Casillas (who is now obviously running a delayed blitz every time the TE stays in to block on a pass play).  Herbstreit is now openly making fun of the offense.

W47 3-7    Shotgun 3WR    4-2-5    Pass    0    Throw-away

Wisky shows blitz with both LB’s and the nickel back (see 3rd and 6 in the first drive; same formation, same package from Wisconsin).  They bring the LB and DB off the corners (again, see 3rd and 6), and nobody picks up the nickel back Henry; Richardson (-1) sees him and starts toward the outside, but instead half-heartedly engages the end, who also eventually gets into the pocket (am I repeating myself here?)  Oh, and Levy pushes Busch (-1) back into the pocket from the other side.  Oh, and Casillas comes on the delayed blitz again (once Busch stays in to block) and runs right by Olsen (-1).  JC rolls left for the sideline and flings it 15 rows deep before the entire state of Wisconsin takes him down.  Our blitz pickup is absolutely atrocious.

W47 4-7 Punt – 32 yards

Third drive: 3 plays, 3 yards, 7:36 1Q, 0-0

O39 1-10    I FB-R    4-3 (S up)    Run    2    Zone left

Cleveland comes in motion from the right flank toward the line about 5 steps; you might as well just have JC tell them what you’re going to run.  That’s right, it’s zone left!  Blocking is generally solid, but Richardson (-1) completely whiffs on Casillas, who immediately fills the cutback lane and makes the stop on Young along with S Carter.

O41 2-8    Ace WB R    4-3 (S up)    Run    4    Zone right

Blocking is generally good, save for Eubanks getting rolled by Chapman.  Young makes the cutback, dodging Chapman, but there’s not much of a hole by this point.  He splits his two blockers and takes what he can get before being tackled from behind by Newkirk.

O45 3-4     Shotgun 3WR    3-2-6    Pass    3    Scramble

No blitz shown this time.  Blocking holds up against a 3-man rush (actually an achievement today).  JC rolls left.  Young stays in for blocking, but can’t take out Hodge (I knew that guy looked familiar).  Strickland, the dime back, also rushes.  JC evades those two, but is knocked out of bounds before he can get the first down.  And Andy Brodell is down, which necessitated the scramble.

O 42 4-1 Punt – 42 yds.

Fourth drive:  3 plays, 9 yards, 4:12 1Q, 0-0

O 32 1-10    Ace 3WR    4-3 (S up)    Run    -2    Who the hell knows

JC audibles.  Wisky brings Hodge on the blitz.  Hodge goes by Meade (-1) virtually untouched and wraps up Sims in the backfield.

O 30 2-12    Ace WBR    4-3 over (S up)    Run    -1    Counter left

Again, too many defenders for the blockers in place.  Newkirk sheds Myers’ block with ease, and Hodge is untouched to Sims.  They combine on the tackle one yard deep in the backfield.

O29 3-13    Shotgun 3WR    4-2-5(S up)     Pass    -10    Ostensibly a screen

No blitz from Wisconsin.  The up safety identifies the screen immediately and locks onto Sims.  Surrounded by Badgers, JC runs out of bounds.

O19 4-23 Punt – 46 yds.

Fifth drive:  3 plays, - 13 yards, 1:15 1Q, 0-0

O19 1-10    Ace WBL    4-3   Pass    0    Drag

Hayden beats Blum like a rented mule, but it was a short pattern.  JC (inaccurate, 3) throws it 5 feet over Sandeman’s head.  Of course, he was running a 2 yard drag route, so who gives a shit?  Herbstreit just said "a punt is imminent."

O19 2-10    Ace 3WR    4-3   Pass    11    Rollout

Wisky shows blitz with 2 LBs.  JC audibles.  They bring some heat, but JC rolls left on a designed bootleg and Sims (+1) does a nice job picking up the unblocked DE.  JC (accurate, 3) hits Cleveland on a 3-yard out in space, and Cleveland gets 8 more before being knocked out of bounds.

O31 1-10    Ace WB-L    4-3 Over    Pass    0    Drag

Another play with the wingback going in motion just to touch JC’s ass and return to his original position (it’s about the fourth play like this so far).  Wisky brings the front four and the left corner (obvious attempt to short circuit the rollout).  The OL (+1 for all) holds up against a Wisconsin stunt, and Sims (+1) picks up the blitz.  JC throws it at Sandeman’s head, and Sandeman drops it.  It was a 3 yard route, so, again, who gives a shit?  We haven’t thrown a pass more than 10 yards past the line of scrimmage since the first play of the game.

O31 2-10    Ace 3 WR    4-3   Pass    3    JAILBREAK!!!

The KOK special:  Wisky brings Casillas on a perfectly-timed blitz from the right, picked up well by Richardson (+1).  JC takes a step back and dumps it to Chaney, who was lined up at split end and has a wall of blockers.  Unfortunately, not one part of that wall picked up Hodge, who has the genetics to sniff out the jailbreak screen from 5 kilometers away.  He grabs Chaney from behind, and what could have been a decent pickup turns into 3 yards and 4 confused linemen.

O34 3-7    Ace 3WR    4-2-5   Pass    5    Swing pass

First off, there is no way we have enough people on the line of scrimmage at the start of this play.  Wisky brings Levy off the right corner, again picked up by Richardson (+1).  Despite the line holding up, JC doesn’t even bother looking downfield and dumps it into the right flat for Sims.  Sandeman can’t block Casillas (as if he should ever have to).  DS, who receives it three yards behind the line of scrimmage on a third and 7, doesn’t stand a chance.  He’s dragged out of bounds at the 39, 2 yards short.

O39 4-2 Punt – 39 yards (almost muffed)

Sixth drive:  5 plays, 20 yards, 12:26 2Q, 0-0

O19 1-10    I 2WR-L    4-3 (S up)    Run    -1    Zone right

Wisky blitzes Levy off the left (where they’ve had far more success), but Levy follows JC after the handoff.  The initial blocking is OK, but Meade falls down and loses his man.  A now-unblocked Newkirk closes the cutback lane and drops Young for a loss.

O18 2-11    I FB-L   4-3 (S up)    Pass    9    In

Pleasant blitzes from the right and Levy from the left.  AY steps up to pick up the LB, and Pleasant comes untouched.  Unfortunately, he’s an idiot and decides to hurdle JC rather than tackle him; he also grabs 15 yards worth of facemask.  JC has just enough time to throw to Myers, who incredibly makes the catch.

O35 1-10    I 2WR-L    4-3 (S up)    Pass    0     Curl (if only it were)

Play action to AY.  Wisky brings Pleasant and Levy again, this time both from the left.  JC (accurate, 3) gets it off in time.  James Cleveland (-1000) earns my scorn.

O35 2-10    Ace 3WR    4-3   Pass    0    Out

Wisky brings both Levy and Hodge from the left (they’re obviously hoping for a JC rollout right into the teeth of the blitz) and drop Shaughnessy off into coverage on the right.  JC immediately throws it straight to him, because hey, why the fuck not?

O35 3-10    Ace 3WR    4-2-5   Pass    0    Throw-away

D shows blitz with both LBs.  It’s another zone blitz, with Shaughnessy back into coverage.  It takes 1 ½ seconds for the line to completely melt down, as the three interior linemen look for someone to block, only to find the entire Badger defense, Bucky, Ron Dayne, and Vince Fucking Lombardi in the backfield.  JC is forced to scramble right and throws it out of bounds just as Hodge gets there.  Herbstreit, noting our trouble with the blitz, suggests we punt on third down.

O35 4-10 Punt – 44 yards

Seventh drive:  6 plays, 16 yards, 7:53 2Q, 0-0

O34 1-10    Shotgun 3WR    4-3   Pass    0    Out

JC rolls right (not entirely sure why you roll a lefty to the right, but whatever).  Casillas again comes when he sees the back stay in to block.  Because of the idiotic roll right, the already-inaccurate JC throws it 10 feet above Cleveland (inaccurate, 4), who was running – you guessed it – a 3-yard out route.  Possibly the most horribly-conceived play in the history of football.  George is getting upset!

O34 2-10    I 2WRR    4-3 (S up)    Run    6    Zone right

The best-executed run of the game so far.  Wall of humanity right, cut back left, 6 yards

O40 3-4    Ace 3WR    3-3-5 Nickel    Run    3    Offtackle left

Followed by the worst-executed run of the night.  Wisconsin rushes THREE.  Calloway (-1) and Blum (-1) decide it would be best to block each other, As DeCremer wraps up AY.  And, even if Calloway and Blum hadn’t gone all Brokeback Mountain, Chapman and Levy were there to clean up.  This play sucked so much, it should be put on a loop and used to save little children who fall in wells.

O 42 4-6 Punt – 32 yards

Eighth series:  3 plays, 4 yards, 4:55 2Q, 0-0

W46 1-10    Shotgun 4WR    4-3   Pass    4    Out

Momentum shift with the interception, and KOK goes for the jugular with...another 4-yard out pattern.  At least Sims caught the ball.

W42 2-6    Ace 3WR    4-3   Run    2    Zone right

Sims goes off-tackle right, makes a cutback, and runs into an unblocked wall of Wisconsin linebackers.  Meh.

W40 3-4    Ace 3WR    4-3   Pass    12    Out

Safety cheats up late, as Wisky shows LB blitz from the corners.  Zone blitz comes from the right, picked up effectively, and JC throws a strike (accurate, 5(?)) to Run-DJK for a first down (!)

W28 1-10    I   4-3 (S up)    Run    0    Zone left

WR right in motion 5 steps...say it with me!  Zone left it is!  Nobody picks up Levy, who reads the cutback perfectly and fills the lane.  Sims stays inside, where Casillas and Newkirk cleans up the mess.

W28 2-10    I   4-3 (S up)    Pass    0    Slant

Sims goes in motion to the right slot.  Wisconsin brings blitzers from the right and left between guard and tackle.  JC gets it away, but over the head of DJK (inaccurate, 5).

W28 3-10    Ace 3WR    3-3-5   Pass    3    JAILBREAK!!!

Wisky looks like it’s bringing the house, and sure enough they do; 4 blitzers, one to each gap in the line, as Shaughnessy drops back into coverage from the DE spot (again).  His presence blows up another screen pass, as the caravan of blockers is 10 yards upfield.

W25 4-7 FG – Good

Ninth series:  6 plays, 21 yards, 2:28 2Q, 3-0

O37 1-10    Shotgun 4WR-bunch R     4-2-5    Pass    7    Out

Wisconsin sags back and rushes 4.  JC steps up and hits a wide open DJK on the sideline.

O44 2-3    Shotgun 4WR-bunch R     3-3-5    Pass    21    Drag

Again, Wisconsin in umbrella coverage and rushing 4.  Nobody immediately open, so JC cuts through a hole in the right side of the line and lobs one down the sideline to Cleveland, who set up in the gap in the zone.

W25 1-10    Shotgun 4WR-bunch L     3-3-5    Pass    0    Fade

No real pressure; JC overthrows Myers on the fade route.  To be fair, Myers looked over both shoulders about 7 times trying to locate the ball, so it might not have mattered.

W25 2-10    Shotgun 3WR   3-3-5    Pass    5    Out

Wisconsin finally goes back to pressure, bringing the nickel back off the left, but JC gets to the target on time, and DJK (+1) makes a nice catch with a defender on his back.

W20 3-5    Shotgun 3WR   3-3-5    Pass    20    Fly

Yee-haw!  Wisky brings 4 and drops into man on the receivers.  JC takes one step back and lobs it up for DJK, who wills it away from Ikegwuonu despite being out of position.  This actually probably wasn’t a catch, but we’ll take it.  Bucky looks flabbergasted.

Tenth drive:  5 plays, 63 yards, 0:04 2Q, 10-7

As I said, back tomorrow with the second half and analysis.  

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