"You want schemes? I've got your fucking schemes right here."
It's back, if only because someone has to chronicle the adventure that is the Ron Zook experience.
A couple of things: I have taken out the +/- system for now, which unnecessarily piled on people who visibly sucked and let others off who sucked from afar. Also, I adopted the mGoBlog quarterback rating system. I'll continue to tweak this system (and blatantly rip off Brian) until I can find something functional.
As always, second half tomorrow.
(The breakdown, of both this game and the author, after the jump...)
Down/Dist Line OForm DForm P/R Yds. Desc.
1-15 O18 Shotgun 4WR 4-2-5 Pass 6 Slant
False start penalty, not exactly the way you want to start things. Illinois rushes 4 and drops into zone. AY, from the right slot, runs a quick slant, and JC hits him in stride. Holy crap, we’re moving. (CA,1)
2-9 O24 Ace 2WR 4-3 Run 7 Off-tackle left
Illinois shows blitz from the left (someone’s been reading film review...) Wingback comes in motion, then drops back into the fullback spot. The blocking holds up well, and the hole opens. Leman is there to close it, but he’s distracted by a bald eagle. AY slips through arm tackles and into the secondary, where he’s wrapped up by Davis. Nice execution and a decisive run by Young.
3-2 O31 I Big 4-3 (S, CB up) Run 5 Iso
Vandevelde does a nice job pulling left and laying the lumber to Steele, opening just enough of a hole to get AY the first down.
1-10 O36 I 2WR 4-3 Pass 9 Outlet
Play action. Blitz from the right picked up well, but Meade completely whiffs on Lindquist, and JC is forced to dump it to AY without stepping forward. He’s still accurate, and Young is open and runs for 9. (CA,2)
2-1 O45 Ace 2 WR R 4-3 over Pass 7 Out
Clinic in play action here, as the entire ILLINI linebacker corps follows AY to the right. Protection holds. JC hits Cleveland on the quick out. DJK was open at the 44 (and should have been the target once the linebackers bit), but we’ll take two first downs in a row. (CA, 3)
1-10 I48 Ace 2WR L 4-3 Pass 4 Swing pass
Illinois rushes 4, Vandervelde gets pwned by a bull-rushing Norwell, and JC goes to the flat almost immediately. AY breaks a tackle and grabs a few extra. (CA, 4)
2-6 I44 Ace 2WR offset right 4-3 over Run 4 Off-guard
Busch goes in motion back to the fullback spot and makes a nice block to open a hole. Vandevelde again can’t finish a block (this time against Lindquist), and Lindquist lays the lumber to AY.
3-2 I40 Ace 3WR 4-3 over Run 5 Zone right
Just a gutsy run by AY, who found a sliver of a hole and dove through for a first down. Good blocking from the line, but no hole or cutback lane opened. Zook is nodding on the sidelines, until his assistant reminds him his team is wearing white.
1-10 I35 I 4-3 over Pass -12 Like an episode of Gilligan’s Island
See, that’s what I remember. Play action, and the linebackers bite (especially Steele, who is beginning to look like he’s never seen a forward pass before). Vandervelde and Olsen double on DT Lindquist, obviously counting on Busch to pick up the DE. Busch instead blocks the delay blitz from the corner, leaving Walker untouched into the backfield. On the other side of the line, Calloway quickly decides he can’t block Davis, so why even try? I can’t tell which bit of ineptitude is more painfully funny: Busch standing at the end of the line, waiting for the corner (who gets there just as Walker gets to JC), or Calloway tripping and falling as he pursues his assignment, who is already 5 yards by him and has JC by the arm. Complete and total breakdown, momentum killer, drive ender. AWFUL.
2-22 I47 Shotgun 4WR 4-3 Pass 13 Scramble
Obvious mismatch on the right, as Miller is lined up on DJK. We don’t do anything about it, because we don’t have time. There are five – FIVE receivers in the formation, and no help for a line that could use plenty. Vandervelde (whose mouth moves a lot faster than his feet) completely misses on Lindquist again. JC, to his credit, avoids the rush and scrambles for a nice gain. The alternate view shows DJK and Myers open, but that can’t be laid at the feet of JC on this play.
3-9 I34 Shotgun 3WR 4-3 Pass Inc.
Illini shows blitz from both sides, and comes from the left with Wilson (who might be a designated blitzer, we’ll keep watching for #2). Busch doesn’t get a good block on him, and he apparently gets to JC’s hand as the ball is released (either that, or it’s the worst pass ever) (PR,1). Oh, and just as soon as I type "he might be a designated blitzer," the ESPN guy confirms it. That means we all know when and where it’s coming.
4-9 I34 Shotgun 3WR 3-2-6 Pass 0 Scramble
Illinois brings 2 blitzers (center, right). There’s a 10 foot hole in the line for Sanders from the right. Tommy Busch makes up for the last play with a late block to save the sack, and the center is picked up well. JC is immediately scrambling, though, and is actually tackled by Vandervelde, who has almost single-handedly ended this drive.
FIRST DRIVE: 12 plays, 48 yards, 8:40 1Q, 0-0
1-10 O25 Ace 2WR L offset R 4-3 over Run 7 Zone right
Everyone in the stadium saw this play coming, and yet there’s a gargantuan hole on the right, as Olsen seals off the line. AY goes directly at Harrison, or it could have been big. As it is, I’ll take 7 yards on first down.
2-3 O32 Ace 2WR 4-3 Run 5 Off-guard left
Again, Busch motions into the backfield. This one isn’t nearly as effective, as Busch takes an outside angle to his LB assignment, misses completely, and Miller and Leman combine on the tackle.
1-10 O37 Ace 2WR R 4-3 over (S up) Run 6 Zone left
Safety sneaks up at the snap, and Steele shows blitz from the right. Perfect play call against the blitz. Wall of humanity left does its job, AY gets to the corner, nice gain
2-4 O43 Ace 2WR R 4-3 Run 15 Dive right
Blitz from the left ineffective. Simple dive play, and the Illinois line (reading zone) opens up like the Red Sea. Al is running like a man possessed, flying by Leman & Co. and bouncing off the entire Illinois secondary for a couple more yards.
1-10 I43 I 4-3 Run 7 Zone left
Sims in the game. The entire line shifts left, taking the Illinois front 4 with them. Sims has a cutback lane, but dances in the hole, which gives Davis just enough time to grab him from behind. If DS runs that one like AY ran the previous play, it’s a home run.
2-3 I36 I tight 4-3 over (2 S up) Run 3 Off-guard left
Leman fills what little hole there was, Sims falls forward. Meh.
3-in I34 I tight ? Run 1 Quick snap sneak
1-10 I33 I 4-3 over (2 S up) Run -3 Counter right
This one is on Sims. Busch doesn’t get a great block on Miller, but there is a seal to the inside. Bulaga pulls to clear the road. Instead, DS bounces outside, where Busch can’t hold his block, and falls into Miller’s warm embrace.
2-13 I36 Ace 2WR R 4-3 (CB up) Pass 7 Curl
Illinois blitzes Steele from the right, picked up effectively by Sims. Stross runs a quick curl against a big cushion from Davis, and JC hits him (CA, 5). Yes, if you’re keeping score, this is the first pass of this drive.
3-6 I28 Shotgun 3WR 4-2-5 Pass Inc. Cross
Illinois rushes 4 and drops into zone. JC has all the time in the world for once (though it doesn’t stop him from doing his best MC Hammer impersonation in the pocket), but throws high to Myers (who had a defender on him like Frank Costanza’s lawyer’s cape) (IN, 1)
4-6 I28 Shotgun 3WR 3-3-5 Pass Inc. Slant
It’s one thing to go for it from the 36, but this shows we have absolutely no faith in our kicking game, right? Right. Illinois shows blitz (left, center), but then bring a zone blitz from the right with Steele and Davis. JC has all day, throws to Tacopants (IN, 2)
SECOND DRIVE: 11 plays, 47 yards, :32 1Q, 3-0 Illinois
1-10 O20 Strong I left 4-3 Pass PI
I have to admit it: I LOVE this play call. You ran the ball on the first 8 plays of last drive, so go out in a run-first formation and sling it. But JC holds on too long, staring down DJK before throwing it to him in double coverage as the protection breaks down. Nice sentiment, poor execution. Flags, flags everywhere, as DJK goes down. Despite being bailed out by the flags, it goes down as (BR, 1)
1-10 O35 Ace 2 WR L 4-3 over Run -1 Zone right
Nobody gets a body on The Patriot, and the play implodes. Sigh.
2-11 O34 Ace 4-3 Run 1 Draw left
Busch drops back into the backfield. Illinois overpursues, as we hoped, and a big hole opens left. AY hits it hard, but neither Myers nor Eubanks finishes a block, and Miller/Leman combine on the tackle. Shoulda been bigger.
3-9 O35 Shotgun 3WR 3-3-5 Pass 14 Curl
Guess who is on the left edge? Wilson and Steele come from the left, but it’s picked up well. JC hits Myers in a hole in the zone just past the first down line. It’s drawn directly from the ISU playbook
1-10 O49 Ace 2WR L 4-3 over (CB up) Run 0 Zone right
Leman (!) shows blitz from the left against a line stacked to the right, taking him out of the play. Myers can’t finish a block on Miller, who is now impersonating Leman. Miller is Leman. Leman is Miller. I know all there is to know about the crying game.
2-10 O49 Ace 3WR 4-3 Run 3 Zone right
Eubanks makes a terrible initial block on Norwell, allowing him to back up and move into the hole. By the time he re-engages, Norwell is making the tackle on AY.
3-7 I48 Shotgun 3WR 3-3-5 Pass 15 Curl
Sanders and Steele show blitz from the left, Wilson from the right. Wilson comes, along with Leman from the middle. Blitz pickup is effective enough, and JC slings it to a wide open DJK, who sat in a hole in the zone. Sensing a theme here?
1-10 I33 Ace 2WR R 4-3 (S up) Run 1 Dive
Nobody gets a body on Miller, who fills the hole (and is singlehandedly keeping Illinois’ D in the game at this point). They’re showing Vandervelde’s little league world series clips, which will help me forget he’s constantly on his ass; they’re double-teaming his blocking assignment on pretty much every play, which is leaving these linebackers unblocked in the hole.
2-9 I32 Ace 3WR 4-3 Pass Inc. Out
No blitz from Illinois, and the protection holds. Chaney is as wide open as you can get with enough yardage for a first down and more, and JC overthrows him by 5 feet (IN, 3). In other news, Pam Ward and her companion officially have a crush on Vandervelde.
3-9 I32 Shotgun 3WR 3-3-5 Pass -9 Sack
Wilson is on the left, and you know what that means. Wilson left, Steele middle. Vandervelde misses another one, and Eubanks is daydreaming of unicorns and ice cream as Steele flies by. JC somehow avoids them both and scrambles to the right, just long enough for Wilson to catch him from behind.
4-18 I41 Punt – 39 yds.
THIRD DRIVE: 10 plays, 39 yards, 5:44 2Q, 3-0 Illinois
1-10 O33 Ace 3WR 4-3 Run 7 Zone left
Chaney comes on a fake reverse. Handoff goes to DS. Leman is unblocked, but Sims takes it outside and runs right by Captain America. Sanders comes up to make the hit, but not before Sims gets 7. Well-executed by the line, and a nice choice by DS.
2-3 O40 Ace 3WR 4-3 Pass Inc. Out
Both OLBs are on the line as the ball is snapped. Steele blitzes from the left. Sims picks it up immediately, but Eubanks and Bulaga are pushed into the pocket. The left side opens up, and JC rolls out, but instead of scrambling for the first down, he throws it vaguely in the direction of DJK on the sideline. I have no idea why he did this. (BR, 2)
3-3 O40 Shotgun 3WR 4-2-5 Run 4 QB Draw
I’d like to think KOK watched the previous play and made JC run it, just to make up for that ridiculous throw. In any case, the draw works to perfection, JC makes a juke move that holds up Miller just enough to dive forward for the first down.
1-10 O44 Ace 3WR 4-2-5 Pass 15 Fly
Illinois rushes 4; protection holds up. JC floats one right over the corner (playing the short zone in cover 2) and into the arms of Chaney, who makes a nice grab with the safety laying the lumber. (CA, 6)
1-10 I41 Ace 3WR 4-2-5 Run 5 Off-guard right
Linemen getting into the second level to block? Receivers taking out corners? What is this, 2002?
2-5 I36 Ace 3WR 4-3 Run 9 ??? Left
I didn’t get a good look at this, as TWWL was too busy asking Robert Smith who he liked in OU/Mizzou. They should have brought in Rachel Nichols to ask Rob how it felt to stab 100,000 Minnesota Vikings fans in the back, claiming you’re going to med school only to sell your soul for a chance to interrupt the fucking Iowa game. How does that feel, Robert? Huh? HOW DOES THAT FEEL?
Oh, and there was a penalty on Illinois after the play. Zook looks confused by the hand signals.
1-10 I14 Ace 3WR 4-2-5 Run 4 Zone left
Nobody puts a block on Walker (weak side DE), and he makes the play, but not bad for first down. Holding called on Calloway.
1-20 I24 Ace 3WR 4-2-5 Pass 14 WR quick screen
Play action right. JC spins and immediately throws to DJK on the left flank. DJK slips a tackle by Davis and has a couple of blockers ahead of him. Not much help, those blockers, but a nice pickup nonetheless on a play I thought had been expunged from the Iowa playbook.
2-6 I10 Shotgun 3WR 4-2-5 Pass Inc.
No blitz (why, Illinois, why?), but JC hurries a pass into coverage. (BR, 3)
3-6 I10 Shotgun 4WR 4-2-5
Illinois stunts the defensive linemen, which is a whole generation of line play beyond what we can handle. Both DE’s come untouched up the middle. JC is forced to get rid of it in a hurry, without stepping forward, and throws it well above Sims in the flat. (PR, 2)
4-6 I10 FG – Good!
FOURTH DRIVE: 10 plays, 57 yards, :26 2Q, 3-3