Reading the Buckeye Leaves: UNLV Week

Marcus Baugh Ohio State Football Buckeyes

I have been away from a decent internet connection the past few days, but found a moment to pass along a few nuggets on this week’s matchup.

Finally, the Buckeyes defense can put to work the lessons learned through the first two weeks of the season. The linebackers will be able to face a more traditional offensive attack, one that is fairly similar to that of the Buckeyes — a run-oriented spread attack.

The matchup to keep an eye on, however, will be Damon Arnette lined up against Devonte Boyd in the slot. Boyd does a great job creating space and playing strong in contested situations. Arnette will need to be a reliable tackler as Boyd can create yards after contact to keep a drive alive.

When UNLV Has the Ball:

Armani Rogers is utilized in a similar manner to J.T. Barrett. They provide him with easy reads and intermediate and short throws in the passing game, and have to roll the pocket to create time. Barrett has struggled in rolling out, but as you all see below, Rogers does a nice job of selling the rollout before putting a foot in the ground and cutting straight upfield for a nice gain.

UNLV can use this to show the pass, but in reality, it is designed as a run play with a little more window dressing.

When Ohio State Has the Ball:

Ohio State has expanded the playbook little by little in recent weeks, and showed a terrific play design in last week’s game. Army or not, this play will continue to pop up as the Buckeyes enter conference play.

In the play below, the Buckeyes utilized common principles to their passing attack, i.e. bubble screen motion and RB flare to the opposite side. The linebackers are widened and the safeties are reacting to the backfield motion, creating a large void down the seam.