Saban, gettin’ schooled by Corch

Chris Brown, as usual, has an excellent piece on how Ohio State’s offense has evolved away from what Urban Meyer was doing at Florida.  The part in there that really caught my eye was how Meyer and his offensive coordinator, Tom Herman, schooled Saban and Smart in the national semi-final match.

The one defense that shut the Buckeyes down this season was Virginia Tech’s.  Here’s what Bud Foster did.

… in Week 2, when Virginia Tech employed a “Bear” or “Double Eagle” front, in which the defensive line pinches down and lines up with a nose tackle over the center and defensive linemen over each of the offensive guards. This strategy effectively shut down Ohio State’s inside zone running game, as the Buckeyes managed just 108 yards rushing on 40 attempts, with 70 of those yards coming from quarterback J.T. Barrett, who’d taken over in the preseason for the injured Miller, and who’s since given the reins to Cardale Jones after suffering a season-ending injury of his own. Thiswasn’t the first time a “Bear” front had proven successful against a Meyer offense, and Ohio State’s coaches knew they would need to find answers to adjust.

Guess what happened when Alabama went to a similar alignment.

The sweep is a perfect complement to OSU’s inside zone because as soon as the defense begins pinching down, Herman can call this play to get the ball to the perimeter of the defense, with several athletic linemen out in front. It’s worked: When Alabama shifted its defensive linemen down into a type of Bear front in an effort to stop OSU’s inside runs in the Sugar Bowl, Herman called for a version of the Oregon sweep, and the play went for an 85-yard Elliott touchdown — the biggest score of the game, and maybe of the Buckeyes’ season.

Sounds like somebody was better prepared that day than somebody else was.

 

28 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Strategery And Mechanics, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

28 responses to “Saban, gettin’ schooled by Corch

  1. I can’t stand Meyer, but have to admit Saban was completely out coached. When are the mercenary bama fans going to start raising hell to hire Meyer.

    Like

  2. If only Bama had some meaner D lineman– wait check that.

    Like

  3. @gatriguy

    Tom Herman is a Mensa. No, really. Great o coordinator. Gonna be a great head coach.

    Like

    • Interesting that folks underestimated Herman as ISU’s OC because he did not score 50 a game. Coaches know it when another coach does well with lesser talent even if the statistics are not stellar.

      Like

  4. Red Cup

    Looks like Bama crapped in their pants …..again 😉

    Like

  5. Big Max

    If calling an outside run when the defense lines up with 3 DL over the guard-center-guard constitutes schooling Saban, I could do that for a fraction of the salary.

    Like

    • Goat Balls

      I don’t understand this either. You line up 3 DL guard center guard and the DE’s, LBs, corners..especially the safety can’t come up and make a play?

      I mean what am I missing here? I’ll admit that that seems to be the truth about this situation but it seems to me that maybe Bamas players weren’t good enough to make the plays on the edges.

      Like

  6. Will

    Truthfully, this should be more an indictment of Smart’s defense, but Saban is getting the blame. Realistically, it sounds like Smart thought Meyer was a one-note-song, and Meyer was keeping a horn section in the wings.

    Like

  7. PTC DAWG

    I enjoyed every minute of this game…my few Bama buds would not listen to any ideas about them getting beat…not in any universe did they see it…they haven’t said a peep since…

    Like

  8. joe

    It really isn’t rocket science. It never amazes me how coaches on gameday stubbornly stick to what isn’t working and fail to see what is occurring. Even guys like Saban aren’t immune to this. Corch, is guilty of it himself as our our coaches.

    Like

  9. Macallanlover

    Let’s first acknowledge that this was a good, but not really good Alabama team. They were unlikely to win out after barely escaping several regular season matchups, they were overrated because of the incredible love for the two Mississippi schools. I think they might have been a little better than Ohio, but not so much that the Sugar Bowl should be looked at as a shocking result.

    Saban is a very good coach, who generally has enjoyed better talent/depth, keeps a laser focus on all games, and applies great attention to detail. For some reason he has been anointed as infallible and the facts just do not support that. The last three Sugar Bowls serve as a strong indicator that he is subject to the same letdowns all coaches have to deal with. In our matchups with him over the years we have stomped them a couple of times, and he has stomped us a couple of times. Most of the games have been competitive and usually the better team won the game. I would say that “coaching” wasn’t the decisive point in the results of those games but it always plays a role,, especially in adjustments. Richt had held his own with Little Nicky. The truth is a much better Alabama team almost lost to UGA in the 2012 SECCG and that would have been the biggest upset of the series of matchups between Saban and Richt.

    I respect Saban as a coach, don’t care much for his personality, and don’t feel intimidated by having them on our schedule this season; I just wish we had gotten a chance to strap them on in Atlanta last month. Not saying we would have won, it would have been another close matchup, but I really liked our chances against them at the end of the year. Alabama has achieved more in recent years than UGA with two SEC titles since our last one so he has been in the spotlight more, let’s get that reversed starting this fall.

    Like

    • Russ

      Well said, Mac.

      Like

    • You forgot about the 3 NC Saban has won since our last sec title. So,yea Saban has received just a little more spotlight than Richt. Those 3 NC in 4 years was probably the greatest run in modern college football history. I agree completely with everything else in your post.

      Like

      • Macallanlover

        I didn’t forget, there hasn’t ever been a NC, they did win 3 BCS Bowl titles. That was a great Bama run, they have been stout every recent season until this past one. I hope we begin one like that soon but it is tough to do with the competitiveness that exists in CFB these days. That level of success may not be achieved again in CFB with so many teams raising their level of play, and the number of “good fortune” events that have to go your way. Have to tip your hat to that accomplishment.

        Like

        • Agreed. However, I am curious about your opinion on national championships. If Bama was not the NC then who was? Are you saying UGA did not win the NC in 1980? If you are saying “best team” then yea, that can never be determined. Remember when the 10-6 Giants beat the 16-0 NE Pats in the 2008 Super Bowl? The Giants were Super Bowl Champs but nobody would say they were a better football team. All we can do is win the NC under the system we have.

          Like

          • Macallanlover

            Sorry, it is just one of my pet subjects, and admittedly an extreme minority position. No, I don’t acknowledge any NCs for anyone because of the way they were selected, and that other worthy teams were excluded. But also, I don’t think there is any system that will get you to “the best’ title, only champion. Super bowls don’t, World Series won’t, March Madness won’t, etc. We all argue about “best’ in all sports but it will always be subjective, no playoff guarantees that. All we can do is crown a champion based on a fair playoff of the best contenders. And I am good with that, let’s just get all the top contenders included. Then we can sit around all off season and debate who might have been the best…and toast the champion for winning what they could.

            Like

            • Sounds reasonable. So eight team playoff?

              Like

              • Macallanlover

                I think this year has demonstrated why that would work better to even some of the prior critics. It won’t guarantee solidarity on a “best’ team every year, but it will insure the most viable candidates will have an opportunity to earn the title of National Champion. Due to current contracts, winning over the naysayers, and changing/specifying the financial payments for an extra round it will take a minimum of five years to take the step, imo. I wish it were earlier because the need was obvious this season, and the TV ratings are off the charts but look at how long we tolerated the BCS model.

                Like

  10. SouthGaDawg

    Now in 2015, I think Meyer has a higher upside than Saban. With the Big 10, Michigan will get better because Harbaugh will turn that mess around. MSU will be steadily above average. I’m not putting near as much stock in Franklin as some are. That side of the Big 10 is winnable for the next couple of years. As far as the SEC, Ole Miss and MSU I expect to regress to the mean. Arky and A&M will be better. I think AU will trend a little higher next yr. With all that being said, I think OSU has a better chance than Bama over the next couple of years to make the CFP. If Bama misses the championship for say the next 2 yrs in a row, will Bama Nation stand for that? Will Saban say screw it and move on? Finally, I’m not a Meyer fan, but he has proven that he can flat out coach.

    Like

    • Fify.

      …he can flat out corch.”

      Like

    • Macallanlover

      I think Franklin will help PSU get better, at least enough that Ohio will have some competition to face occasionally. Recruits eat his act up but they are far behind the chains at this point.

      I also think A&M will be a force in the West when they get their defense up to par. I feel having Chief on board will get those Texas recruits humming soon, and Sumlin will keep the offensive pressure on Saban, fun times ahead in the West.

      Like

  11. Well in fairness to Bama’s coaching staff, it’s not the brilliance of Ohio State’s coaches taking Saban and Smart to school that put Bama’s top three inside linebackers and an all-American safety on the sideline when that play for the 85 yards TD was called.

    Like

  12. AusDawg85

    I thought only Richt made mistakes and lost bowl games?

    Like

  13. fred russo

    Please don’t mention Richt in the same company as Saban and Meyer! Maybe one or two of there assistance.

    Like