Death by Ducks: Part 2

Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N

This is part 2 of my 3 part series on the Oregon offense. Please refer to any of my plays in the previous post.

Part 1: Oregon's Offense vs. Stanford

Part 2: Spread Offense Philosophy and Reason

Part 3: UCLA's Defense vs. Oregon

Alright, my favorite part of offense is the philosophy and reasoning of the coaching staff. Remember, these are all philosophical, theoretical points that give that waver for execution to the offense.

This type of discussion can get hyper-critical of coaches (not hypocritical, but hyper-critical) because sometimes the philosophy doesn't match the players- but more on that later.

Oregon's Offensive Philosophy

Quite blandly what Oregon is going to do is, if Oregon is playing perfect offense, they force you to play perfect defense. The biggest example of that comes in the "numbers" game. Here is a visual aid:


As you can see, the defense is in a basic 4-2 defense, Nickel, with a deep safety covering for a missed pass responsibility. The offense is at a huge advantage with a mobile QB now, the offensive line can block everyone in the box, aside from one defender with no problems (what does that sound like). If 6 guys are in the box, theoretically, if the defense can't get off of blocks, the offense is guaranteed 12 yards on every play if the offense runs the zone read play.

Ok, let's decide to stack the box, and stop the run


Aesthetically, it looks great. But people tend to forget that Oregon has other options to go to (remember they can throw too). The Bubble Screen is the first outside option. So let's say that you bring up your safeties to defend that: 


Essentially, and remember this is all theoretical, the only true way to account for everyone on the offense is to run a Cover 0 concept and pray that you can cover the wideouts. BUT, that is completely unrealistic, and would never appear in any right-minded defensive coordinator's game-plan. Actually, no, I take that back- a defense that sets priorities and schemes perfectly mentally can substitute that Cover 0 concept.

Let's take a look at Monte Kiffin and the Tennessee Vols, and how he schemed against Florida last year. (Credit all the research on Florida to Chris from

Kiffin set priorites:

The basic theory was clear: focus on Florida "inside to out," meaning focus first on the line and the gamebreaking runningbacks, then on Tebow running and the inside receivers and tight-ends like Hernandez, and, only last, Florida’s outside receivers

Meyer responded to the demanding scheme:

Kiffin played a lot of Cover 4 or "quarters" against Florida. Florida, in turn, uses a lot of "trips" sets with three receivers to a side to try to force them out of it. The defensive adjustment is to have the safety to the single-receiver side cheat over and help with the inside slot. 



Where are the weaknesses? To the outside receivers. The single receiver backside is basically in one-on-one coverage because the safety to his side has cheated over for trips. Yet Tebow could not get the ball outside.

Basically, what is going on is you have to remember your responsibilities. Using this nickel strong look, your safeties are going to need to fly to the ball when you see run, and not miss tackles; very simple. And trust me, if Tebow couldn't get the ball to the outside, Thomas won't.

Remember this for later (Emphasis added)

Monte was able to make Florida’s line look poor with a lot of stunts and occasional blitzes, though he never brought an all-out one.

Notice how I didn't say anything about UCLA's personnel. Tennessee's defense boasted Eric Berry, a huge reason as to why the inverted Cover 2 look caused Tim Tebow to get confused after checking off of Berry pre-snap. I will say this though: Bullough and the UCLA defense will need to have the scheme of their lifetime to stop/slow the Oregon offense down.


And let me conclude by just saying this. I think these schemes were important, but Monte Kiffin coaches a disciplined defense. His defenders tackle well, fly to the ball, read their keys properly, and take good pursuit angles. If you do those things, you will have a good defense, no matter the scheme.


Try saying this sentence without laughing: Chuck Bullough coaches a disciplined defense. His defenders tackle well, fly to the ball, read their keys properly, and take good pursuit angles.


We've had a big push for being super-aggressive, pinning your ears back and blitzing in every way shape and form on BN, especially for UCLA's defense; I have held off on that matter because of this week. If you blitz against Oregon, Florida, Michigan, etc. here's what can go right and wrong:


This possible blitz could very well work on paper... sounds awesome actually, especially if the Middle Linebacker could get things down over the top.


However, we are playing LaMichael James...



Keep that in mind for my next post.

Still to come


Part 3: UCLA's Defense vs. Oregon

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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