Friday, November 18, 2011

A couple observations from the OU game...

So, one of the nice things in having the games on ESPN3 is that you can go back and watch the game and see what you might have missed live.  They also flag the highlights on the timeline, if that's what you are into.

So, I went and looked at a couple of things.

The first was the false start/offsides penalty on the 3rd down play in the final minutes of the game.  Chris Jones and Coach Clawson were both sure the player moved and were incensed not to get the call.  It isn't the kind of thing you can screen grab, so there isn't one here.  You, also, could go to ESPN3 and look at it.  Having said that, from watching it, I would say...

There's no doubt he moved.  The question is whether he committed a false start penalty.

The player kind of rocks back a little bit.  There is no question there is movement.  Still, let's look at the rule.

False Start. Each of the following is a false start by Team A if it occurs prior to the snap after the ball is ready for play and all players are in scrimmage formation:
1. Any movement by one or more players that simulates the start of a play.
2. The snapper moving to another position.
3. A restricted lineman (Rule 2-27-4) moving his hand(s) or making any quick movement. [Exception: It is not a false start if a Team A lineman immediately reacts when threatened by a Team B player in the neutral
zone (Rule 7-1-5-a-2) (A.R. 7-1-3-V)].
4. An offensive player making any quick, jerky movement before the snap, including but not limited to:
(a) A lineman moving his foot, shoulder, arm, body or head in a quick, jerky motion in any direction.
(b) The snapper shifting or moving the ball, moving his thumb or fingers, flexing his elbows, jerking his head, or dipping his shoulders or buttocks.
(c) The quarterback making any quick, jerky movement that simulates the beginning of a play.
(d) A back  simulating receiving the ball by making any quick, jerky movement that simulates the beginning of a play.

I've highlighted the portions that deal with this situation.  The question is whether he was simulating the start of the play (which I doubt), or whether his movement could be described as "quick" or "jerky."  And that is ultimately a judgment call.  Having seen it, I think you could plausibly argue that it was neither quick nor jerky, while at the same time remembering that little movements do get called all the time.  It is a very close call.  Also, Falcon Fans, remember there's no guarantee we hold on 4th and 6 either.

Next, I looked at the interception at the end of the first half.  This was actually a little interesting and pretty sad, in other ways.

I remembered from the play that OU got huge pressure on Schilz.  What I didn't realize was that they only rushed three guys...

Furthermore, BG keeps a back in to block (because a sack is unthinkable here with no timeouts and a FG chance "in the bag").  So BG has 6 players blocking 3 OU rushers.  As you can see here they've sent the end upfield and looped the nose around to the right.  The blocking guard, however, seems to be in position to block him.  Also, with Schilz just into his drop, the end has already beat his man/men and has a clear shot at the QB.

In the shot above, you can see that Schilz is inside the hash mark.  By the time we look next he has rolled to the left hash mark.  He clearly has to unload the ball.  However, he has now rolled directly into the path of the looping nose tackle, causing him to take a double barreled hit.  Also, note that the nose tackle has now blown right by our G.

Finally, here is the last shot, right before the ball is intercepted.  The player under the red X is getting the ball.  When it happened live I wondered where the ball was intended to be going, because it didn't seem like the pass had a purpose.  Looking at this, you can see that there are two Falcon receivers essentially standing on top of each other, which I doubt was the play design...and, with no time outs, you have to figure somebody would be going to the sideline.  There's no way to know for sure without talking to someone who was involved, but my guess is that Schilz was expecting a receiver to be over in that part of the field.  Possibly he just misthrew it, but that is a pretty inaccurate throw if so.  Or he panicked and just heaved the ball without worrying about where it went, which I doubt.

Anyway, even if we don't know what happened at the end, we can know this.  In a situation where we could not allow a sack and where we planned for that by bringing six blockers in against only three rushing players, TWO of those players ended up getting to the QB and impacting the play.

1 comment :

Noel said...

Love the analysis here and I've said it before- ESPN3 is my favorite technological advance of the last 10 years. One thing I thought when watching it live and seeing the replay was that it appeared the Schilz pushed or "shot-put"ed the throw, again something that can't happen on the play. Can't take a sack and can't underthrow a pass to open possibility of an INT. If anything there overthrow in to the OU cheerleaders or the front pylon...