Oregon’s Defensive Gameplan Against Wisconsin
The Oregon defense, while not playing as well relative to other bowl games in the past, did what could be reasonably asked of it. It held Wisconsin to 4.6 yards per carry, created two turnovers. There are two good examples of the game plan. The big takeaways are that Oregon was selling out for the run, forcing everything back towards the field, and slanting to create large holes for speedy linebackers to make plays.
Oregon brought the field side safety in on run support often. The outside linebacker, in this case Dion Jordan, flies up field to force everything back in to the middle. The two linebackers to the side the run is headed have gap responsibility to that side and rush forward. You can see Boyett is already on his way up to the line already and Pleasant is deep for cover over the top.
It’s a play action and Jordan has done a good job of creating a huge gap for a linebacker to run through but also force Wilson back inside, neutralizing his speed on the outside. Boyett looks outside to cut off Wilson, only to have to cut back inside. Oregon is running man coverage but all the players are on tight coverage, not giving a quick look, which Wilson needs right now as he’s about to get pressured.
Boyett cuts to the outside but back inside when Russell Wilson steps up in to the pocket. The blockers get messed up leaving Alonso a clean shot at the quarterback. The big key was Jordan forcing the quarterback inside the pocket.
Here we can see how Oregon moves against the run. They put 8 to 9 guys in the box almost every down. Here’s the key to a stuff. Wisconsin runs the I-formation with two tight ends, one on each side. The two inside tackles have to get double teamed by the Badger linemen leaving a huge hole for Alonso to shoot through. The fullback is heading towards the B gap (outside the guard, inside the tackle), the only problem being the defensive lineman is slanting that direction, forcing Ball back inside.
The gap Ball wants to go to is now blocked and the outside linebacker is holding contain. Alonso is now shooting through the only gap that Ball can run through and he takes full advantage, stopping Ball for a loss. The 3-4 really becomes dangers when one or more defensive linemen have to get double teamed by blockers.