Fulton Analysis: Multiplicity

Ohio State turned in another stellar performance in its 66-17 victory over Maryland. Offensively, the Buckeye run game was slowed early by the Terrapins’ strategy to combine a condensed, odd front with a nose guard head up on the center with a soft cover 2 or quarters coverage to protect against big pass plays. In …

Will Ohio State’s Defensive Improvement Continue Against Maryland?

Ohio State’s defense has come a long way since the first couple weeks of the season where they looked totally lost and very predictable. But how much can you really take away from lockdown performances against offenses like Akron and Rutgers? BuckeyeScoop’s Xs and Os guru Ross Fulton joins host Tom Orr to answer that …

Fulton Analysis: Complementary Football

Ohio State turned in its most complete, complementary game this season in its 52-13 win over Rutgers. Offensively, Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson had a well-honed plan to target Rutgers’ 4-3 stack that features a nose guard titled at the center, heavy amounts of slanting, and safeties that aggressively trigger to insert themselves in the …

Fulton Analysis: Defensive Scheme Change

Ohio State broke tendencies on both sides of the football in its 59-7 win over an over-matched Akron. Offensively, the Buckeyes overcame freshman quarterback Kyle McCord’s early game jitters by targeting the edge toward the halfback’s side in shotgun. Often, opposing defenses will slant and/or overplay away from Ohio State’s offset halfback, expecting zone runs …

Fulton Analysis: Tulsa Troubles

Ohio State turned in another uneven performance in its 41-20 win over Tulsa. The Buckeyes’ offense on Saturday featured a downhill, 12 personnel rushing attack that relied upon greater run game diversity against the Golden Hurricanes’ 3-3-5 that mixed cover 1 on early downs with cover 4 on passing downs. Specifically, in predicted run situations, …

Fulton Analysis: Not Quite There

The Ohio State offense largely moved the football successfully against Oregon—but left too many points on the field to overcome the Buckeye defense’s inefficiencies and playing from behind in Ohio State’s 35-28 loss. Operating from their odd 2 and 3 man fronts, the Ducks used a game plan that many Buckeye opponents have featured against …

Fulton Analysis: Longstanding Shortcomings

Longstanding shortcomings in scheme and execution within Ryan Day’s Ohio State defensive system came to fruition against Joe Moorhead’s heavy run-pass option scheme in Ohio State’s 35-28 loss to Oregon. There may not be a college defense that runs less coverages than Day’s Buckeye defense. As off-discussed, Day prefers pre-rotated safeties that places one safety …

Fulton Analysis: Uneven Performance

Ohio State fought through an uneven performance on both sides of the football before pulling away with a 45-31 win against Minnesota. On offense, Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson used heavy amounts of trips and/or unbalanced formations—likely to cause confusion and/or outleverage the Golden Gophers’ two-high, split safety zone schemes (featuring heavy amounts of quarter …

Analyzing the Bullet Position

After a porous showing against the pass for much of last season, the Ohio State Spring Game demonstrated that the Buckeyes do not plan to make significant changes to their base coverage schemes. But they did make one significant personnel change within that scheme—forgoing playing an outside Sam linebacker in favor of a hybrid linebacker/safety …

Fulton Analysis: Couldn’t Keep Pace

An Ohio State offense that needed to keep pace with Alabama largely lost any chance to do so with Trey Sermon’s opening play injury in the Buckeyes’ national championship loss. Ryan Day’s offensive system is predicated upon the wide zone stretch play. Although the aim point of the play is the inside leg of the …

Fulton Analysis: Death By A Thousand RPO Cuts

A short-handed Ohio State ran into a buzz saw in its 52-24 national championship loss to Alabama. The Buckeyes’ defensive scheme was a poor matchup—schematically and personnel-wise—for the Crimson Tide’s RPO-heavy offense. As previously discussed, Ryan Day utilizes a variant of Pete Carroll’s NFL scheme. The defense generally plays a coverage where the safety is …

Fulton Analysis: Breaking down the Alabama offense

Despite operating the number one SP+ offense (an advanced statistical measure of efficiency—Ohio State is number two), Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian does not utilize a bevy of plays. Instead, he operates a few schemes that build off of, and are centered on, one core concept—the run-pass option. With an RPO, the quarterback reads a …

Fulton Analysis: Targeting the Alabama defense

It is unlikely that there is a defensive scheme that Nick Saban, at some point in his career, has not used. Traditionally known as a 3-4 coach, Saban and his Alabama defensive staff had adapted to the spread era.   Against Ohio State’s spread set, Alabama will likely primarily play a 4-2-5, with the nickel (what …

Fulton Analysis: Hemming Clemson In

The Ohio State defense played effectively against Clemson by making critical adjustments within their defensive philosophy to slow the Tigers in the Buckeyes’ 49-28 Sugar Bowl win. Except on third downs and late in the fourth quarter, the Ohio State defensive staff did not play nickel against Clemson’s spread sets. Instead, the Buckeyes remained true …

Fulton Analysis: How the Ohio State offense kept Clemson guessing

Ryan Day and his staff came out with a plan to target both the play calling system and the structure of Brent Venables’ Clemson defense in Ohio State’s 49-28 Sugar Bowl playoff semifinal win.  As was much discussed leading into the game, the Clemson staff has a reputation for stealing play call signals. At a …

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