Film Room: Armstrong Runs It In

Just like Larz, I’ve been away from the Film Room for quite some time.  But the 18 Stripes crew is already in mid-season form which means we have two film posts this week.  Larz already looked at the defense so today we’ll move to the offensive side of the ball.  We’ll take a look at Notre Dame’s first touchdown of the season.  It was a great call by offensive coordinator Chip Long and well executed by the Irish.

It’s 1st and 10 from the Michigan 13.  Ian Book is in the game after Wimbush was poked in the eye on the previous play.  Book has been labeled a “passing quarterback” – even though we all know better – but Chip Long doesn’t care.  He’s running right at the Wolverine defense.

Don Brown, maybe expecting a pass, doesn’t exactly load up at the line of scrimmage.  He does, however, bring an overload blitz to the right side.  You can see three Michigan defenders lined up over right tackle Robert Hainsey.  But no matter – Long calls an outside zone run away from the blitz.

Hainsey will kick out the first Michigan linebacker to his right.  This is possibly a zone read because the defensive end (red circle) is left unblocked.  Right guard Tommy Kraemer climbs to the next level and goes searching for the safety.  Center Sam Mustifer blocks the nose tackle lined up directly in front of him.  Alex Bars blocks a linebacker and Liam Eichenberg kicks out the defensive end.  Tight end Cole Kmet motioned across the formation before the snap and took a linebacker with him (red arrow).

Jafar Armstrong takes the handoff and starts searching for a hole to run though.  He doesn’t have to search long because the senior captains have channeled their inner grizzly bear and are mauling their defenders.

Not wanting to be left out, Hainsey throws his defender to the ground for good measure.  Armstrong runs through the chasm the line opened up for an easy touchdown.

Perhaps Don Brown overthought this play and expected Book to throw the ball, but either way Chip Long made the perfect call and the offensive line executed perfectly.

Final Thoughts

There’s been a bit of criticism of the offensive line’s performance on Saturday.  While they didn’t play great, I thought they were adequate.  The Irish ran the ball pretty effectively in the first half and protected Wimbush long enough to get off those early deep passes.  While nursing a lead in the second half, Long still called a few deep passes but was content to run the ball even when Michigan had a +1 advantage in the box.  There was no reason to open things up and risk a momentum-killing turnover.

We’ll see how the offensive line looks against much softer defenses in the coming weeks, but I suspect the Irish will be fine.

By |2018-09-05T14:33:52+00:00September 6th, 2018|Film Room, Football|34 Comments

34
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
11 Comment threads
23 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
16 Comment authors
Brendan Rjuiceboxnd09hls12MDIRISHmihalko35 Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
MikeyB
MikeyB

Even Josh Adams is jealous of that hole. Good lord that’s beautiful.

KG
KG

That could have been a TD from anywhere on the field. Kraemer could have taken out the safety had Armstrong cut back behind him, but it wasn’t necessary to get to the endzone.

mihalko35
mihalko35

I remember reading the Sports Illustrated piece after FSU ’93 that said our line was creating holes big enough for Father Hesburgh (may he rest in peace) to run through. The same applies here

More Noise
More Noise

Indeed they did, Mihalko (super handle btw)

KG
KG

Nice breakdown, Burgs.

Several people here and elsewhere said it before the game, and they were right: the difference between our good but inexperienced O-line and their great D-line was less than our good D-line and their horrible O-line. (also, Shea Patterson was decidedly NOT the difference…lol). There were times our O-line got beat, but they also had plays like this where it all worked. They gave as much as they got, and Long schemed well against that D, especially in the first half.

Michigan’s O-line was a bunch of poorly disguised traffic cones, and our D-line did what a good D-line should do against a poor offensive line–foraged and mauled.

MikeyB
MikeyB

I think Patterson must have been listening too much to Desmond Howard talking about him being more mobile than Wimbush. During the game, they each had plays where they decided to basically run straight backwards 10 yards to avoid pressure. Twice, Patterson’s resulted in massive sacks. Twice, Wimbush’s resulted in big gains. It really was hilarious to watch the difference in their running abilities in real time, especially after the absurd amount of hype Patterson got this offseason.

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

Good point, Mikey. Patterson was making mistakes due to pressure all night (and I’d add on his game clinching fumble too). I don’t think Wimbush was tremendously better (believe I saw he was 3 for 10 vs blitzes) but he did show a bit more poise, had 1 less turnover than his QB counterpart and also didn’t lose huge chunks on sacks. All that stuff adds up too beyond just the play of the lines.

KG
KG

But Patterson was bringing some of that SEC-ness to rub off on the rest of Michigan!

Eric Murtaugh

Burgs back.

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

Great stuff, burgs!

Loved the play of Mustipher and Bars, I see why they’re getting All American hype. The tackles had it really tough but I thought the interior line played pretty well. Bars pulled and made a great block on the other Armstrong TD too. Impossible to replace Q but Bars is a very solid player in his own right.

Scarponi
Scarponi

I love that the first blocking picture has Kraemer blocking the ref. It’s like he knows the TD is coming and his job is to make sure the ref doesn’t screw it up.

Clearwall
Clearwall

That’s one way to ensure you dont get called for holding

gambit1077
gambit1077

I just like any play where a lineman has responsibility for a player lined up 10+ yards from the line of scrimmage.

“I want you to block the safety.”

“The blitzing one? No problem.”

“No, the deep one.”

“…So you want me to chase a guy half my size around for the next 8 seconds.”

“Yeah, that’ll work. If you can briefly get in his way that’d be even better.”

NDbiology08
NDbiology08

Really disappointed that no one is saying “Hallelujah Jafar!” yet.

KG
KG

This gif shows Jafar was in motion pre-snap on his TD run. Glad they didn’t catch it:

comment image

Clearwall
Clearwall

Now that we have decimated and exposed our bitter enemy, f Mich, we turn our eyes to Ball State…
comment image

Hitman
Hitman

Thanks Burgs. I was pleasantly surprised by the play of the O-line. Room for improvement, but overall a good effort against a stout D.

gambit1077
gambit1077

I made a few edits to the 18S depth chart post UM to fix a few numbers and pull out the injuries if anyone wants it.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Tuz1FdIW9k2JGIFk7CiWwDHx_hvHRoIqHSMGVQRiGBM/edit?usp=sharing

Eric Murtaugh

You should probably go with fewer colors.

gambit1077
gambit1077

I’ve gotten used to it and really like your layout now. So much information at a glance and hopefully we’ll need it this weekend when… Jeff Riney comes into the game.

Scarponi
Scarponi

“You should probably go with fewer colors.”

😀 I still think this, but that does not detract from my appreciation of all y’all’s efforts with this stuff!

More Noise
More Noise

Wow, what a fun week – just back from Luxembourg and the Belgian boonies and both Larz and Burgs are back! Great film breakdown, both of you.
Concur about Hainsey. BK was saying last week they had not wanted to rush him back but I am wondering if they did.

juicebox
juicebox

More Noise. I will be in Chamonix in February. Ever been? If so, any recommendations? Are you a skier?

More Noise
More Noise

Juicebox – I am of sorts, but my better half and both boys are major skiers. Here is our best take:
Pay for a guide to do the vallee blanche for a day–definitely worthwhile! (It’s a day-long off piste adventure.) The thing about Chamonix is that it’s a bunch of areas spread out throughout the valley so you need a car to get between them. Not our favorite place for that reason. However, we had the best ski week of our entire lives there when we hired a guide for the week who took us everywhere to all the secret stashes–truly fabulous when done that way.

juicebox
juicebox

Thanks! Glad to hear it was such an amazing trip. I hope I have as good a time.

I definitely plan to hire a guide for a day in Vallee Blanche. I will actually be skiing the alps for 8 weeks (Chamonix, Zermatt, St Moritz, St Anton, and Cortina d’Ampezzo), so unfortunately won’t be able to afford one everyday.

I hear the ski bus is pretty good between the different ski areas there. Outside of vallee blanche, did you have a favorite? I’ll probably try to hit each once, but would definitely appreciate any input on the best ones, or one that just isn’t worth spending a day at.

One last question (although feel free to give input on any of the other places you’ve been). Is there an area or neighborhood you would recommend I stay in Chamonix? I hear it is a wild ski town, and I will be alone, so I would love to be near as much action as possible.

Merci!

MDIRISH
MDIRISH

Flutie said that Armstrong cuts at the end of this play “just for fun” and he could’ve score anyway. I’m not sure about that. Anyway, #8Trucking

KG
KG

I think he meant that he could have powered through the safety at the goal line and gotten in, but then again it’s Flutie so he could have mean that Armstrong was cutting onions, who knows.

Brendan R

Maybe he was summoning his inner Tony Montana. Poorly, of course.

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

Great stuff!