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Friday, September 18, 2015

I Got the Jeremy Johnson Blues

I keep hearing an old blues melody in my head. You know, the one where the singer keeps repeating the same line three times, and then throws in a single line change to make a point?

I got the J.J. blues
I got the J.J. blues, yes I do
I got the J.J. blues
He needs to run the ball more,
so we can pass the ball to Duke.....

The reason I have this little ditty running thru my head is because it's what most fans keep saying. They believe Jeremy isn't running enough. Also that Duke Williams isn't getting enough passes thrown his way.

Coach Malzahn keeps reminding us we are a run first, play action team. Running the ball successfully will open the passing game, and thus create the desired results we all crave.

Let's look at the crux of the problem, at least thus far this season, as to why Jeremy Johnson isn't running the ball more. I would like to acknowledge @WarRomEagle who posted the video where these images came from. He is much better able to breakdown film study than I am, and I encourage you to check out his posts over at College and Magnolia

The two different Defensive Coordinators that Auburn has faced this season have copied the Alabama defensive strategy against the Zone Read play Auburn fans are accustomed to seeing.
They bring both defensive ends up the field first, to mitigate any chance of a run play getting outside to the corner.
Example A:
Both defensive ends fire into the backfield.
This play is designed to read the DE on the right side of the line. Jeremy is to decide who gets the ball, based on what he sees the end doing. In the case of the picture above, Roc Thomas gets the ball, because the DE is keying on Johnson, the QB. Notice where the DE is looking, and the wide step outward. 

On this next play, we see the same thing, only later into the play. This illustrates just how far into the development of the play, the DE is keying on the Auburn QB.
Johnson runs Zone read in Tigers first drive
 I noticed this exact same thing in the Jacksonville State game. Especially on first down, when Auburn really likes to run the ball, the DE's would fire up field to take away any outside the tackle runs. 

For any offense, it is much more difficult to have explosive plays when all the runs are being forced into the teeth of the defense.

We all want to see this offense perform in a way that creates big numbers, both in the stats and on the scoreboard. Let's see what Gus has in store for the Bengal Cats in Baton Rouge this weekend. I have a feeling "Oh, we gon' have some fun."

WAR EAGLE!


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