Wednesday, July 30, 2008

ESPN: Pac-10's Most Potent and Consistent Ground Attack is Cal

By's Ted Miller


“Got this link from the LA Times USC blog... it's a list of the Pac-10's rushing totals over the past six years compiled by the Web site "Trojan Football Analysis", which brings a bit of sabermetric, X's and O's analysis to USC commentary.  Click the link. I'll wait here.  Back?

Are you surprised that the California came out on top, averaging 182.8 yards per game since 2002 (the year Jeff Tedford was hired), ahead of USC (176.8) and Oregon (167.4)?  It didn't blow me out of the water but I would have guessed USC.  Also interesting: I certainly wouldn't have thought Oregon State would rank eighth (128.3), behind pass-happy Arizona State (129.5). What does Cal do? According to the article:

The Cal rush attack uses angle blocking and power run schemes highly effectively. The coaches believe this provides the best leverage and set of angles for linemen to attack the defense. There is not need to "out athlete" the defender. The blocking scheme makes it easier for technically sound yet not as athletic players to find success.

Also advantageous is the fact that the blocking rules carry over to multiple series of plays. The personnel, formation, and alignment may change however the blocking rules stay fairly constant. This allows for more repetition in practice which helps foster both technique and confidence.  It's also worth noting that Cal doesn't allow many sacks either: They've led the Pac-10 in fewest sacks allowed the past two seasons (11 in 2007 and 13 in 2006).  Tomorrow, I plan to write about hot Pac-10 coordinators, and I'm going to add Jim Michalczik to the list. His title with the Bears is "assistant head coach/offensive line/co-offensive coordinator". That mouthful translates to this: Jeff Tedford knows he's got a good coach.”

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