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App State Film Review: Penn State First Quarter

A new era is beginning so let’s take a look at what things might look like.

NCAA Football: Appalachian State at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville Football is set to name Scott Satterfield as their new head coach later today so I figured we should get into some film of the biggest game they played this year which was against Penn State in Happy Valley. The game showcased a lot of scheme things and decisions that give a good look into how Satterfield does things.

I apologize for the lo-fi delivery but hopefully I can get back to making gifs that loop sometime soon.

App State Ball, Kickoff

This was the first touch of the season for App State but the reason I wanted to post this play was to highlight the speed of the kick returner. There are a lot of fair questions about how Scott Satterfield and his staff will recruit at Louisville but this play exemplifies their ability to scout talent. Darrynton Evans was a 2-star recruit out of Florida that they landed and he runs a 4.37 forty. He just flat out runs away from everyone on this play. Evans ended up second in the Sun Belt in rushing yards even though he didn’t become the starter until the fifth game of the season.

PSU Ball, 3rd and 9

This was a nice early third down play that I liked. The defense is in a four man front with man across and one safety high. It shows blitz to the offense but the actual design is what I love. The middle linebacker lines up over the center but loops around the outside and ends up with a free run at the quarterback. Trace McSorely gets the ball away but his receiver drops the pass.

If you watch the clip all the way through the replay you will see that Tae Hayes (#17) gets pushed off by the receiver and they didn’t throw a flag for whatever reason. The best part is that he has his heels at the first down marker and he doesn’t give up a lot of ground. He doesn’t bail out and give an easy route for the receiver. The trust is there for the blitz to get home and the coverage matches the action of the front. If he’d been beaten deep, the pass rush is at fault. He also would have a safety deep to help.

App State Ball, 3rd and 5

As you guys know, I absolutely dreaded Third and medium plays under Bobby Petrino. He called “Mesh” or some variation of shallow crosses all the time and it was insanely predictable. Well, Scott Satterfield calls Mesh here and I initially cringed. But, the subtle difference in what the running back does on the play is key.

The back runs an out route towards the first down marker as an underneath route. The outside receiver runs a “runoff” to clear space and Zac Thomas makes the easy throw outside. In Petrino’s offense, running backs almost always ran swing routes from the backfield. That put them behind the line of scrimmage when they caught they ball and made it a longer play. Subtle difference here changes the entire play.

App State Ball, 1st and 10

The endzone view of this is perfect because it shows a very good view of what the offensive line does in this running scheme. They run these stretch plays a lot and it’s something that I think UofL’s offensive line can probably do even though they aren’t really built for it.

The line is responsible for beating their guy to the spot and getting their hips turned to create a seam. The running back has to find the seam and hit it. It’s that simple and they were great at it. I think UofL’s backs have shown the ability to find cutback lanes but the line hasn’t been all that great at creating them. It’s something to look for next year.

App State Ball, 2nd and 24

Here’s a good look at a formation and play call that fans can expect to see next year. This is essentially the old wishbone offense out of the pistol. Satterfield uses an H-Back a lot and that’s what you see here with the tight end to the right of the quarterback. They then run the triple option out of it. One back is the dive guy while the other loops over for the pitch. The H-Back is the blocker and you’ve got yourself the power option out of the pistol.

PSU Ball, 2nd and 9

We all remember Jake Smith’s interview with the Courier Journal where he stated that UofL’s defensive linemen don’t use their hands. Here’s a play where you can clearly see fundamentals being utilized and those fundamentals paying off with a sack. The defensive end angles to the inside to get the offensive lineman to lean and then gets up the field and uses a simple swim move to get past the right guard. Nothing flashy but extremely effective.

I’ll be doing these all spring and summer until I run out of games, so if there’s anything specific you want to see let me know in the comments and I’ll keep an eye out for answers that I can show.