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App State Film Review: Penn State Second Quarter

The second quarter didn’t have much action but there were plenty of plays to break down.

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

The defense shined in the second quarter as they got multiple stops on third down. There were plenty of plays that show what UofL fans can expect next year. There were also some plays that they just can’t run with the current personnel.

PSU Ball, 3rd and 6

We got to hear Coach Satt talk about his unique defense and this play gives a look into some of the pre-snap things they did. They end up only having one down lineman on this play and two others end up as blitzers, essentially. The goal is to cause confusion for blockers on a run play or the quarterback on a pass play.

I’ve seen this defense called “psycho” and I’ve seen it called “amoeba”. I’ve always heard the latter but I don’t really know if it truly has a name. Football jargon can depend on who you ask. Charlie Strong used this look a good amount in his last year here. It is a really good weapon when you’re facing a young quarterback. Trace McSorely isn’t that and PSU follows his lead. The back makes a man miss in open space here and gets a nice gain.

PSU Ball, 3rd and 3

Two things to watch on this play:

The two down linemen on the play side end up getting at least a full yard into the backfield on third and short. That’s just effort. App State doesn’t have a defensive starter that’s over 280 pounds and they just push Penn State around right here.

Secondly, Anthoy Flory (#44) puts himself in a spot to take away the angle of the lineman that is coming to block him. He gets to the line of scrimmage and then he squares himself to the ball carrier. That allows him a free shot at the runner and he runs through the tackle. This is all textbook linebacker play. He beats the block without even being touched. You can see that #66 for PSU has no shot at getting to him. That’s a player that is playing instead of thinking. A great sign that your defense is playing fast.

I think we could all see C.J. Avery making that play next year.

App State Ball, 1st and 10

This is App State’s first shot down the field and I want to focus on the offensive line. Coach Satt loves to run “outside zone” which is a stretch run play where the line pretty much moves in a wave and the running back has to pick a seam to run through. They run it a lot and they run it well.

Watch how the offensive line sells that run action here on play action. You can clearly see how the linebackers and safeties freeze before bailing back to defend this pass. You can also see how they typically block the back side of the play. The H-Back and running back are responsible for that side and they either get a double team or they have one-on-one blocks on most plays. Everything works here but the throw is too long. But this is a one receiver route and it’s open because of how they run the football and how the line protects the quarterback here.

PSU Ball, 2nd and 7

This is a play that I saw over and over again when I watched App State games. It’s also something that Louisville has rarely seen for as long as I can remember. The guys in this secondary are so good at flying to the ball and making open field tackles. Tae Hayes identifies the play quickly here and he closes to take the runners legs out. He doesn’t go up high or break down risking a missed tackle. He takes out the thing the runner needs to keep going.

PSU Ball, 3rd and 6

The blitz on this play makes me wonder how the current defensive personnel will work out. Louisville’s defensive front has a couple of guys that fit the mold of player that App State utilized off the edge but not many have played. However, I think it’s easy to imagine Jon Greenard and Tabarius Peterson coming off the edge here to force the quarterback up into the pocket. App State valued speed over size while UofL has done the exact opposite. The staff will need to identify guys that fit what they want to do and they will have to work the guys they don’t into the shape they want them in.

App State Ball, 2nd and 10

Another wrinkle to Coach Satt’s offense that will be very different from what we saw under Bobby Petrino and even Charlie Strong. Cut blocks. It’s a little hard to see but the left side of the line fires off to the second level here with the center “chipping” the nose tackle (#93). The tight end cuts the defensive end and actually gets in on the #93 as he’s trying to recover. The result is a big hole for the back to run through and get about five yards. As of now, this play can’t even be run in my opinion. Jordan Davis isn’t quick enough to get this block done and Mekhi Becton can’t fire out of his stance like this tackle.

App State Ball, 3rd and 6

This play is a showcase in how simple things are for the quarterbacks as well as how well they are coached. This is third and medium and they run a slant route from the slot with an in route outside. The tight end on the other side runs a curl. The read is pretty simple because the linebacker blitzes to the top of the screen, so it’s an automatic tell that it’s man coverage. The quarterback knows all of this by the time he catches the snap and delivers a strike with ease. Watch the quarterback and see how easy it all is for him.

App State Ball, 1st and 10

Another good play to show the zone blocking scheme that coach Satt uses. The tight end runs his man up the field and the left guard takes on the defensive end. The left tackle and H-Back miss their block but they both do enough to get in the way. The guy that stands out is the center. He makes it all the way to the edge of the play to reach the backside linebacker. That happened so rarely for UofL last year that I remember each time it did.

Another aspect of these plays is how fast the backs have to get to the hole. Jalin Moore (#25) hits the hole hard here and the guys just getting in the way of the linebacker is enough. He’s already almost past that guy and if the safety isn’t there to make the play, Moore is off to the races.

PSU Ball, 3rd and 3

App State gets another stop on third and short because their defensive line worked harder than Penn State. The left end here not only beats his guy to the spot but he uses good technique to “get skinny” and get into the backfield. Bryan Brown called a blitz here and left his secondary in “zero” coverage with no safety. The blitzer comes right through the hole here and forces the runner into the left end who did his part to get himself in good position. The whole play works out perfectly.