If Running Game Doesn’t Improve...

Discussion in 'Football' started by NikeHawk21, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. NikeHawk21

    NikeHawk21 Well-Known Member

    If the running game doesn’t take a serious jump forward this year and is still below average, does anyone else feel it’s time to ditch the zone blocking scheme?

    I know there are still some question marks about our running backs and at Oline, but I’ve kind of been in the camp it’s time to move on from the zone blocking scheme for a few years now.

    The problem to me is the amount of negative run plays the zone blocking scheme produces. Teams have realized if they play downhill and aggressive linebackers can shoot the gaps and blow up our running plays in the backfield. A two or three yard loss on first down is devastating to a drive.

    What say you?
    cincyhawk likes this.
  2. NikeHawk21

    NikeHawk21 Well-Known Member

    A team and program we often compare our style to is Wisconsin, if you look at what they’ve done on the ground compared to us the last 7-10 years the two teams aren’t even close.

    UW has had better RBs for sure, but I’m not sure the Oline’s have been that much different. Even if UW has had a slight edge in OL the difference in the success of the two running games is astounding.

    Do you ever wonder how UW can run the ball with that kind of success when everyone and their brother knows they are going to run the ball?
  3. MelroseHawkins

    MelroseHawkins Well-Known Member

    Sometimes I wonder if here is a timing issue with the RB's hitting the holes. It seems it changed when that transition to Greg Davis's game happened. I remember back in the day Freddy Russell and Shonn Greene would line up a good 7-8 yards behind the QB and they would hit the hole at full speed perfectly when it was just opening.

    Now I wonder if the RB's are too close and hitting the hole too early. Been wondering that for two years. Also, it has changed because when Russell and Shonn Greene ran the ball, the QB was under center then handing off to the RB. Now the QB often times is taking a snap which seems to mess the timing of the RB hitting the hole.

    I still think the zone blocking is effective as the O-line is on the same page at the same time. I like that. I really think its a timing issue with the RB's hitting the hole at the optimal moment. Maybe the coaches should really evaluate that timing if that is indeed the case.
    NikeHawk21 likes this.
  4. homes

    homes Well-Known Member

    Last year, Iowa had 7 rushing plays that went for 20+ yards. 2 by Young, 4 by Sargent and 1 by ISM. 3 others runs of 15 yards went for TDs, so they may have covered the 20 yard mark. That seems light to me.
  5. eyekwah

    eyekwah Well-Known Member

    What plays are available to counter the zone gap blitz? When Hayden and Bill Snyder were running the offense they used a play where the RB would take the hand off head toward the LOS and then stop, turn. lateral to the QB who would pass or run. I think Iowa needs to show run and pass more.
  6. okeefe4prez

    okeefe4prez Well-Known Member

    HB screens are nice. Play action passes can neutralize that as well. Under O'Keefe we had a helluva play action pass to the TE down the middle, but that seems to have disappeared. It was a great play because the LB would bite when the TE looked like he would block, then the TE would just cruise right past him. Last time I saw HB screens work well was against Syracuse in that home game probably in 2007. O'Keefe had like 10 different looks with screens and they worked great. They have been gathering dust bince that game.
    AreWeThereYet and MelroseHawkins like this.
  7. NikeHawk21

    NikeHawk21 Well-Known Member

    Could be and I’d agree our RB play has been down. Still though to me there is no timing involved when a LB or DL player is on the RB almost as soon as he takes the handoff which seems to happen far too often to us IMO.
  8. NikeHawk21

    NikeHawk21 Well-Known Member

    The lack of big plays last year was a big issue, and I’d say the RBs are mostly to blame there just not having the vision. I think that should improve this year.

    The biggest thing to me that needs to be corrected this year is the amount of negative yardage running plays we have.
    Ree4 likes this.
  9. BVHawk95

    BVHawk95 Well-Known Member

    There is nothing wrong with the zone blocking scheme as a system. If there was, it would not still be used across college and professional football today. Hell, everyone was raving about the Rams' zone scheme last year.
    NikeHawk21 likes this.
  10. SCHawkeye2

    SCHawkeye2 Well-Known Member


    Its a three-legged stool.
    MelroseHawkins likes this.
  11. HuckFinn

    HuckFinn Well-Known Member

    The new Packers coach implemented a zone scheme.
    NikeHawk21 likes this.
  12. MelroseHawkins

    MelroseHawkins Well-Known Member

    That's a training issue with missing a block which can happen with zone or direct block.

    That is not a scheme issue as Iowa often has a FB to take that out. But, that brings up another point. After they tried to go to the spread years ago, did that take that FB out of the game. It is a problem if they are just trying to line up and run one RB in the backfield.
  13. NikeHawk21

    NikeHawk21 Well-Known Member

    That’s a good counterpoint. I just have a tough time putting my finger on the issues. Could it be that Iowa doesn’t offer enough down the field threat to scare a defense and the numbers game in the box is then disadvantage Iowa?

    That could improve this year with our improved WR corps.
    BVHawk95, HuckFinn and eledmonster like this.
  14. ibahawkeye

    ibahawkeye Well-Known Member

    I think this is a bigger key than the blocking scheme. Bobby Kennedy and Greg Davis set the recruiting and talent back of the WR and I think we're starting to see an improvement. Having Oliver Martin come back certainly helped that it sounds like Nico will help pick up where Easley left off. Once the WR group takes the step forward, I think the running game will see the benefit.

    As others said, we really missed the big runs (20 plus yards). We missed Wadley's explosiveness. Hopefully IKM can provide the explosiveness with Young and Sargeant helping wear down the D.
    Ree4 and NikeHawk21 like this.
  15. eledmonster

    eledmonster Well-Known Dog

    I don't think that there is necessarily a problem with the outside zone. Unless that is the only play, which it has at least been the predominant play for many years.
    You don't have to throw out the baby with the bathwater but using some power running sets and some counters / traps / misdirection would certainly be helpful.
    If the opposing team knows what is coming, they will stop it more often than not, regardless of personnel or precision.
    If the Hawks / coaches can mix things up, there is no reason the running game can't be successful with the personnel in play.
    NikeHawk21 likes this.
  16. eveningnewsteam

    eveningnewsteam Well-Known Member

    I remember last year Iowa came out throwing at Minnesota. Went right down and scored. Of course they were geared up to stop the run. The TV caught BF talking to the offense after the drive and he says we’re gonna pound the ball next drive on the ground. Thought to myself, why? Keep making Minnesota take guys out of the box by pushing the ball downfield. Once they do that and the numbers even out, hammer the ball on the ground right at them. RBs need better vision, but Iowa seems to be blocking 9 guys with 6 a lot.
  17. 4thngoal

    4thngoal Well-Known Member

    That's all really.
    Even when we had one good wr, along with our te's, our run game was way way better.
    In the last couple years, we have been breaking in both new rb's and wr's which is a recipe for a horrible run game.
    I thought everyone was going to blow a gasket last year when I said that EVERYONE needed to block better. As a wr and te, if you can't understand that when you block well and the run game is humming, that the defense is going to start keying in to stop the run, thereby opening up the pass, well you shouldn't be playing.
    All in all everyone needed to get better. Rb's, wr's, qb, even our OL.
  18. CP87

    CP87 Well-Known Member

  19. TJHawkeye

    TJHawkeye Well-Known Member

    Hard for even the Packers to run against 8 or 9 man fronts. We need to up the passing game to nullify the blitz, get rid of the ball more quickly. The run game will be much better.
    racerhawk likes this.
  20. Ree4

    Ree4 Well-Known Member

    Yep, you keep calling the same damn play until the other team can prove they can stop it!
    earlkoppelman likes this.