GameFilm: Offensive Line

September 18, 2011

Written by Jon Miller

Hawkeye Nation

Iowa’s tackles were up to the test of dealing with a pretty solid pass rusher in Brandon Lindsey. There were breakdowns in other areas of pass protection but Lindsey didn’t have any TFL, sacks, or even a QB hurry.  Both Zusevics and Reiff were sound against him in this one. Both made small errors against him at times but neither guy gave up splash plays. Both guys were solid in run blocking as well, especially Reiff. He continues to show excellent athleticism to get to 2nd level targets and great power man-handling them all over the field.

Pass protection was an issue that popped up a few times in this game.  The interior linemen lost control of opponents on several occasions and at times struggled with figuring out where the pressure was going to come from in Pitt’s varied three-man front. Down the stretch the interior guys did a better job of recognizing who was coming and started to take control up front.

Tobin continues to struggle in pass protection out there and Scherff rotated in on numerous series throughout the game.  It will be interesting to see if Scherff can overtake him and get into the starting lineup. Scherff is young but has a lot of potential and looks to just need time on the field to develop.

Though his grade doesn’t look real good, I don’t think Ferentz played all that poorly.  Pitt’s varied looks and constant movement up front made it hard  to find his assignment at times. He did his job getting rushers counted up and did a good job most of the time on the interior in pass protection. He was also flawless on his shotgun snaps which isn’t as easy one might think. Iowa normally runs 5-10 shotgun snaps in a game and in this one they had around three times that many.

Schematically Iowa used some variation this week and there were a lot of guards pulling early on and looking for trap blocks. Some of those were “Stretch G” plays as well, but most looked like traps from my view.  Good to see some variation to help keep opposing defenses honest.


-1 Got beat by Lindsey on an inside swim here. Needs to react better than this as Lindsey got cleanly by him on the inside. D4 Play 1

+1 Does a great job sliding outside here and matching Lindsey’s speed rush. Keeps him well away as he follows him all and maintains contact with good hip sink, nice footwork & technique here. D4 Play 3

+1 Just man handles Lindsey here on the zone run. Fires out low and drives Lindsey 5 yars downfield and puts him on the ground. D5 Play 2

+1 Nice job riding the crashing DE and keeping his hands on him to give Coker a cut back lane. D6 Play 1

+1 Very good job in an awful lot of space with Lindsey, shuffled with him perfectly and cut off his angle to the QB. D7 Play 6

+1 Dominant seal block on the edge here as he shoves the smaller DE inside with authority D8 Play 1

+1 Matched up very nicely here with Lindsey and used solid technique to eat him up D12 Play 5

+1 Great job maintaining contact as his man crossed his face inside and Reiff kept him off JVB and it allows JVB to scramble as there was nothing open downfield. D14 Play 7

Overall: +6



+1 Pulls here on rollout and just destroys the LB out there. Gives JVB a clear lane to see the field. D1 Play 2

-1 Lunging in pass protection again and lost control of his guy very quickly. His man ends up getting free and forcing a fumble as he hits JVB. D1 Play 4

-1 Lost his bearings here after the chip on the DT and ends totally missing his LB on this play and whacks Coker for no gain. D3 Play 3

-1 Flat out beat by the DT here in pass protection again here. Needs to sit back and shuffle & mirror and not lunge. D4 Play 1

-1 False start  D7 Play 5

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-1 Gets beat on his zone block here and his man forces Coker to stop his feet and just fall forward for a few yards. D9 Play 1

+1 Solid down block here as he provides the cutback lane for Bullock on his goal-line carry. D11 Play 4

+1 Excellent job recognizing the blitz and getting over and making sure JVB has a clear look down-field. D14 Play 8

Overall: -2



+1 Nice job getting his hips around here as he reached the DT and opened the hole for COker. Played with very sound leverage here. D2 Play 1

-1 Got beat by a quick arm over move to the side where he had no help. Needs to be smarter than this and play quicker to where he doesn’t have help on the DT. Gets bailed out by a roughing the passer call though. D5 Play 12

-1 Slow to get out to the LB; never gets to him and doesn’t give Coker a block to cut off of in the play.  D6 Play 4

-1 Does a poor job giving Gettis time to get his head across on the reach, and then doesn’t get to the LB either. Not a good play. D7 Play 2

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+1 Looks good sliding off the combo and gets to the LB quickly and keeps’m off Coker, allowing him to get a few yards here D12 Play 2

Overall: -1



+1 Looks very good pulling around here as he quickly gets to the LB and washes him out of the seam. D1 Play 3

+1 Very nice job blocking down here as he maintains his block up to the whistle. D4 Play 2

-1 Not able to get to the LB here and needed to take a better angle and get out faster. Was a good read by the PItt LB as well and he ends up squaring up on Coker in the seam. D5 Play 4

+1 Excellent block on the stretch play here as he maintains contact, pushes his guy into a LB and opens the cut back lane for Coker. D5 Play 14

-1 Slow getting out on the screen here and the LB beats him outside and takes down Coker for a big loss.D7 Play 5

+1 Great technique here on his reach block as he stays low an works his man out of seam. D9 Play 1

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+1 Excellent job with his DT here in space. Had no help and solidly locked him down for the 4 seconds JVB needed. D11 Play 2

Overall: +3



+1 Great job against Lindsey 1 on 1 here. Smooth footwork and easily washed him beyond the pocket. D1 Play 4

+1 Excellent technique here on his cut block as he practically lets the OLB get on top of him before dropping down and wiping him out. D5 Play 8

-1 Poor recognition in pass protection here. Iowa had the rushers counted up and had the numbers but Zeus stepped inside and blocked no one and let Price come free to his outside at the QB. D5 play 11

-1 Got beat back inside by jab step and slap move by Lindsey, disrupted JVB and forced a throw away. Needs a better effort. D7 Play 3

+1 Excellent angle as he goes out to the LB at the second level and cuts him off and seals him out of the play. D9 Play 1

+1 Very nice job handling the speed to power move from Lindsey here. Never lost contact and protected his QB well. D12 Play 6

-1 Zusevics Personal Foul Silly penalty here that puts Iowa in a hole. D1 Play 3

Overall: +1



+1 Solid job getting out to the LB here and maintains contact upfield and to the whistle. Good effort here. D5 Play 3

-1 Needs to squeeze his gap better than this. The DE took the inside gap and Scherff didn’t step out to cut him off, needs to feel that and pick him up. D10 Play 2

Overall: Push


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