Pet Play's; Willie Taggert And The Ruthless Exploitation of Mismatches

US PRESSWIRE

Every play caller has a play that they love. A situational play that they go to when they need a first down, or a big play, or a negative play on defense. This series is all about identifying and examining those schemes for each of the Bearcats upcoming opponents. Today's edition, the new look South Florida Bulls

By now everyone knows what Willie Taggart is about. He is the Tampa guy who is coming back home. He is the miracle worker of Bowling Green. He is the Jim Harbaugh acolyte who is going to instill toughness and discipline and other meaningless buzz words to a South Florida program bereft of all those things. He is something else too, a mathematician.

One of the things that distinguished Harbaugh's Stanford teams, and continues to distinguish his 49ers is how they play with the numerical advantages that Colin Kapernick provides. Taggart is cut very much from the same cloth. He wants to get the math on his side so that he can attack with impunity.

At WKU they did that by building a strong running game with Bobby Rainey (back to back 1,600 yard seasons in 2010 and 11) and Antonio Andrews (1,700 yards last year). They run behind a big offensive line and a seemingly endless supply of tight ends. From there they can get the play action game going. If that sounds familiar it should, its still the general game plan at Stanford.

Its in the passing game where Taggart and co use the math to their benefit. They often overload formations by playing two TE's on the same side. That is generally a strong run signal, and defenses react accordingly by matching strength with strength. But that adjustment can shift the advantage back to the offense if they have a dynamic enough TE. Like this.

Here is the diagram for the play.

Play_action_flood_medium

It was 3rd and 13, an obvious passing down. Louisiana Monroe opted to blitz and bring the house. They had 5 guys on the line of scrimmage and 10 within 8 yards of the LOS so it was telegraphed. Enough for the running backs to know to skip the play fake and go straight to pass protecting. That is the key of the play, which enabled Kawaun Jakes to get the pass off.

The other is the match up between Jack Doyle and the ULM strong safety. The three Warhawk DB's in coverage are in man to man, which gives the advantage to Doyle on the corner route. He is simply too big and too strong for the Safety to effectively cover him if the ball is thrown well, and it was, thanks to the RB's going straight into pass protection buying Jakes the half second he needed to deliver an on target pass to Doyle.

The interesting thing about Taggart and USF is that the personnel really fits what he wants to do. USF was a "spread team" under Levitt and Holtz, but they have always been about the power game. There are differences between what Holtz wanted to do and what Taggart will, but the pieces will fit well enough, if not seamlessly. Sean Price in particular is a guy who will bennefit a great deal from the new offense, and he has the skill set to become very effective.

More from Down The Drive:

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Down The Drive

You must be a member of Down The Drive to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Down The Drive. You should read them.

Join Down The Drive

You must be a member of Down The Drive to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Down The Drive. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker