If you missed my previous scouting notes post for the Big Ten Championship, throughout the draft process I will be posting my raw, real-time, unedited notes from every game (and prospect) I watch from now until May. After starting with Ohio State, I decided to keep the Buckeye train rolling and watch their prime time tilt with the Wisconsin Badgers. This particular game featured plenty of awesome head to head matchups including Ryan Shazier against James White, Chris Borland against Carlos Hyde, and the oft-referenced Bradley Roby battle with Jared Abbrederis. Other notable players that I tracked were Wisconsin nose tackle Beau Allen (who Romeo Crennel coached in the Shrine Game) and Ohio State left tackle Jack Mewhort, who I thought looked more like a right tackle after watching the Michigan State game.
In addition, the Wisconsin-Ohio State notes will be broken up into two posts. Considering that it takes 10-12 hours to break down one game with this many prospects, I figure that it takes an equally painful amount of time for our readers to properly go through them. Splitting them in half and dispersing them over multiple days should make it a lot easier on all of us. For what it’s worth, I recommend having the YouTube video of the game open in one window on half your screen with this article open on another. It is much easier to click back and forth when both windows can be seen at all times.
- OSU in unbalanced over against 22. Shazier tracking C-A on cleanup with corner force. ISO weak, Shazier scraping gets pushed way back. Still seeing problems getting off linemen.
- 3rd and 8, money down. Roby manned up in catch tech. Shows his insanely quick feet to plant and squeeze Abbrederis slant on stuttered release. Doesn’t bite, stays inside and forces him to declare the route one way or another, great timing to break up the pass. Perfect coverage.
- Allen tight-2 strong (left) side. Late to get in stance pre-snap, so he’s also a little late off the ball. Guard gets under him and he gets washed down, though the run bounced outside anyway.
- Borland not engaged.
- Hyde given the hand off on gap run, 3-tech stands up the center and he bounces. Runs into Jack backer force, looks like he’s going down for a loss but throws a stiff arm, spins, and fights for 5 yards. I say again, this dude is a freaking load.
- Mewhort held up at LOS, can’t reach Borland. Out of the play.
- Allen engaged with center one on one, right as he’s trying to disengage he gets hit from the left by OG. Knocked off balance, but he’s not near the play. Rollout to TE in the flat off no huddle.
- D-line slanting away from slot blitz. Not a lot of two-gapping so far. Asked more to penetrate and let Borland read off the results.
- Borland drop to shallow zone to play slot receiver hot. Misses Hyde’s ankles in the middle of the field off the read option.
- Hyde originally expecting to run inside Mewhort, but the slant redirected him to C gap. Adjusts perfectly, angles inside away from Borland and bursts to second level. Great run.
- Mewhort quick inside jab to turn out DE, reacts well to slant inside. Gets hands inside the chest to buy him enough time for feet to catch up. Decent block.
- Allen doubled at 0-tech.
- Mewhort feet a little sluggish, but Miller is athletic enough where it doesn’t really matter how well the boot is blocked. Touchdown.
- Roby tackling jet sweep for five yard loss. Came in like a missile. He can sure be physical when given the opportunity. Looks like he hurt his back on the tackle. Kind of bent his spine at a weird backward angle.
- Shazier in position to fill on inside zone, which was faked.
- Shazier hovering at LOS over the TE stack. Gets held a little bit, but I want to see him extend, strike, and disengage there. Lost some ground on the block.
- OSU beats up WIS front. White has nowhere to go.
- 3rd and 14. Money down. Shazier blitzing, gets chipped before a release from White (which was good). Can’t get there before the throw.
- Allen not in the game.
- I think Borland expected the OLB to have the force all set up here, so he went inside of the lead blocker instead of outside. Probably thought runner was going to be cutting back into him, but the OLB didn’t have the edge so he was free to the sideline. Needs to be more aware of where his guys are when he’s scraping, especially when he literally crosses right behind him.
- Hyde lead blocking on Borland, looks like a full back. Has the size to handle it for sure.
- Mewhort whiff cut block in space. Dove at the knees rather than putting shoulder to hip. Easily evaded.
- Allen out.
- Backup nose tackle gets destroyed. Borland can’t get around him on the ground. Hyde easy lane up the gut.
- Hyde initially wanted to suck Borland inside the tackles and bounce out, but Borland reads the TE’s down block beautifully and flats back over to the C gap. Hyde then sees the nose get blown up and goes back inside, Borland gets held up by the trash, and he gets an easy first down and even more after putting head down for contact. Nice cat and mouse there, great finish to the run.
- Borland in position to drop into slot receiver hot, but sees the hand off go the other way and hauls ass to meet Hyde on second level. Showing off his excellent speed. Stands up Hyde initially, but he still gets another yard or two. One of the few tackles I’ve seen actually stop Hyde’s momentum, even if only momentarily.
- Hyde and Miller seemed to have a miscommunication. Hyde went for a hand off to the wrong side, but readjusted, eluded ILB, and fought for a decent gain on second effort. Very tough runner.
- 3rd and 12 money down. Borland lined up against right tackle as a pass rusher, makes RT look absolutely silly with a spin move and forces Miller to roll out. Chases him all the way down to the sideline for a one yard loss. Truly INCREDIBLE play.
- Mewhort in pass pro against 5-tech. Good knee bend, hands inside. Great anchor. The guy has power for sure.
- Wisconsin in 12 Ace, Shazier reads inside zone to boundary perfectly. Tracks the back, shoots the gap, and stands him up in the back field for a loss. Great play.
- Roby is back in.
- Roby way off coverage. He never took his eyes off Abrederris, when in his first three steps he should be reading the quarterback. If he watched the QB he would have seen the rollout to his side of the field, which means there would have been no way that Abrederris was running a post route. Roll outs = half field reads, and Roby would have been able to sit on the corner route. Eye discipline caused this completion.
- Good route by Abbrederis. Quick cut. 18 yard catch.
- Shazier lined up weak side. Chases down pin and pull from behind, able to trip up Gordon and keep him from huge gain. Great sideline to sideline speed.
- Shazier again flashing speed tracking across line of scrimmage. Has a great feel for angles and how to avoid traffic. Makes the tackle for about a yard gain.
- White sees initial hole collapse, takes it one gap wider and still has nowhere to go. OSU has been crowding LOS.
- Shazier blitzing. Gets blocked, no second move. Stone walled.
- Roby beat in press. Great hand placement off the line to slow Abrederris down and squeeze him towards sideline. Inside hand to back of shoulder to help squeeze and feel for the break. Roby sits in Abrederris’ pocket, gets arm barred by Abrederris, but has pretty good trail coverage. QB throws a dime and fits it in anyway. No defense for a ball thrown that well, even if Roby mistimed his swat of the ball a little bit. Coverage was fine, that was just a great 36 yard throw and catch from Stave and Abrederris.
- Allen gave up ground and couldn’t work to A gap. Looks to be getting off the ball late.
- Borland flashing trademark speed to save Hyde from breaking a 50 yarder. His ability to cover 10 yards instantly and make a tackle is awesome.
- Hyde sees hole open up in gap run, gashes for 11-12. Didn’t quite have the speed to get away from Borland, but he’s fast for his size.
- Allen in zero. Center is getting off quicker every time. Didn’t really lose ground on this snap, but he didn’t demand a double team either.
- Borland reading Hyde. Sees TE down block and fills outside. Great instincts, again stops Hyde long enough for others to come in and finish the job.
- Love that Hyde refuses to go down on first contact. Regularly demands two or more tacklers to finish him off.
- Allen doubled in pass pro. Tries spin move, but gets nowhere.
- Another three man rush. Allen doubled.
- Borland in zone, sees the stick route over the middle, but is barely too late to stop it. Makes the tackle, but OSU converts.
- Mewhort taking 5-tech in pass pro. Excellent hand placement, good mirror from inside out. Still want to see him handle a speed rush.
- Allen doubled then tripled. I question his length, looks like the center is able to keep him at distance every snap. Lack of length may be why he’s a better penetrator than two-gapper.
- Blown coverage. Abbrederris wide open for huge gain. Possible miscommunication between Roby and the safeties. Not sure whose fault this is.
- Shazier in slot over tight end, side steps block and gets in on tackle on Gordon. Quickness is his best weapon to discard blockers, rather than overpower them.
- Roby off man against Abbrederis. Doesn’t let himself get pushed inside this time. Abbrederis giving him all he can handle with a stutter to fade to a well-flattened out route. Roby has good feet here, stays low, looks for QB on the break. Has the closing speed that he could have broken up anything thrown during the window of separation, but the ball was late anyway. Good coverage.
- 3rd and long money down. Roby in press, Abbrederis able to create a little separation with his hands on the slant, but Roby’s speed allows him to squeeze quickly and break up the pass. Tremendous athlete. Looks like a 4.3 runner on tape.
- Allen knocked off balance by RG, then blown back by the center. Really struggled against this line so far.
- Allen shift to tight-2. Club rip then counter spin, couldn’t generate pressure. OSU line looking like better athletes.
- Allen doubled in pass pro.
- Mewhort helped in pass pro by TE. Long bomb overthrown by Miller.
- Allen still struggling to anchor when doubled, specifically against angle blocks. If he can’t anchor against angle blocks, he shouldn’t be a true zero.
- Hyde saw both linebackers suck into play side gap on power, so he cut back outside. Didn’t really have anywhere to go, but still got a good 4 yards falling forward.
- Mewhort showing his excellent power to move 5-tech inside, finished the block with nastiness. Solidifying himself as a good RT prospect unless he shows he can handle speed rushes on the left.
- Mewhort great transition from DE to OLB. Showed fluid hips to go from jamming the three technique to set him up for the center to flipping and knocking the OLB just far enough out of the way to let Miller squirt through.
- Shazier reads screen off of fly sweep, helps on tackle for loss. Great recognition.
- White never given a chance.
- No idea what kind of blocking this is, but it shouldn’t have worked. Three OSU defenders unblocked, none of them tackle Gordon. Shazier caught up in the wash, but is able to pursue and bring Gordon down after first down marker with Roby.
- Good vision by White, saw the down block from the LT develop and knew he had two pulling blockers to seal the other side. Not a flashy gain, but still got 4 yards.
- 3rd and long money down. Not sure what happened with Roby but it looks like OSU is in zone as usual. Can’t tell if it’s Roby’s fault or not, but I’m fairly sure he wasn’t manned up. Holding penalty negates the catch.
- Mewhort left on an island in pass pro, handles it well. Great mirror and hand placement snuff out the edge rush, good base/balance. Doesn’t give an inch.
- Mewhort pass pro. Great anchor and re-anchor, feet keep moving. Hands inside. Good protection.
- Borland good zone coverage, carries the tight end to the sideline, though I wish he stayed with it. When he peeled off he opened up the possibility for a huge gain, but Miller got tackled before any damage done.
- Allen again blown up by angle from RG. Still struggling with zero.
- Roby way off zone, Abbrederis given an easy smoke route for first down. Nothing Roby can do.
- Exact opposite problem as the last completion caused by eye discipline. Roby way off Abbrederis, sees the boot to his side, so he expects another out breaking route since Stave has to throw across his body. Gets caught with his eyes on the quarterback instead of his receiver, probably looking for a pick, and Abbrederis hits him with an out and up. Even with his eye discipline causing him to get beat, he still shows the speed to catch up with and he in a position to break up the pass, he just loses the ball and Abbrederis comes down with it for 33 yards.
So far that’s one catch and 64 yards from a blown coverage on miscommunication, 8 yards on a gimme when Roby was off, 36 yards on a touchdown when Roby had perfect coverage but the ball was even more perfectly thrown, and 2 catches for 51 yards on a couple play action passes where Roby lost eye discipline. The only catches I actually fault Roby on are those play action passes, so the numbers are being a bit overblown considering eye discipline is a very minor issue, and he already also has three passes defensed. I see no major problems with Roby here. Feet are fine, speed is fine, toughness is fine, he’s physical against the run. Nothing not to like…yet.
- Roby in press in slot on Abbrederis. Another stutter release, want to see better hand usage. He’s let Abbrederis stiff arm and arm bar him all game, borderline OPI, to get separation for inside releases. Need to see him neutralize those hands and settle on his hip. Still has enough speed to get in position to break up the pass, which was too high.
- Hyde four yard catch on hitch from slot.
- Allen doubled in pass pro, doesn’t generate too much push.
- Mewhort pass pro against 5-tech. Still holding up well, but he’s yet to be tested by a 7-tech (or wider) speed rush without help.
- Allen doubled. No push.
- Mewhort pass pro, still winning with his power. Looking more and more like an NFL right tackle on every snap, but a good right tackle at that.
- Borland and Hyde matched up in pass pro. Borland beats Hyde immediately with that deadly spin move and forces Miller out of the pocket. Borland might be small, but that low center of gravity lets him devastate blockers with that spin when he wants to rush the passer.
- Hyde gave up a little ground in pass pro again against the bull rush, helped inside by Mewhort. Needs to get lower so that even when he does eat grass, he doesn’t immediately lose it.
- Mewhort pass pro, again perfect hands. Doesn’t over reach, feet still a little slow but he’s got such a powerful grip that he can keep his man contained anyway. Miller throws last second TD on the play.
End Of First Half
Keep an eye out for the second half notes in the near future. So far we've seen Chris Borland and Carlos Hyde throwing proverbial hay-makers at each other in the hole, Bradley Roby and Jared Abbrederis trading big plays all over the field, and Ryan Shazier continuing to show why he deserves first round consideration. I can't wait to see who shows up in the final two quarters.