Picking up where we left off, these are my notes for the second half of Wisconsin – Ohio State. I particularly loved the individual contest between Chris Borland and Carlos Hyde, who played games with each other at the line of scrimmage all night long. Borland is one of the few human beings I’ve seen stop Carlos Hyde dead in his tracks all season, which is really saying something for his size. The battle between Bradley Roby and Jared Abbrederis also had a few ups and downs in the second half, as Roby drew two completely preventable pass interference penalties with minor mental errors, yet still managed to luck himself into an interception on a miscommunication between Stave and his receivers. Roby also delivered a couple bone jarring hits and showed that he can be just as physical as Darqueze Dennard.
- Allen doubled initially, but he struggled to lengthen himself and get away from the RG once the center advanced to Borland. Arm length an issue if he can’t extend and separate when trying to go for a tackle.
- Borland does an excellent job to sidestep the center and free himself up to hold Hyde toa minimal gain. Sound tackle. He might not be physically equipped to beat blockers with strength, but he has a knack for getting around them with quickness.
- Good cut by Hyde to get from hole to hole, would have been a huge gain if Borland didn’t evade his blocker.
- This center is kicking Allen’s ass so far. Beautiful reach block, Allen can’t muscle through it and gets washed down field.
- Poor cut block by Mewhort. Dives too early and gets pushed down rather than waiting longer and diving at the play side hip.
- Allen again blown up by angle block. He’s having a serious issue anchoring against doubles from the guards.
- Hyde follows pulling guard on power on third and short, converts it and gets extra yardage after contact. He’s incredibly difficult to stop cold.
- Allen again losing a yard or two of ground more than he should as a zero technique. As 330 lbs., he needs to be able to anchor better than that.
- Borland showing motor and pursuit speed from back side. Always around the ball.
- Mewhort decent block on the edge to pass off DE to guard, but he could have held it a tad bit longer. Blown block more the fault of the guard than Mewhort for not swiveling around to the play side shoulder of the DE in time.
- Borland again flashing closing speed to track down Miller around the trash and thump him for a short gain.
- Good down block by Mewhort, stayed with it all the way through the play.
- Borland edge rush against right tackle. Speed rush gets stopped, doesn’t really have the length or size for a second move. Gets stuck.
- Great pass pro from Mewhort, can anchor well, keeps hands inside, feet always moving, doesn’t get stiff or bend at waist. Keeps everything in his knees.
- Love Shazier here. Has the patience to wait back side in case he needs to fill against a cut back, then once the ball carrier commits play side he accelerates and closes very, very fast. True sideline to sideline player.
- Shazier stacking on TE, losing a little ground as he goes but nothing beyond normal. RB runs into back of TE. Didn’t get to see Shazier disengage.
- Allen a tad late off the snap while he shifted, lost a yard or so as a result.
- Great cut by Hyde to bounce outside. Really shifty for his size.
- Borland’s motor strikes again. Relentless.
- Great lead block by Hyde on Miller keeper.
- Allen finally doesn’t get pushed back and is able to extend and flow to the sideline, but gets tripped up by falling OL. Can’t catch a break in this game.
- Borland is a magician working through traffic. Uncanny spatial awareness lets him take the perfect angle to get to his target every time.
- Mewhort pass pro against OLB playing contain. He doesn’t get an opportunity to be tested against speed rushes often because of Miller’s running threat.
- Great penetration by Allen helps blow up 4th and 1. This is his element, not stacking and shedding. Might be better suited as a 1-tech or nose shade in a one gap front.
- Borland sees guard to his side pull, knows it’s power going away from him, fills the hole and stops Hyde dead in his tracks, which isn’t easy to do. Such a phenomenal football player.
- Roby picks off a pass to no one on a miscommunication, revenge for Abbrederis’ 64 yarder on a miscomm earlier.
- Great block by Mewhort in space. Squares up and doesn’t stop striking his man. Doesn’t let up until the whistle.
- Another great down block by Mewhort on the goal line. Very under rated power.
- The Borland-Hyde war at its best. All blockers eaten up by the DL, just Hyde and Borland in the hole at the goal line, Borland reads it and stops the unstoppable object. Best battle of the day. Special player.
- Allen anchors well against the center. Good to see him have his feet under him finally.
- Roby has the eye discipline on this same PA out route they’ve thrown at him all night and reads it just fine, but he just jumps it a little too well and gets there early. Draws a PI on a tug on the shoulder which he didn’t even really need to do. Speed and stop/start ability were top tier. Hips could have been lower on pedal but he was solid mechanically, just got there early. No biggie.
- Roby not afraid to make a tackle outside the numbers. Could be used as force instead of safety or linebacker.
- Shazier stack and shed on TE. Does a good job to grab, jerk, and disengage in time to make the tackle.
- 4th and short. White running behind Watt. Pulling guard can’t pick up the ILB and he barely gets the first down.
- Roby takes his hand off Abbrederis’ back because he wants to keep Abbrederis from benching him on an in cut, but right as he moves his hand to the shoulder Abbrederis throttles down and goes outside. If Roby kept his hand on his back like he was supposed to he could have decelerated with the route and sling shotted his way to the outside. As a result of poor hand placement, Roby panics on the cut and gets called for holding. Tiny mental errors adding up.
- White great cut on power, bounces all the way outside and has the speed to get the corner for a touchdown. Good burst.
- Allen rips inside rather than two-gapping, penetrates into back field but Miller takes off on a designed run.
- Good lead block by Hyde on Borland.
- Good mirror from Mewhort, though DE was playing contain rather than rushing the passer.
- Borland tracks Miller on designed run, fights through lead block from Hyde and takes down Miller before he can do a lot of damage. His lower body strength and balance to both stop and preserve momentum is insane for his size.
- Great patience from Shazier to flow with the offensive line but not put himself out of position to fill on the cutback. Sees white cut and makes a good form tackle for minimal gain.
- Abbrederis hit on a cheap slant with Roby in off coverage. Roby makes a hard tackle, Abbrederis hurt.
- Shazier blitzing, has pop to him for his size, gets off the block and tackles white before first down.
- Borland blitzing, slips under pulling linemen, benches Hyde off of him, and brings down Miller for a loss. Amazing how much he gets done with his frame.
- Allen holds ground, even against angle block from left guard. Has an easier time with the LG than RG.
- Great bounce from Hyde to the edge, really nimble for 240, has the speed to get the corner for a near first down.
- Roby HUGE hit on White on a screen pass. Has first down, but Roby has been laying the wood all game.
- Abbrederis makes another catch for 6, but Roby in deep zone not near him.
- Another Abbrederis catch for 12-ish, Roby in zone. Not manned up.
- Roby lined up in press on Abbrederis, passes him off in zone, catches yet another ball for 18-19. None of the last three catches on Roby.
- Roby in press on Abbrederis
- Hyde putting power on display again, dragging tacklers for extra yards to close out the game.
- Borland slips by Mewhort with agility, misses Hyde on designed run on first try (short arms might have something to do with it), then pops back up and chases him down from behind before he can convert. Great motor play.
- Shazier green dog. Excellent burst to get into the back field and put a lick on Stave.
- Roby near interception off tip, runs into team mate.
- Shazier forces fumble on White when Stave flips it to him in deperation. Stave recovers it. Clutch.
- Good open field quickness from White in yards after catch. He’s got some burst to him.
After watching two Ohio State games snap for snap so far, I have really come away impressed with the talent level on this team. Carlos Hyde’s vision, agility, blocking ability, and nigh unstoppable power is a good enough package where I think he could be worth a first round pick to a team that primarily uses "gap scheme" runs rather than zone runs, but he will likely fall to the second simply because most teams that employ gap schemes have much greater needs in the first. Jack Mewhort has the look of a mid-round right tackle who can be solid, yet unspectacular. Ryan Shazier would probably fit best as a 4-3 Will where he can "run, chase, and make plays", and he is dynamic when put in that environment where he is kept clean of blockers. Bradley Roby, despite his troubles against Abbrederis, still looks like a high pick at cornerback to me. His speed is incredible, his feet were on point, and the only real major problems he had were eye discipline on play action passes and compromising his hand positioning on an out cut. Those issues, to be frank, are miniscule. In terms of the foundation of being a great corner – agility, speed, fluidity, physicality – he still has all those in spades. Everything else is just window dressing at this point in his career. Roby will be a fine pro.
Now that I have watched my first snap by snap game of Wisconsin, I can say without a doubt that Chris Borland is a jaw dropping football player. Unfortunately his size will probably keep him from the first round, but his instincts, speed, tackling ability, and overall athleticism is are a sight to behold. Mike Mayock went on record saying that Borland is a "sawed off Luke Kuechly", and I am inclined to agree. If the Texans take Teddy Bridgewater first overall and players like Stephon Tuitt, Louis Nix, or any of the top guards are not available, Borland would be high on my list for consideration at the top of the second round.
Beau Allen was much less impressive in this game as he was blown off the ball over and over again by Ohio State double teams. Most zero techniques that are 330 pounds are more are able to anchor against a right guard coming in at an angle, but Allen was not. Buckeye blockers were repeatedly able to get to the second level because Allen was not being the immovable force in the middle that he is supposed to be, which concerned me a lot. He anchored well a few times near the end of the game, but for three and a half quarters he was a liability. Allen looked much more comfortable in situations where he was asked to penetrate rather than two gap, which tells me he might be better suited for a one gap scheme. I will need to watch several more games to confirm this suspicion.