Originally Posted by GldnBear71
He has 50 different ways to run the same goddamm play, that's why. It looks complicated until you've seen it for a few seasons, then the good coaches start to look for all the little keys that give the play away, regardless of how the formation starts out.
Here's an example: Whenever we went to a tight, unbalanced formation this season it was almost always a running play. Not rocket science here--bring up a safety and stack the box.
(I was a defensive player. I notice these things, and I am obviously not alone.)
GldnBear71 has it right.
From what I can see the philosophy Tedford uses is that he wants to run first and only pass if the running game is stopped. The running offense actually isn't very complex. Even with Marshall its a zone blocking scheme where the O-line has areas of responsibility that change depending on the direction of the run.
However, basic zone blocking without a lot of misdirection becomes very predictable, Oregon gets around this by running an option offense where the O-line just blocks their zones and the QB and his options make their run route decisions after the snap of the ball. Tedford tries to get around this by having multiple formations, which basically are an attempt to disguise the playh before the snap. Of course, all this does is force the offense to learn extra formations while not actually getting them all that much better at running the plays themselves.
On passing it gets worse. From what I can tell the pass blocking and the QB's targets are somewhat dependent on the defense formation. Rather than having a simple system where you come to the line and everyone knows the routes and blocking, both the line captain and the QB are calling out the variants to the play at the LOS. Back when Longshore was the QB there were multiple instances where he read the defense one way and the WR read it differently. One of Tedford's msot common excuses back then for the poor performance of the passing offense was that the WR's weren't running the right routes on their reads.
All of this makes the offense very complex. The problem is that its like bringing a chessboard to a Texas Hold'em Tournament. Tedford is playing the wrong game against an opponent that usually completely ignores all of the gimmicks and diversions. The bubble screens are a great example. Go back and rewatch the Washingtom game. Every bubble screen is run when Cal starts with all the WRs on the field on one side of the formation. Then pay attention to the defense. If Cal lines up like that, the DBs will often cheat towards the LOS because they know that Cal throws screens from that formation often.
I said elsewhree and will say it again. Tedford needs to simplify the offense.
No more than 5 basic formations
50-60 plays, all must be runable form at least 3 of the basic formations.
No option routes for the receivers, they always come to the LOS with a single route to run.
Practice them until the team is perfect and all passing route timings are down.
Then set up the offense where the QB has a simple set of checkdowns and always has easy to call audibles should the defense be lined up perfectly to stop the called play.
And shorten the time to get new plays in. Cal seems to take 30-35 seconds to get the play in and sometimes doesn't break the huddle until their are 10 seconds left on the play clock. Cal needs to work to always be able to get the play off by then. Half the reason we suck in the 4th quarter now is that we don't exactly tire out the opposiing teams defense. Heck, we give them 30-40 seconds of rest after each play. Just about every announcing team talking about Oregon notes that their get a play off in 15 seconds or less offense tends to exhaust defenses over the course of a game.