Fulton Analysis: Containment
The Ohio State defense survived a slow start and another big run by TCU by scoring two defensive touchdowns and largely controlling the game in the second half. TCU had the Buckeye defense on its heels early. The Horned Frogs used hyper tempo without substitutions on their opening possession to lock in an advantageous matchup. Ohio State had its base defense on the field. So TCU went quickly, spread the Buckeyes out, and used a variety of wide receiver screens and reverses to force the Ohio State linebackers to tackle in space.
Following that drive, Ohio State increased the amount it played nickel (nickel Shaun Wade played 39 snaps according to Pro Football Focus). But TCU ably responded by taking advantage of that nickel look on the Horned Frogs’ 93-yard run.
TCU set up that touchdown by using 10 personnel (4 wide receivers), with wide trips to the field. Ohio State was in nickel man free. The trips alignment pulled two linebackers towards the wide side. TCU then ran a zone read back to the boundary. Will linebacker Malik Harrison took a false step towards the quarterback keep, allowing the TCU center to reach block him. And boundary safety Isaiah Pryor sat flat footed, which resulted in him getting beat to the edge.
Besides this run, however, the Ohio State defensive line largely controlled the TCU interior run game by resetting the line of scrimmage at the point of attack.
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