Final Walkthrough: College Football Is Back, Tonight

College football is back, kickoff to the FBS college season is hours away and this week’s Walkthrough is on a Thursday to get you ready for TCU at Minnesota, Oregon at Eastern Washington, and Ohio State visiting Virginia Tech. Head writer Mark Schofield and Shawn Spencer break down what to expect this CFB weekend.

Film Previews

Ohio State vs. Virginia Tech

In a rematch from a thrilling contest from last season, the defending National Champions travel to Virginia hoping to gain some revenge after the early season upset at the hand of Frank Beamer and the Hokies. While the main storyline continues to be who will line up at quarterback for Ohio State, this game contains many other intriguing elements.

Virginia Tech’s Man Coverage Schemes Against the Option ‒ In this piece, Mark Schofield examined the film of last season’s game between these two teams and illustrated how the Hokies used a 3-3-5 defense and Cover 0 to slow down Ohio State’s rushing attack.

Ohio State Passing on Cover 0 ‒ In the second part of this preview, Schofield illustrated how the Virginia Tech man coverage exposed its secondary in the passing game – and how the Buckeyes took advantage.

Exploiting Kendall Fuller’s Aggressiveness ‒ Shawn Spencer looks at the Hokies cornerback and how Ohio State wide receiver Michael Thomas will likely use double moves to attack the aggressive defensive back.

Oregon vs. Eastern Washington

With the departure of Marcus Mariota to the NFL, the Ducks needed a new trigger-man for their offense. Enter transfer Vernon Adams, who starred for Eastern Washington the last three seasons and finally completed the necessary coursework to enroll at Oregon. Adams was recently named the starting quarterback, and he takes his first snap for the Ducks against his old team. Mark Schofield recently examined Adams’ time at Eastern to see how the quarterback fits in with the Ducks.

In the first piece, the similarities between the system Adams ran at Eastern Washington, and the Oregon offense, were examined.

In the second piece, Schofield conducted a trait-based examination of both Adams and Mariota to display how the quarterbacks are similar in playing styles, and how that will benefit Adams as he transitions to a new offense.

TCU v. Minnesota

Mark Schofield took at look at some of the concepts the TCU Horned Frogs use offensively to stretch a defense vertically and horizontally, including play-action passing plays out of the pistol formation, and packaged plays with a built-in tunnel screen option.

The Horned Frogs wide receiver Josh Doctson torched the Golden Gophers secondary last season. But that was prior to Briean Boddy-Calhoun – who had an interception in the meeting last season – becoming a starter. Shawn Spencer breaks down how TCU used a no huddle attack to get Doctson favorable matchups last time ‒ and how avoiding both Boddy-Calhoun and Eric Murray isn’t likely this time around.

Playoff Implications

The marquee matchup of the holiday weekend is Alabama vs. Wisconsin, who play Saturday night under the bright lights of the House that Jerrah built. Both teams are ranked in the top 20 to start the season, with Nick Saban’s squad checking in at #3 while the Badgers are #20 in The Associated Press preseason poll. Given the tough SEC schedule that awaits them, the Crimson Tide can ill-afford to start the season with a nonconference loss.

Heisman Implications

With the FBS schedule kicking off this week, Heisman voters will get their initial looks at some of the best players this season. Voters will have their eyes on the TCU offense and quarterback Trevone Boykin, as well as the matchup in Blacksburg where running back Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott takes the field with – someone – handing him the football. But some other games and names to watch include the Louisville-Auburn game, with new Tigers quarterback Jeremy Johnson taking over Gus Malzahn’s offense, and the Louisiana-Monroe vs. Georgia game, with running back Nick Chubb taking over as the bellcow back for the Bulldogs. As the season gets underway the writers at ITP will unveil their in-season Heisman ballots each week, so watch for those as the year rolls on.

Draft Watch

In his first article for Inside the Pylon, Shawn Spencer illustrated some of the intriguing matchups that draft devotees will be watching this weekend. The first is in the TCU v. Minnesota game, as the Golden Gophers talented cornerbacks look to slow down Josh Doctson, a talented wide receiver. The second matchup is another battle on the outside, as the Buckeyes look to make plays in the passing game against Kendall Fuller and the rest of the Hokies’ defense.

Welcome back to football, everybody.

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Inside The Pylon covers the NFL and college football, reviewing the film, breaking down matchups, and looking at the issues, on and off the field.

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