Winning, Blocking, and Guice Cure All

You can learn a lot from a quick look at football, even from just two drives. Here, with big changes afoot for the LSU Tigers, Mark Schofield shows us how you can learn about a clicking offense from just two plays.

After a tumultuous week that saw long-time head coach Les Miles fired in the wake of a last-minute loss to Auburn, the LSU Tigers looked to rebound at home against Missouri. It took a while for the offense to get going but, midway through the first quarter, the ground game struck paydirt by using both zone and power blocking schemes to power Derrius Guice to the endzone and notch a much-needed victory – the first under interim head coach Ed Ogereon.

It was the first time the Tigers scored more than 23 points in their last seven FBS games; these two touchdown runs from Guice tell the story of the night.

On their second offensive drive of the game, LSU took over possession on their own 25-yard line. After eight plays, they faced a 2nd and 4 on the Missouri 42-yard line. The offense lines up with quarterback Danny Etling (#16) under center and with 12 offensive personnel on the field. Guice (#5) is the singleback in the backfield. Missouri has their base 4-3 defense on the field and show Cover 1 in the secondary, with strongside linebacker Donavin Newsome (#25) down near the line of scrimmage over tight end Foster Moreau (#84):

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LSU runs an inside zone running play to the left, toward Moreau’s side of the formation:

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In unison, at the snap, the offensive line blocks out to their left. Guice takes the handoff heading for the left side of the line, but immediately faces interior penetration in the form of defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr. (#79). Lined up right across from center Ethan Pocic (#77), as the center steps to his left, the DT cuts behind Pocic and into the backfield:


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The center makes an incredible adjustment, cutting back to Beckner and walling the defender away from Guice. Then, as the rest of the blocking sets up, the RB sees that the other tight end, Colin Jeter (#81), is riding defensive end Jordan Harold (#55) toward the sideline:

Seeing this, Guice makes his bend read and cuts back behind the flow of the blocking. From there, he picks up an incredible block from receiver Jazz Ferguson (#86):

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Guice does the rest:

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The 42-yard touchdown run gives LSU the early lead.

Guice later tacked on his second touchdown run of the game on a short nine-yard scamper early in the second quarter, again on a zone blocking concept. But then, in the second quarter, the Tigers turned to the power again, and it resulted in yet another long touchdown run from Guice.


Facing 2nd and 10, the offense lines up using 22 personnel in a creative alignment. Etling stands in the shotgun with Guice to his right, and the offense uses a slot formation to the right with Malachi Dupre (#15) on the inside and Travin Dural (#83) on the outside. But on the other side of the field, the offense had Jeter as an inline tight end next to the left tackle and fullback J.D. Moore (#44) aligned outside:

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Here’s the power concept the Tigers employ on this play:

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Jeter is playside, and he is responsible for handling the defensive end lined up in an 8-technique right across from him. K.J. Malone (#63), lined up at left tackle, heads directly to the second level to block the middle linebacker. Will Clapp (#64), lined up at left guard, handles one of the defensive tackles while Pocic handles the other. Maea Teuhema (#75), lined up at right tackle, executes a perfect hinge block. He first steps to the inside to protect the B gap before pivoting toward the sideline to seal off the backside defensive end. The reason Teuhema needs to protect that gap is that the right guard, Josh Boutte (#76), pulls in front of the play and leads Guice to the hole. Boutte aims for Joey Burkett (#34), the unblocked playside LB.

The blocking sets up perfectly, and Guice hits the hole and is untouched into the secondary. There, he picks up two more crucial blocks on the safeties, one from Moore and the other from Dupre:

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Those two players ensure that Guice remains untouched as he coasts into the endzone with his third touchdown of the game:

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The Tigers entered the half with a 21-0 lead thanks to the running from Guice and the stout blocking from the guys up front, and they continued their strong night with a touchdown drive on the opening possession of the second half to extend their lead.

Follow @MarkSchofield on Twitter. Buy his book, 17 Drives. Check out his other work here, such as how Alabama passes to attack the flat, or Tennessee’s use of the double post concept, or how LSU runs play action.

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All film courtesy of DraftBreakdown.

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