Glazier Clinic Indianapolis 2020
I had the chance to attend a Glazier Clinic last week in Indianapolis. Of the two of the sessions I attended, one covered spread offense with coach Pat Fox (Notre Dame Prep MI) and second covered how to defend against the modern offenses in college football with Miami of Ohio Head Coach Chuck Martin.
After attending the clinic, I decided that I would list my notes in a presentation style format while also adding some statistical dialogue combined with some video analysis.
Chuck Martin emphasized the importance of getting into position pre-snap and how this was a problem in recent years for his defense when playing up-tempo offenses. His main question when making these changes, can we be sound pre-snap, and are his puzzle pieces in the right position? Are my DB's playing pass and my LB's playing run?
Miami Ohio Defense By the Numbers
When I started examining the Miami of Ohio defense, I took a look at them statistically since Chuck Martin arrived in Oxford. I pulled explosive play data since his 2014 arrival, and the Red Hawks have ranked, 63rd (2014), 53rd (2015), 12th (2016), 73rd (2017), 43rd (2018), and in 2019 48th.
The change in explosive plays of 20+ yards or more has remained consistent throughout Martin's tenure except for 2016, where the defense ranked 12th in the nation. 2018 and 2019 are respectable considering the likes of Ohio State 2019, and Notre Dame 2018 as a part of the Red Hawks non-conference schedule.
Explosive Plays Allowed
Because of the Red Hawks tough nonconference slate, I decided to examine their explosive plays allowed vs. conference opponents on a national scale and bingo. since 2014 the Red Hawks ranked nationally vs. conference opponents 69th (2014), 58th (2015), 8th (2016), 58th (2017), 76th (2018), and 29th (2019).
The Red Hawks 2019 in conference ranking of (29th) nationally against explosive plays displays what Chuck Martin was explaining during the clinic about the importance of defenses getting lined up fast pre-snap against up-tempo teams, and having his players in position pre-snap.
High Impact Play (Hip) Defense
When analyzing more Miami of Ohio film, I recognized their ability to create Defensive HIP (High Impact Plays) by way of TFL's and sacks during the regular season. A lot of their pressure occurred because of coverage on the back end being sound. Based on the minimal sample size, the Red Hawks sent a lot of four-man pressure that got home. Miami of Ohio ranked 34th nationally at creating HIP without 10+ yd plays added to the equation, and 55th with 10+ yd plays allowed. Total sacks and TFL's were the drivers behind the High Impact Play rate in 2019, ranking 21st in the nation in sacks with 35 and 5th with 102 total TFL's.
The TFL's were all over the film, and I recognized them more on earlier downs. The Red Hawks were good at getting teams behind schedule, but not great at getting off of the field on third down ranking 63rd during the regular season in third-down stops. The area that they benefited most when getting teams into more obvious pass scenarios were INT's, where they tied for 30th in the nation with 11 INT's during the 2019 regular season.
Let's take a look at a few clips of the film that emphasizes the changes made to Chuck Martin's defensive philosophy.
The below still shot displays the Red Hawks base 4-3, one high defense vs. 3x1 formation. Miami has 7 in the box matching protection. In this play, the three tech blows the play up, penetrating the frontside B-Gap and forcing the RB to cut inside to the backside penetration. One of the points of emphasis that Martin made at the clinic was that his defense would be one gap focused, and it shows on this play. See the video below.
The next still shot displays what appears to be quarters coverage before the offensive shifts two players into the formation. The Red Hawks adjust quickly into their base 4-3.
Post shift, the Red Hawks adjust to match the protection quickly by adding numbers into the box with eight.
The pre-snap adjustments were quick and decisive, and players were in position pre-snap after the shift. The play is an RPO style triple option to the field. Louisiana ran this play a few times, and the Red Hawks did a great job covering it up by getting numbers to the field and containing the outside edge. #3 in the slot does a great job of forcing the QB to cut inside where hats are moving quickly to the football.
Chuck Martin has the Red Hawks on the right track, and his newfound emphasis on keeping things simple on defense led to a MAC Championship in 2019. As we move forward into 2020, we can re-examine this analysis and see if Miami of Ohio has continued to progress.
You can view the rest of my notes from the Chuck Martin portion of the clinic within the slide below.