No, really. I’m seriously doing this. I’m so starved for Illini football film (or is it attention?) that I’m CTT-ing the highlights they showed in the latest “Illini QB” video. Yes, I am. Really.
Is there much to learn? Of course not. Is this a fairly pointless exercise? Of course it is. Am I doing it anyway? Yes. Because this is my team, and I can’t not pour over every available video.
To the “tape”:
When you’re watching film of your team playing your team, you see both the good and the bad on one play. “Yay, the defense did that well! Wait, that means the offense did that poorly.”
So when going through this first clip, keep that in mind. This is either Simon Cvijanovic holding his block really well… or BJ Bello really struggling to shed a block to get to the ballcarrier.
Goal line play, Josh Ferguson is getting the handoff, and Simon takes on BJ Bello (#10):
To keep him from scoring, Bello needs to get off this block right here. But he doesn’t.
Which means Josh Ferguson has a one on one at the goal line with a safety. With that much of a gap, and a one on one situation, and only one yard needed, there’s really nothing a single safety can do if Bello can’t get off that block.
Did Simon hook under his shoulder and give him a tug that was fairly close to holding? Yes. Do I want Simon to do that on every play because there’s holding on every play but you just have to disguise it? Yes.
Run The Receiver’s Route For Him
Want to learn how to get a few interceptions? Just read the route after the snap and then beat the receiver to the spot where the ball will be thrown.
In the video, Aaron Bailey had just made a nice throw to Kenny Knight for a 30+ yard gain. On the next play, he launches one for the corner of the endzone:
This next pic makes it look like a great throw. Receiver one step in front of the corner, ball placed where only the receiver can grab it.
Wait, no. The guy in orange is the cornerback (Bentley). The guy in blue is the receiver (Whitlow). So that’s not a touchdown – that’s an interception.
We only had one angle at it, but I don’t blame Bailey for that INT one bit. He threw it to the spot. It’s just that V’Angelo read the receiver, likely jumped in front when the receiver curled for the corner, and then outraced him to the spot where the ball would land.
Do this 12 times this season, V’Angelo.
I’d like to pause here to point out the ridiculousness of doing a Check The Tape post based on three minutes of highlights shown at the end of a video about the QB battle.
THAT SAID, here are some little things I noticed:
Devin Church (#23) lined up in the Josh Ferguson spot. I’ve been hoping he’s more tailback than slot receiver, so I like seeing this.
Want to see the difference between a senior offensive tackle and a sophomore? In this screencap, on the snap of the ball, senior Simon Cvijanovic is firing into his shuffle step immediately to get leverage on the defensive end. On the other side, sophomore Austin Schmidt is still in his stance. That half second, right there, is sometimes the difference between positive and negative yards:
Oh, and I also figured out why our QB’s are having a solid spring. At the end of each practice they touch the Hand of Manberg. #handofmanberg
You Tell Me
A new feature on Check The Tape! I did a screenshot of all three quarterbacks throwing the ball. I have my thoughts, and I have reasons I froze the tape at each spot, but I’m curious if you see the same things.
Here’s all three. Let me know what you think.
Play Of The Day
The scrimmage was closed to the media, but according to the announcer guy, this was the top play: a long touchdown pass from Wes Lunt to Dionte Taylor. Let’s break it down.
The arrow here is pointing to safety Zane Petty. The fact that he’s running parallel to the yard lines tells me that Dionte Taylor has done his job. He’s sold the inside route.
So when Taylor makes his turn – a sharp turn there is the key to this entire route – Petty will have to reverse field.
And if Lunt makes a perfect throw, this play is over. Saftey chased it inside, receiver made a sharp cut, quarterback put the ball to the outside where only the receiver could catch it… touchdown.
After the TD signal, Wes Lunt and offensive guard Joe Spencer celebrated. The celebration was… interesting.