Film Study: James White's Scoring Runs

James White (leaping) gave the Badgers plenty to celebrate on Saturday. - Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Breaking down the rushing touchdowns of Wisconsin's No. 2 tailback from Saturday's 38-13 win over Minnesota.

Picture_1_medium

Finally, something fun to write about offensively! I mean, Wisconsin's formations have been far from creative since the time my brain first formally served me a concrete memory. Badgers offensive coordinator Matt Canada calls this the "barge" formation. Why barge, you ask? Well, UW uses nine-down men on the line of scrimmage. That's seven offensive linemen and two tight ends, folks. And yes, that's James White at quarterback and yes, that is indeed Montee Ball split out left as a wide receiver.

Picture_7_medium

This is why you put in all of that extra meat on the line. Like, my dear god, that's the cleanest release to the second level by an offensive line I've ever seen. It's picture perfect. What do you think is going through the Gophers linebackers' minds? A wall of red coming to dish out pain, as White quickly tucks the ball away and follows a developing hole on the right side.

Picture_8_medium

The wall, it moves! A great seal block on the bottom of your screen by freshman tackle Tyler Marz really gives White his sweet time to let the crease develop. And now, the Wisconsin line is reaching the second level and engaging with the 'backers.

Picture_9_medium

And here's where the final pieces are laid into place. Tight end Jacob Pedersen and guard Zac Matthias, used here as an extra lineman, both maintain their blocks, further extending the play. With White cutting to the outside right, it's tough to ask both Pedersen and Matthias to get their butts around to seal the outside, so White will most likely have to break a tackle if he wants to get to the endzone. Regardless, Pedersen and Matthias both do a terrific job getting to the second level and getting contact. Because as my offensive line coach in high school used to say, "simply slowing a defender down from making the tackle is a win for you."

Picture_10_medium

Since Pedersen has his back to White, he doesn't realize his running back is cutting outside, as the man he blocks escapes for an opportunity at a tackle. But it doesn't matter since White has two speeds: fast and faster. No chance.

Picture_11_medium

And the use of the "barge" formation yields a touchdown for the Badgers. I mean, c'mon, when your line has the size and strength of most of the top units in the NFL, why not try a "Wildcat" formation? Players and fans love it, and opposing coaches like Minnesota's Jerry Kill hate it, especially when the maiden voyage of the package was used against his Gophers.

"When you haven't seen it on film or anything like that and they out five guys on one side and three on the other, that's a good move on their part," Kill said."We've done that in the past. What it does is you get into that real fast and then you have to get moved over and you're unbalanced and then they've got a man on you and then they crease you. That's good coaching on their part and I credit them. That's part of a week-to-week thing, and I'm sure next week they'll have another little wrinkle to see. You get all of those big guys on one side and you get shifted over there and take care of that side, then they come back on the other side."

Picture_12_medium

This is pretty simple. Strong left here for the Badgers, with Brian Wozniack (No. 85) on the line and Pedersen (No. 48) off, while Melvin Gordon (No. 25) serves as flanker with Jared Abbrederis (No. 4) split out to the right. Minnesota counters with a 4-4 and a safety sneaking up in the box, giving the Gophers nine men in the box against the Badgers' seven.

Picture_13_medium

Using Gordon in motion as per usual with the speedster in the game, Minnesota is forced to respect the possibility of the redshirt freshman getting the handoff on a sweep, drawing in the Gophers' left outside linebacker and bringing Minnesota cornerback Troy Stoudermire (No. 2), who was originally keying in on Gordon from the right, to the left side and out of White's way. Pedersen also does his steps to make the play appear it's to Gordon. But, the trained eye also recognizes that here (and this is a lucky photo capture) that White is doing a misdirection step, sometimes referred to as a "false step," to sell to the safety and linebackers keyed on him to bite by taking an initial step toward the side he is faking to. We now recognize the possibility that Pedersen pulling to the left could be a trap-block on a counter play.

Picture_14_medium

WIth the fake to Gordon drawing a Minnesota player in deep to the backfield, it's Pedersen's responsibility to clean up the defender to allow White and the play to further develop. Also notice the crease that has already begun to form, as well as a blurry Ryan Groy, the Badgers' left tackle, moving to spring a block at the second level.

Picture_15

Groy not only gets to his man, but definitively seals him with his back to the crease. The play doesn't start without blocks being held at the line of scrimmage, but the difference between five-yard gains and long touchdowns are blocks like Groy's and Kyle Costigan's (No. 54), who has also pushed his Gopher defender into something of a position that looks like a bouncer throwing a rowdy patron out of Whiskey Jack's on State Street.

Picture_16_medium

Just one guy to beat for James White...

Picture_18_medium

How many times have we seen a shifty move from White in these past two games? The emergence of White is almost reminiscent of Ball versus Iowa, a la 2010.

Picture_20_medium

Wisconsin's three-headed monster is back, folks. And with this offensive line progressing from week to week the way they have under interim coach Bart Miller, there's no telling what possibilities remain to be achieved for this Wisconsin ground game.

Also, as a huge fan of the movie "Caddyshack," I need to conclude my Axe weekend with a clip from the movie. Probably one of the greatest, if not the greatest, performance in Bill Murray's career.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bucky's 5th Quarter

You must be a member of Bucky's 5th Quarter to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bucky's 5th Quarter. You should read them.

Join Bucky's 5th Quarter

You must be a member of Bucky's 5th Quarter to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bucky's 5th Quarter. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker