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Purdue Max Protection

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Purdue helped out the O-line and was rewarded

NCAA Football: Missouri at Purdue Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

One of the major issues Purdue had over the first 2 games was pass protection.

Northwestern and EMU spent the majority of the game chasing around the Purdue quarterback. When you can’t protect the quarterback, you can only use a small fraction of your playbook. Brohm made some adjustments in protection against Missouri and was able to open the playbook back up.

This is how he got it done

Max Protection

Brohm wanted to throw the ball deep against Missouri, but he wasn’t sure Purdue could hold up to the pass rush. His solution was to break out the max protection blocking scheme early and often, and it worked to perfection.

Play - 2nd and 10 from the Purdue 14

Personnel Package- 12

Defense - 4-3-4 Base

Missouri thinks they can get pressure on the quarterback with their 4 man rush. They’ve watched the film, and Purdue has struggled in protection.

Purdue also thinks Missouri can get pressure on the quarterback with their 4 man rush. They’ve watched the film, and Purdue has struggled in protection.

That leaves Brohm with 2 choices:

  1. Throw quick short and intermediate routes
  2. Help the offensive line

Brohm goes with the second option on this play,

The first device Brohm uses to slow the pass rush and help the offensive line is play action.

This still is right after the play action to the RB (Horvath, Blue). The Horvath makes the fake and continues out into the flat.

Notice the DT (Beckner, Red), because Beckner is one of the better DTs in the SEC, and the player Purdue is most worried about blocking. Beckner is interested in the play action and isn’t attacking the interior of the line. Any time you don’t have to block Beckner, you’re doing something right.

At the top of the screen I’ve circled the LT (Hermanns, Yellow). He’s the only lineman isolated on the perimeter and he stones the Missouri DE. To further help Hermanns, you see Blough rolling to his right, and away from the isolated left side of the line and towards the max protection.

Finally, at the bottom, you see Purdue’s max protection. The fake has drawn in Missouri’s DE (green), which is part of the plan. The right tackle has been Purdue’s weak spot the first two games. In order to remedy this situation, McCann (green) was moved from guard to tackle. He’s a big powerful dude, but not particularly quick. The defense is going to try and speed rush him all day. This, however, is impossible when Purdue’s TE (Herdman, Purple) blocks down on the end, allowing McCann to use his strength and preventing the speed rush.

This is a still from right before the pass

As you can see, Purdue has totally neutralized the Missouri rush. Beckner (red) is trying to peal off and go around the line, but he’s too late to make an impact. Blough has time to wait for the route, set his feet, and deliver a strike to Hopkins for the 1st down.

I love this adjustment from Brohm. He’s limiting the number of routes, but at the same time, he’s allowing the routes that are being run to work down field. Instead of throwing in the towel on the down field passing game because of poor protection, he made an adjustment, helped the line, and subsequently, freed up the passing game.

I’ll be back with more clips from this game a little later.