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Purdue Max Protection - Part 2

Brohm was determined to go deep, so he beefed up the line

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

I’m going to cut right to the chase in this article. If you want the preview, you can find it here:

Down and Distance - 1st and 10 from the Purdue 38

Personnel Package- 12

Defense - 4-3-4 Base

This is Purdue’s 3rd play of the game, coming after a big 1st down reception by Hopkins, and Brohm is looking for blood. The Boilermakers hurry to the line and make no substitutions, pinning Missouri’s base defense on the field (they’re most likely going to be in base anyway, but I love the tempo).

Once again, Purdue goes with their max protection look, but this time they really mean it. Brohm keeps both tight ends in to block, essentially running a two man route with a dump off option out of the backfield.

Purdue is serious about protecting the quarterback, keeping 7 players in to block 4.

The blocking assignments look something like this.

The TEs (Herdman, Hopkins - Red) are both assigned to the Missouri DE (red). It looks like Purdue is trying to block a DE straight up with a TE, which is generally not a good idea, but Hopkins is coming across the formation looking to lay out the DE with his running start. All Herdman has to do is hold him up long enough for Hopkins to make the double team block.

The RT (McCann - Yellow) is blocking down on the 3 tech DT (yellow). He’s better at dealing with the bull rush than the speed rush, so having him block down instead of asking him to hold up on the outside against the DE makes sense. Brohm is scheming around a weakness and working towards a strength.

The RG (Edwards - Green), C (Barron - Green) and LG (Evans - Green) are all interested in the Missouri NG (Beckner - Green). Beckner is the biggest threat on the Missouri line, and Brohm isn’t going to let him be the player that gets to the quarterback.

Finally, the LT (Hermanns - Blue) is responsible for the DE (blue). It appears that Brohm is comfortable with leaving Hermanns on an island against the DE in order to help the interior of the line. Based on Missouri’s personnel, this makes sense.

Purdue once again goes with play action to freeze the linebackers, and once again, Missouri’s NG (Beckner-green) is caught looking at the fake from the RB (Horvath - Pink) instead of challenging Purdue’s interior line.

The LT (Hermanns - light blue) is doing a great job one-on-on vs the Missouri DE (light blue)

The RT (McCann - Yellow) is doing a nice job washing the defensive tackle down the line and into his help.

In a strange turn of events, Purdue’s TE on the line (Herdman - Red) stood up the Missouri DE (Red) leaving Purdue’s move TE (Hopkins -Red), who was supposed to be helping Herdman, hanging out on the end of the line instead of cleaning up the DE. This is important later on in the play.

You’ll notice that Blough is once again rolling to his right, which makes sense because the line is blocking down and pushing the Missouri line left. This is by design.

I’ve also marked the Missouri linebackers, because they come in to play shortly. The outside linebackers are in zone, and heading outside to the flats. The middle linebacker may be in zone as well, but he does a good job of recognizing that Purdue is running a 3 man route, and those 3 potential receivers are not threatening his zone. Subsequently, he is free to come on a “green dog” blitz.

This is a beautiful sight. Blough is hanging out waiting for the deep post to clear the safety. This route takes time, and as you can see, Blough isn’t worried about much right now.

The LT (Hermanns - light blue) has his man dead to rights, and Blough has rolled away from him anyway.

The LG (Evans - green) is just hanging out. He was supposed to help on the NG (Beckner - green) but as you can see, the C (Barron - green) is abusing Beckner. The RG (Edwards - Green) is helping on the DT (yellow) because he doesn’t have anything else going on.

The RT (McCann - yellow) has washed the DT (yellow) down the line and out of the play. He doesn’t need any help.

The outside is where things are starting to get a little dicey. The inline TE (Herdman - Red) still has his man, but the pressure is coming from the MLB (blue) on the move tight end (Hopkins - Blue).

As you can see, the blitzing MLB (blue) destroys the move TE (Hopkins - Blue). I’m sure Hopkins is screaming “Look Out!” right about now, and I’m also positive that his teammates will give him grief in the film room. To be fair though, the MLB had a running start and Hopkins was stationary. He lost a physics problem.

Blough is already in his throwing motion though, so it’s a race between his release and the MLB and.....

Blough wins.

He can’t step all the way into the throw, and slightly under throws what should be a touchdown, but he did a great job of standing in and letting it rip with the MLB closing fast.

I’ll never question Blough’s toughness.