Trench Warfare | Spring Game (Third Quarter)

Anatomy of a sack Exhibit A:

Look at St. Johns initial set (red arrow)  bending at the waist and dropping your hands while flat footed is not the way you want to handle Eric Striker…




In the next frame we see the curved blue arrow that shows the edge that St. John has given Eric.  It’s almost like St. John is a swinging gate with his right foot being the hinge.  Note that his hands are still down.



Strike completely has him turned, and just now St. John’s hands come up.  Had they been cocked and he stays square on this while not lunging, he’s able to punch and bury the rusher….



But due to poor technique against arguably the best pass rusher in the nation ends up with this being the result.  Striker is like a lion jumping on his prey.



Anatomy of a sack Exhibit B:

Here just look at how much quicker Striker is than everyone else.  Note that Farniok’s hands are too low.



Eric’s speed, combined with bad hand usage allows Striker to get inside that reach advantage that Farniok has.  Look at how deep he is compared to everyone else.



Just nowFarniok gets the hands on him but since they were hanging early, he can’t punch.  Striker just has to get that low lean and run the hoop into the qb…



And back to back sacks on back to back plays are the results.  Striker’s a special player that has the ability to make folks look silly.



Nice play action set’s up the good pocket for the Qb to step into…



Then we have Smallwood taking advantage of the size mismatch on the outside.  He Catches the ball with his back turned to the goal line.  He rotates clockwise after looking over his left shoulder…



And he’s just too strong to keep out of the endzone for Stanvon.  Smallwood is going to be a beast on the outside and reminds me a lot of Justin Brown a few years ago…



Here’s another play action that Striker jumps inside on thinking it’s run(blue arrow).  Notice that St. John is all crossed up and is lucky that Striker guessed wrong…



Then it’s a dart outside to Derrick Woods.  Why I really like Derrick is that first he never drops anything.  Second he’s so darn tough.  Derrick is a guy who will scrap and find his way onto the field because he’s a fighter by nature.  Give me toughness, grit and effort.  Three things that you just can’t teach…



On the next play this is just great vision by Ford.  The point is overwhelmed playside, he sees the seam right off of the right hip of his center, and jumps in behind Tony Feo…



A step later you see the cavernous hole backside that Ford was able to decipher a step before.  Vision is something that is far too underrated when looking at a back’s skillset.  Keith turns what looked to be a stuffed run into a nice gain by just getting upfield to daylight.



Striker is a player you have to account for all the time.  Like LeRoy Butler a few years ago.  Troy Polamalu in today’s game, Striker is one of those guys who changes the game.  If he can translate his game to a nickel safety in the NFL he’ll play a long time.  Tackles and Tight ends can’t block him.  He’s an instant mismatch .  Note again how deep he is off the snap.  That first step is lethal…



Then while everyone else is still getting out of their stances, he’s four yards deep finishing it off.  It wouldn’t shock me if Mike was able to match him up well this year that Eric won’t be in the conversation for some Butkus stuff at the end of the year.




  • WilliamJack

    Great stuff! Always appreciate the teaching!

    • JY

      Yes sir.

  • Sooner Ray

    Damn I’m ready for some football!

    • EasTex


  • EasTex

    With those basic technique break downs by Farniok and St. John, it demonstrates why they aren’t competing for playing time. Hope Coach B can get those young men coached up.

    • Oscar

      True. It is amazing that a person can play for many years of their life, yet they cannot translate the technique that they have been taught over and over into their play on the field. I know that those things deteriorate as a player becomes tired and exhausted, but it’s not like they had been on the field for 8 hours.

      • EasTex

        Just don’t understand it. They must know after film study what they need to do to improve.

  • Josh

    6 Days Till Football Time in Oklahoma! Anyone got a spare bandana?

    • Boom

      Lott was a cool cat at QB and always loved the plastic face mask with the bandana hanging out. He was smooth.

    • EasTex

      Loved Thomas Lott.
      Sadly there isn’t a dedicated highlight video for him, but this victory over NU shows not only how smooth he was, but the weapons he had at his disposal in the backfield.
      He was a smooth operator.

      • soonermusic

        yeah man. Right on both counts. He was definitely the engine that made it go. As good a ball handler as ever was as a wishbone qb, tough, and had that deceptive quick burst. And the backs…hm, Kenny King, David Overstreet, Elvis Peacock, and that other guy…:-) Talk about loaded.

    • Ed Cotter

      Great choice since he is a San Antonio guy like Trevor Knight. BOOMER!!

  • Lesslie Stanford

    You simply can not leave a guy like Striker unblocked!

    • soonermusic

      can’t block him, can’t leave him unblocked…:-)

  • Ed Cotter

    And yet another great breakdown by JY. Thanks for taking the time to do this. I know your time is precious with taking care of the little one.

    • JY

      Thank you sir!

  • JY thanks as always….are there situations where Strykers speed is used as bait to get him away from the play? Hope that made sense

    • JY

      I’m sure there are. Striker has great instincts and football savvy, so it’ll be interesting to see if teams can fool em this year

  • Tulsa Terry

    Smallwood is eager to block downfield after a play breaks down and the qb runs with it.

  • Kuzi

    Do you see any of the big (6’4″ and above) WRs seeing much playing time this fall? It would be nice to have a little more size out there from time to time.

  • SamSooner

    Torrance Gibson is playing on ESPN.

  • blaster1371

    When the page loaded the first thing I saw was the first picture and zeroed in on St. John’s stance and dead arms. Seems like OT 101 would make that an impossibility. Arms at the side facing a rusher usually results in a wide reach, grab and flag. I know it was against striker but those errors are not excusable.

    • JY

      It’s just focus. Takes no talent to get your hands in the right position.

      • blaster1371

        I agree but it seems too basic to be a problem. By this time it should dang near be a reflex.

  • Mike Reed

    Striker is nothing short of a BEAST!! I can see him setting a school record for sacks in a season this year. Wonder what the national record is? Will moving him “positions” hurt his chances at being considered for the Butkus?

    • Kuzi

      Agree about him being a beast. One of the best first steps I have ever seen. I hope he has developed some inside moves (spin, swim, etc) and then he could be even more dangerous. The tackle will really have to move to counter Striker’s edge rush which may cause him to be off balance. If he can have a go-to move inside and take advantage of that… good luck.

  • Fantastic as always! Much appreciated!

    • JY

      Thank you!

  • John Garner

    Trench Warfare is one of many reasons why this place is the best OU football site. Thanx JY.

    • JY

      Really appreciate that!

      • Gary Robbins

        Do you know if OU is still talking to Tyler Moore out of Galena Park, Tx? Their was some info about him having a top 5 or something but it was on a pay site.

        • JY

          I wish they would take Him and Barnett and call it happy. Tyler’s a guy who in my opinion is gonna play for a lot of years. Just has the right mindset and is flat out nasty.

  • Hi guys…hope you have time to do a film study on Tony Jefferson….he blew up the first play of the game.then picked up the rb on a subsequent play that cost Cinncy a first down

  • Gary Robbins

    Thanks JY. Really puts a prospective as to why or how things happen during a game.

  • ToatsMcGoats

    Love the new changes! T-shirts are looking pretty sweet too!

    • Boom

      Bringing home a BOOM XL

      • JY

        we appreciate that!

    • JY

      Thanks Toats!

  • Stephen

    This is some serious analysis!! Great work, JY!

    • JY

      Thanks sir. Cant wait do do a real game!
      This’ll be my fourth year of doing these and 2nd with TFB. I’m glad you guys enjoy it.

  • SavageSoonerEsq

    With Striker’s ability to beat tackles to the outside so often, will that open up the inside gap for blitzing corners and/or safeties? Btw, that breakdown is so eye opening regarding Striker’s first few steps and why he can be so dominant.