OL Film Review: Eastern Illinois

hawkeye gamefilmContributor IMarch 22, 2017

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This was an interesting opening game for the Hawks in the trenches. On the surface it looks pretty good with a 100 yard rusher and 435 yards of total offense.  There were definitely some struggles as a unit though as again adjusting to blitzes were mishandled several times in this game. Shifting protection schemes was a big issue last year for the Hawks and it's something they need to clean up.

Reiff played a solid game and graded out the highest of the unit. He clearly is very talented and plays with a mean streak and I'd like to see him consistently dominate opponents as the year goes on.  A lot of scouts think very highly of him and it's easy to see why watching him on film.

Vandervelde was solid and looks to be improved from last season. He's still prone to miss an assignment occasionally but he shored up his technique quite a bit. He will need to be an anchor and leader of this unit as the year goes on.

Ferentz had a tough time in his first start. This was a lesser opponent, but he was still manhandled pretty often by the NT. He struggled to cut off penetration on stretch plays, but when he was able to get his hips around he was able to drive his man well.  He appears pretty agile and should be effective when asked to pull. He'll need to really work to improve his game as the season goes on.

MacMillan looked a bit lost out there at times on Saturday. He was making his first start and it showed very glaringly at times.  He lost control of his head up DT pretty often and didn't chip off to the LB very well off a combo block.  He has the tools to be a productive lineman but he needs a lot of refinement at this point. He's got some serious work to do in terms of technique and consistency. 

Zusevics started out rough in this game but settled in nicely as it went along. It seemed like he was adjusting to the speed and flow of the live action. He showed good athleticism in pass protection and has the necessary footwork to defend the edge effectively. His run blocking improved as the game went along and he was at his best attacking LB's in space. I would expect him to improve sharply over the next couple of weeks.

I didn't do a play by play breakdown of the last drive where the 2nd teamers were in. As a unit they dominated the LOS and opened up huge holes for the backs to scamper through. Some of that success can be attributed to the defenders being worn down, but it's an encouraging sign to see that kind of production.


+1 Just flattens his man on the stretch play. Really just physically over-matches him here. D2 play 5
+1 Great job taking defender across his face on the run play as he rides him out of the seam. D3 Play 2
+1 Great job on the run block here. Gets low and plows his man to the ground. D3 Play 7
-1 Failed to pick up hot blitzer as he didn’t see it and turned inside to double the DT and the LB walked in for the sack. D4 Play 2
+1 Just launched a DB on the WR screen. Big hit in space here. Love the punishing physical play here. D4 Play 6
+1 Nice block on the stretch play here as he drives his man outside and opens up a lane. D8 Play 2

Overall: +4

+1 Excellent job of dealing with penetration here as he gets his head across and drives the defender back upfield.  D5 Play 2
+1 Just locks onto his DT and drives him out of the seam. Nice technique
here. D6 Play 3
+1 Nice just adjusting to the DTs pass rush moves here and he keeps his man well away from Stanzi. D8 Play 4
-1 Got beat in pass protection pretty badly here and is lucky to have given up a sack. D8 Play 6

Overall: +2

-1 Got driven back into the backfield and the play was disrupted. D1 Play 3
+1 Nice job funneling the penetrating DT here and he keeps him off the back. D2 Play 3
+1 Excellent push on his block here, as carries it a long ways and finishes it with style by putting his man on the ground. D3 Play 7
-1 Flat out beaten by his man on the pass rush here. Needs to shuffle with the DT better than this. D4 Play 2
-1 Just got brushed off by the DT who stops Robinson on the carry. D6 Play 5
-1 Bad exchange. Not something that is acceptable. D6 Pay 6
-1 Fell off the reach with MacMillian and ended up blocking no one. D8 Play 5
-1 Missed his reach and play was broken up. Big seam there if he didn’t miss his block. D8 Play 8
+1 Nice job picking up the blitzing LB here. Good stout pickup as he anchors the middle here. D9 Play 5

Overall: -3

-1 Poor job maintaining contact with his head up man and he loses him quickly. D1 Play 3
-1 Actually misses his man on the TD run by Robinson. He got himself off balance and tipped over while whiffing on his block. D3 Play 8
-1 Poor job maintaining contact again here as his man gets away and trips up Robinson in the seam. D6 Play 3
+1 Does a solid job of getting to the LB and maintains contact up to the whistle as he seals his man off. D8 Play 1
+1 Good drive block as he pushes his guy way out and opens a big seam to the outside. D9 Play 2
+1 Excellent job sealing down the DE and opening up a big running lane to the outside. D9 Play 4

Overall: Push

+1 Nice down block here on the run play. Got into his man and maintained contact as the back went by. D1 Play 4
-1 Ends up on the ground and his guy isn’t. Can’t miss cuts on stretch plays as his man ends up clogging the cut back lane. D3 Play 4
-1 Runs around like he’s lost on this play and ends up blocking no one on Robinson's TD scamper. D3 Play 8
-1 Flat out beaten by his man here as he gets stone feet and looks awkward. D4 Play 2
-1 Pulls around and misses his block as he stumbles and hangs out Robinson. D6 Play 5
-1 Got pushed into the backfield and the penetration broke up the play. D8 Play 5
-1 Released his DT here as he looks confused about who he's supposed to block. Robinson dodges him but a poor effort here. D9 Play 5

Overall: -5


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