Skip to main content

If you're not doing this drill already, you should start now

Only one team (Wisconsin) intercepted more passes per attempt than Ohio State last season, and that success in large part is due to a drill Urban Meyer originally wanted to shut down.

As Bruce Feldman detailed for Fox Sports, Greg Schiano brought to Ohio State with him a drill he learned from Bill Belichick in which a defender rushing the passer watches for when the quarterback takes his non-throwing hand off the ball (an indication he's about to pass), then raises his opposite hand (the defender's left hand against a right-handed quarterback, and vice versa) in an attempt to block the pass.

"I didn’t think (the drill) was gonna work until we saw just how effective it really is," Ohio State defensive end Sam Hubbard told Feldman. “We do it every day. That’s all I think about when I’m running to a quarterback and he’s rolling out. You don’t go for the hit — that’s what I used to do. You just match the hand. It works every time. I’ve talked to all the quarterbacks and they just say they hate it so much. After doing all these drills, it’s just instinct."

The drill directly led to two of Ohio State's biggest touchdowns of last season -- a pick-six that turned a 7-0 lead into a 45-24 avalanche over Oklahoma and a pick-six that put the Buckeyes on the board in an eventual double-overtime defeat of Michigan -- and further demonstrated Schiano's genius to Meyer.

“He made a comment to me a year ago (after Schiano was hired) that we weren’t great in turnovers,” Meyer said. “We were good but why can’t we become that suffocating defense? His drill-work is reflective on that. That’s what makes him a great football coach. That’s what makes him special.”

Read the full story here.