We think that the men in the trenches deserve a closer look, and where better
to start than the defensive line?
Oregon State employs a 4-3 base defense, which means that the Beavers utilize
a four man defensive line consisting of two defensive tackles, two defensive
ends, three linebackers, and four players in the secondary - two safeties and
On the defensive line (also known as the front four), sometimes one of the two
defensive tackles (DT) is referred to as a nose guard (NG). The nose guard is
the position we are going to discuss in this feature.
Q: Where does the nose guard line up?
A: A nose guard can line up anywhere from the inside edge of the offensive guard
to head up (straight across from) the center.
I thought that Oregon State played with two defensive tackles? How do I know
who the nose guard is?
A: Oregon State's base defense is an "over." Typically that means
that the defensive tackle to the strong side of the field lines up on an outside
shade of his guard while the weakside guard (NG) lines up on the inside of his
guard, closer to the center.
If both players stay on their side regardless of the strength of the field,
then neither is considered a nose, but if they flop so one guy takes on the
bulk of the double teams, then he is considered the nose.
Q: Who is the nose guard in Oregon State's defense this year?
A: I don't know if we flip this year or not, I have not seen it. But Alvin Smith
is the best candidate if they are (or decide to start) flipping.
Q: What are the keys for the nose guard?
A: Basically there are six keys on the offensive lineman (OL) to your inside.
The venter can go one of six ways:
- Pull away from you
- Block down away
- Shoot straight out to the next level, and block a linebacker.
- Block down on the nose guard
- Pull in front of you
- Pass set
You have responsibilities based off of what direction he heads.
The Beaver defense in their 4-3 set.
Q: What are those responsibilities?
A: Basically they are as follows:
IF the OL Pulls away:
Then the NG "water-skis", or tails the pulling
guard to the play -- but watch out, because the far guard is going to down
block you, or you are going to be cut by the guard on your side.
IF the OL down blocks away or shoots straight out:
Then the NG trap reacts at the heel's depth of the original
line of scrimmage, finds the ball and pursues.
IF the OL Blocks down on the nose guard:
Then the NG shoves him back in the direction from which he
came, hopefully well enough to cancel two gaps -- one with his body and one
IF the OL pulls in front of you:
Then the NG knocks him on his ass. The offensive line will
very rarely do this, but if they do, you better get up quick because there
is a 90% chance that the guard on the side that the offensive line is pulling
towards is going to cut you...hard.
IF the OL pass sets:
Then the NG better freaking pass rush.
|Sir Henry Anderson in a three-point stance.
Q: What are the different stances the NG can line up in?
A: 95% of the time the nose lines up in the three-point stance - inside hand
down. Sometimes in short yardage situations the NG will line up in a four-point
The third stance is a three point tilt, which is based off the offense being
run and very rarely implemented at OSU.
Well, there is the bell, that means class is out - pencils down. Please don't
mention to Mr. Greule the chalk on his pants, sometimes he's sensitive about
We hope that you enjoyed the first installment of Beaverfootball 101 and hope
you will join us again in the future.
If you have any questions that you'd like answered in future installments of
Beaver Football 101, e-mail them to OrangeAttack@Beaverfootball.com
with "Beaverfootball 101" in the title. Go Beavs!