Scouting is the foundation on which we build our game plan, so we must be certain that we do it without making mistakes. If our analysis is sloppy or filled with typing errors, we get a distorted view of our opponent’s tendencies.
In-season scouting of our opponent begins on the Tuesday 11 days before the game. Exchange film arrives at 10:30 A.M., and we immediately make a copy for the graduate assistants to break down. We keep tape of every opponent’s game we get for three years. We thus have an extensive library of tape to pull from for different ideas on coaching schemes. We also save our self-scout tapes forever. We constantly go back to look at what was successful for us in the past.
We start on breakdowns right away so that when questions arise we can answer them quickly and work through the puzzles. Generally, we break down four games for the cutups. We study certain situations from all games: goal line, short yardage, trick plays, two-point plays, and plays that we do not see in the four-game breakdown.
We feel that these situations are important enough to study from the entire year.
Coordinators pick the four games that go in the cutups. Sometimes they choose the four most recent games; other times coordinators opt to trade a recent game to see a team that runs a similar offense or defense. Sometimes we use last year’s game against the upcoming opponent in the cutups.
To break down a game, the graduate assistants draw the plays by hand. They give them to the defensive coaches, who then have both graphic.
written descriptions of each play. We name the plays to ensure uniformity. The offense does not draw their plays, but they have a system of checks in place to ensure that plays are named correctly.