I agree in theory, but the problem with our line has been they get blown off the ball into their own backfield. If they can’t get push up front, or at the very worst, stalemate their counterpart defensive lineman at the line of scrimmage, there’s no where for the backs to go. I don’t think stacking more linemen in the box will fix that. If anything, it would clutter up the line of scrimmage even more because we can’t move defenders around.
Last year when Ward had so much success with the QB sweep, it was because our line could get a little push and seal off their guys. McCloskey or Farrow would provide the kick out block on the end giving Ward a place to cut up. In some cases when we couldn’t get that kick out block, Ward would outrun the defenders to the sideline and our WRs stayed on their blocks well. This year, our OL is so porous that the defenders are either in the backfield before Ward can get outside the tackles, or they are able to scrape down the line and run Ward or our backs out of bounds for a loss or maybe 1 yard gain. Read option doesn’t work because one or two defensive lineman are in the backfield wrapping up Catalon or Birden as Ward is making his read.
That’s why I’m advocating abandoning the run game completely in the first half. Let Ward throw quick hitters (slants, smoke screens, bubble screens, dump routes) until it forces UL to unload the box and start dropping guys into coverage. We may even need to take some shots down field to our big receivers via fade routes down the sideline if UL shows man coverage with a single safety. If we can dink and dunk our way into long productive drives, UL will have to loosen up around the line of scrimmage and that will give Ward room to work his magic. Trying to establish a run game between the tackles is just going to be wasted plays and continually force us into 2nd and 3rd and long situations. If Applewhite tries to establish an inside run game, Herman needs to take away his headset and call plays himself.