BYU-UW Cut Ups: Part 2
You learn a lot watching a game a second time. You learn even more watching a handful of plays over and over. Second installment.
More of This, Please
The situation is second and five yards to go from the Huskies’ 32 yard line. The UW is in 11 personnel with Otton at TE, the Itty Bitty Committee (Aaron Fuller, Andre Baccellia, and Chico McClatcher) in at receiver, and McGrew lined up flexed to Eason’s right in the shotgun.
BYU is in what looks like a base personnel 3-4 and sure seems to be aligned in a way suggesting zone defense. One oddity: check out how wide the BYU ROLB is lined up. He is over Fuller, but is clearly not positioned to cover him in man based on his 45 degree orientation. He appears to be set up to play the run and threat of a quick screen to Fuller.
The play itself appears to be an Inside Zone Slant RPO. It is possible that it could have been a straight PA pass, but an RPO seems more likely since the line zone blocks and generally the most effective way to get defenders to bite on play action is to simulate a gap scheme by pulling a guard.
Assuming it is an RPO, the read man is probably BYU’s ILB who is lined up on the left hash, five yards deep. With Skinny’s ability to get the ball out quickly, arm strength, and accuracy, that LB doesn’t need to bite real hard to open a nice passing window to Fuller, who is running a slant that breaks inward at about 5-6 yards. That’s exactly what happens and Eason delivers a solid ball to Fuller, who manages to pick up another 3-4 yards after the catch. The throw was very safe; ball placement was slightly low and to Fuller’s back shoulder. I don’t know if that is how they coach that throw (it might be, to minimize the risk of an interception off of an overthrow or deflection).
This sort of RPO ought to be a cornerstone of our offense, in my book. It would be a great concept to use to get guys like Puka Nacua, Terrell Bynum, and Austin Osborne involved in the offense. It is a simple concept for a young WR to execute and all those guys offer more potential to create a big play by doing something dynamic after the catch.
Another “WOW” Throw
Thanks to a combination of a TV replay that went a little long and the Huskies going no huddle, I couldn’t really get a look at the formation here. But this looks like it was probably some kind of a bootleg play action. The key thing is the throw though.
Eason delivers an absolute strike to a crossing Otton from the center of the field to the left sideline, 24 yards from the line of scrimmage. But Eason’s feet are set about 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Working the trusty old Pythagorean Theorem tells me this throw covered about 43 yards in the air. It is perfectly placed and gets there in an instant, which is necessary, as Otton is running straight towards the sideline at essentially full speed.
Do not allow Eason’s ability to do this kind of stuff routinely make you jaded. This is not a routine throw for 95% of FBS QBs. Otton did a nice job of securing the catch and getting his foot down, which is pretty impressive for a Tight End as well.
Remember that First Play?
We started out looking at the first play of the game in BYU-UW Cut Ups: Part 1 discussing how it foreshadowed the Husky OL’s ownership of the LOS throughout the game. To this point in the game it had not yet become overwhelmingly obvious that the UW was going to run the ball pretty much at will against the Cougars. But the ease with which McGrew runs for 10 yards here on a simple Power play is another hint.
Check out how well big Jaxson Kirkland pulls from his RG position. He moves really well for a RG. The block he delivers isn’t a crusher, but it is more than sufficient. Wattenberg and Harris also do a great job on their double team of the BYU Nose. I’d like to see Watty climb to the second level a beat earlier though. If he had, he could have definitively cut off BYU’s #49 (who eventually made the tackle) instead of just getting a little one hand chip on him. But that’s a nitpick.
More Skinny Perfection
I can’t get enough of this play. It’s second down and 8 to go from the BYU 35 yard line. The Huskies line up in an Empty formation out of 12 personnel (1 back, 2 TEs). BYU shows a pressure look with six defenders crowding the line of scrimmage. With only five blockers, Eason knows he is going to be facing a free rusher. The remaining five Cougar defensive players are all playing off, at about 5-7 yards deep.
It looked to me like Skinny recognized the situation and checked into a play to beat the blitz. At the snap, the end man on the right of the line of scrimmage comes free at Eason. Even with a blitzer coming straight at him, Eason receives the snap, cocks, and fires a perfect laser to Baccellia, who is running a skinny post (or glance) route from his tight right slot position.
The ball placement is perfect. It hits Andre in the hands towards his upfield shoulder, which allows the speedy receiver to accelerate through the catch. Baccellia slips an attempted tackle by the safety and streaks 20 yards into the end zone. Props to Baccellia for doing his job on this play, but it was Eason’s recognition of the situation and perfect throw that made it possible.
Back to the theme of the big Dawgs on the OL controlling the LOS. I am not going to break down each of these in detail–they are all variations on the established theme. But they are too nice not to look at and celebrate.
Richard Newton on a Power out of the I-formation:
McGrew showing that Bosco burst on a Power out of the shotgun:
Newton grinding on an Inside Zone Slice:
Another Inside Zone Slice for Newton: