Each week in college football, there are many wonderful throws but there can be only one winner. There were many contenders, including Deshaun Watson’s long strike against Appalachian State or Trevone Boykin’s 60-yard strike to Kolby Listenbee. Mark Schofield‘s inaugural Throw of the Week award goes to Vernon Adams ‒ and not for his impromptu left-handed toss in the second quarter.
The Ducks face a pivotal 4th and 7 in Spartans territory, trailing by 10 early in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Vernon Adams has 11 offensive personnel on the field with slot formation to the left. The MSU defense, with 4-2-5 personnel, shows a double linebacker blitz up front and Cover 6 in the secondary:
Oregon runs a smash concept route to the left. Bralon Addison (#2) begins the play in the slot and runs a short out to the sideline, while Byron Marshall (#9) runs a corner route. Marshall first cuts to the inside on his release, but then quickly breaks to the outside:
The goal is to set up a high-low over cornerback Darian Hicks (#2). The defender tries to split the difference between Addison and Marshall, sinking late underneath the corner route. Safety Montae Nicholson (#9) widens to the outside, keeping watch on Marshall’s corner route. Together, Hicks and Nicholson constrict the throwing window. But Adams has to make a play:
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The quarterback places this throw perfectly, and Marshall gets his feet down ‒ both, something NFL Draft scouts surely noted ‒ for a huge fourth down conversion. The Ducks scored on a touchdown run by Adams two plays later, cutting the MSU lead to three, and setting up a thrilling conclusion.
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Mark Schofield has always loved football. He breaks down film, scouts prospects, and explains the passing game for Inside the Pylon.
All video and images courtesy ABC Sports.