#1 ranked Ohio State trailed Indiana at the break, looking very shaky offensively. But in the second half running back Ezekiel Elliott runs wild, and Mark Schofield explains how the 65-yard scoring run happened.
Trailing 17-13 late in the third quarter, Ohio State lines up for a 4th and 1 play on their own 35-yard line. The Buckeyes put quarterback Cardale Jones in the shotgun with 21 offense personnel on the field, with two receivers split wide to the right, and running back Dontre Wilson (#2) in a slot alignment to the right. Tight end Nick Vannett (#81) lines up in a wing alignment, just outside left tackle Taylor Decker (#68). The Hoosiers have a short-yardage defense in the game, with eight defenders in the box:
Ohio State uses jet motion often, and likes to run Elliott on counter plays following jet motion, to try and get the linebackers flowing away from the counter play. This was a design they used against Oregon in the national championship game last season with a great deal of success.
The offensive line caves down to the right, while right guard Pat Elflein (#65) pulls in front of the play. After the snap Jones will quickly fake to Wilson, and then hand the football to Elliott, following directly behind the RG. It works to perfection:
[jwplayer file=”http://cdn.insidethepylon.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/CFBReview5OSUPlay1Video1.mp4″ image=”http://cdn.insidethepylon.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/CFBReview5OSUPlay1Still2.jpg”]
Middle linebacker Marcus Oliver (#44) diagnoses this play immediately, and quickly occupies the developing hole. But Elflein meets the LB in the B Gap and erases the linebacker, leveling him to the turf. Elliott cuts behind the big block from his right guard, and from that moment, it is a race. Which the RB wins.
From the end zone camera angle, you can see the interior blocking come together. Both Decker and left guard Billy Price (#54) crash down to the inside, handling nose tackle Ralph Green III (#93) and linebacker Zach Shaw (#33) who begins the play lined up to the inside of the left tackle in a two-point stance. Two second-level defenders, Oliver and safety Chase Dutra (#30) rush forward to meet the threat. But Vannett handles the defensive back, while the RG loops around to handle the LB:
[jwplayer file=”http://cdn.insidethepylon.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/CFBReview5OSUPlay1Video2.mp4″ image=”http://cdn.insidethepylon.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/CFBReview5OSUPlay1Still3.jpg”]
Linebacker T.J. Simmons (#2) has slid over as well into this hole, but slides too far. With the pre-snap adjustment forced by the jet motion, the linebacker is just one or two steps too far to the outside to stop this play. Elliott is able to simply step right past him, through the hole, and all the way to the end zone.
The talented RB would score another long touchdown run in the fourth quarter, but this 65-yard TD put the Buckeyes ahead for good. They would need a goal-line stand late in the game to preserve the victory, but that win would not have been possible without the effort from Elliot, and their offense, in the second half.
Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkSchofield.
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 NFL Game Pass.