Misdirection is a key element in offensive play design. The end around gets a defense moving one way, and the reverse hopefully creates a big play. Mark Schofield looks at an OK reverse pulled off by the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
While TCU and Baylor grab the headlines, Oklahoma State has quietly put together a playoff resume of their own. The Cowboys are now 8-0 on the season, and 5-0 in the Big 12, after a 70-53 victory over Texas Tech. Mike Gundy’s squad trailed by ten points at the break, before a second half offensive outburst. James Washington notched two 70+ scoring plays in the fourth quarter, the first of which came on this 2nd and 3 with just over nine minutes left in the game.
The Cowboys line up for this snap on their own 25-yard line, with 11 personnel on the field. Quarterback J.W. Walsh (#4) is in the shotgun with running back Raymond Taylor (#30) to his right. The offense deploys dual slot formations, with tight end Blake Jarwin (#47) in a tight wing on the right with Washington outside. Jalen McCleskey (#84) and Marcell Ateman (#3) are in the slot left, with McCleskey the inside receiver. The Red Raiders use their 4-2-5 nickel defense, and show Cover 1 in the secondary:
Just prior to the snap, McCleskey comes in jet motion toward Walsh. Slot cornerback Justis Nelson (#31) trails him:
Walsh takes the snap and gives the ball to his slot receiver heading to the right on the end around. While Taylor leads in front of McCleskey to the right, Jarwin is cutting to the other side of the formation, helping to set up the reverse for Washington:
Moving right, the slot receiver takes the ball from his QB, and then hands it to Washington, who is heading to the left. The receiver gets three key blocks on this play ‒ the first from Walsh himself. Linebacker Pete Robertson (#10) reads this play pretty well, and as McCleskey flows away from him the senior LB keeps containment on the backside, keeping him in position to stop Washington in the backfield. But Walsh gets just enough of a block on Robertson, allowing his receiver to find the edge:
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The second crucial block is from the TE. As Jarwin curls into the secondary, he faces a trio of defenders led by defensive back J.J. Gaines (#3). The TE angles to block the defensive back, and his blocking angle has a domino effect that slows the pursuit of all three defenders.
Washington races into the secondary with a full head of steam where Ateman locks up his cornerback downfield, giving his fellow receiver a clear path for the 75-yard score.
From this end zone angle, you can see the crucial elements of this play come together, including the blocks from Walsh, Jarwin and Ateman, as well as the initial flow of the defense on the potential jet sweep:
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The win allowed Oklahoma State to keep pace with TCU, with both the Cowboys and Horned Frogs sitting at 8-0 and 5-0 in the conference. As luck would have it, those teams clash next Saturday afternoon in Stillwater.
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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 ESPN.