In a key conference match up, the Michigan Wolverines and the Indiana Hoosiers went into a second overtime period. Mark Schofield looks at the game winning touchdown pass from Jake Rudock to Amara Darboh.
The Michigan Wolverines kept their Big Ten title hopes alive with a thrilling overtime win in Bloomingfield over the Indiana Hoosiers. Quarterback Jake Rudock turned in a tremendous performance for the Wolverines on the afternoon, completing 33 of 46 passes for 440 yards and 6 touchdowns, with 1 interception. It was his connection with wide receiver Amara Darboh in the second overtime that proved to be the determining factor.
After both Michigan and Indiana scored a touchdown in the first OT frame, the Wolverines took over possession at the Hoosiers’ 25-yard line. The offense lines up with 12 offensive personnel on the field in Ace formation, with a tight end and wide receiver to each side of the field. Indiana has their base personnel in the game, showing Cover 2 before the snap:
At the top of the screen, safety Chase Dutra (#30) is on the hashmark but walking toward the line of scrimmage. Before the play he sets himself on the edge as the Hoosiers show blitz:
Now the defense has eight defenders in the box, using Cover 3 in the secondary. Darboh is the receiver on the right, matched up with Rashard Fant (#16). The WR runs a double-move on this play, showing the CB a curl route at a depth of eight yards off the line of scrimmage by turning inside, but then cutting back on the vertical stem toward the end zone:
Rudock takes the snap, and the Wolverines send only three receivers into the route, keeping seven offensive players into block the blitz. The protection holds, giving the QB time to take a shot to Darboh on his double-move:
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The receiver is wide-open, and the throw is right on target, giving the Wolverines the lead. Here’s a look at how Darboh’s route got Fant to bite, freeing up his vertical release:
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The touchdown gave Michigan the lead in the second overtime, and their defense forced a fourth-down incompletion on Indiana’s final possession of the game to preserve the victory. If the Wolverines can get past Penn State next weekend, they have a shot to win the Big Ten East – provided they can knock off Ohio State in their final game of the season.
Editor’s Note: Thanks to an asute reader who pointed out a misidentification of the coverage. We always appreciate the help!
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