CFB Film Review: Oklahoma Sooners Fade Route

The Oklahoma Sooners trailed the Tennessee Volunteers by seven with under a minute to go Saturday night in Knoxville. Mark Schofield looks at the Sooners fade route was executed perfectly.

Facing a 3rd and goal from the 5, the offense put quarterback Baker Mayfield in the shotgun with 20 offensive personnel on the field, against Tennessee’s 4-2-5 defense showing Cover 1 in the secondary. The offense puts two receivers in slot formation on the left, and splits Sterling Shepard out wide on the right, at the top of the numbers:CFBReview2Play3Still

The Vols stick with Cover 1 in the secondary and the cornerback over Shepard, Emmanuel Moseley (#12) lines up with inside leverage over the receiver. With the football on the left hashmark, the CB uses inside leverage to take away any slant route. If Shepard wants to cut inside, he’ll need to fight through Moseley to get between the defensive back and any pass thrown his way.

But if Shepard chooses Plan B, and runs a route to the outside or a fade route, Moseley has the benefit of the sideline and the end line as additional “defenders” ‒ a very difficult pass to complete. Plus, with the football on the left hashmark any pass has to cover a bit of distance as well.

Shepard runs the fade route:

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You can see how Moseley opens his hips toward the sideline at the snap, cementing his inside leverage ‒ giving Shepard the outside. The WR runs the fade route, toward the back corner, and Mayfield drops the throw in right where it needs to be. Moseley’s pre-snap alignment and initial movements force the QB and WR to execute this play to perfection – and they do.

The teams headed to overtime and the Volunteers scored a touchdown on their first possession. But much like the 14-point deficit they overcame in regulation, the Sooners scored the next two touchdowns, and left Knoxville with a 31-24 double-overtime victory.

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 ESPN.

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