It has been a while since I’ve written anything here, but the sports world is pretty quiet at the moment and I got a hold of some college All 22 film, so I thought I’d throw on some Oklahoma Sooners games and see what Lincoln Riley was up to.
As it turns out, he’s up to a lot! I don’t know if you know this or not, but he knows what he’s doing. Hot take, I know.
Anyway, I wanted to look at a couple plays from the 2019 Week 1 win over the Houston Cougars.
Play 1: 1st & 10, 13:21 remaining in the 1st quarter, Sooners tied 0-0
Sooners are in 2X2 look, with a RB to the left of Jalen Hurts in the backfield. The wide receiver from the right runs a jet sweep motion before the snap and the defense doesn’t react at all. That tells Hurts a couple things:
- The defense is in zone.
- He has numbers on the left.
The wide receiver is running a go route while the slot receiver is pushing out and blocking down on the defender across from him. That means the jet sweep man will be open in space.
It’s an easy read and an easy completion for Hurts for a nice gain.
Play 2: 1st & 10, 1:14 remaining in the 1st quarter, Sooners leading 7-0
The alignment is different, but the idea is the same: a receiver motions from the non-2WR side to the 2WR side. And the running back next to Hurts is on the side where the jet sweep is flowing to.
The defense – having been burned once already by the jet sweep earlier in the quarter – shifts with the motion this time. The boundary defender squeezes in, the free safety shifts back to a single-high position and the strong safety steps down towards the line. Basically, the defense rotates to the jet sweep side.
The receivers on that side push out and block the men across from them. So it looks like they’re setting up a throw to the jet sweep man to that side again.
Hurts uses play action to the RB to the left to get the defense moving in that direction. Then he looks to the jet sweep man in the flat, which pulls the strong safety closer to the line.
And then – AND THEN! – Hurts takes a couple steps to the right, looking like a QB keeper. The front 7 has moved to one side with the play action, now have to correct back the other way to account for the possibility of a QB keeper.
To cap the whole sucker off, Hurts reverses course back to the left for the QB keeper and finds a really nice lane waiting for him.
The right guard and right tackle pull at the snap. That does a couple things. The first thing it does is help sell the possibility of a run on the playfake. The other thing it does is to lock down that side of the field for the QB keeper.
Go back to something you did earlier, get the defense to react, then hit them with the counter. It’s beautiful, man. Simply beautiful.