It was a bye week and I spent some time executing my favorite pastime, watching college football. A somewhat familiar foe is Oklahoma and their young coach Lincoln Riley. During the broadcast of the OU/Texas game this past Saturday, one of the announcers made a comment about opposing coaches complimenting Lincoln Riley on Oklahoma's outstanding running game. I did some digging and found a play that is definitely out of the norm. It seems to be a Pass-Run Option (reading a LB in coverage) instead of a Run-Pass Option where the QB reads a DL or number of defenders in the box.
I do not know of anyone else running this type of play. If you do, please let me know in the comments. I would like to see more examples.
Here is the play in question from OU's game against Houston on the first weekend of the season. The play involves Oklahoma's left guard #54 and the QB #1 Jalen Hurts. Also highlighted is the left inside LB and Oklahoma's receiver #83.
On the snap, I believe #1 Jalen Hurts and the LG #54 are reading the left inside LB. The play design has a receiver running a crossing route in front of the LB. Once the LB vacates the area to cover the crossing route, Hurts and #54 release and this becomes a running play! If you notice, #54 never even looks back at the QB to see if he is running...he knows he is running because it is predetermined. #54 becomes the lead blocker.
I highlighted #83 also. Check out his pass route, or should I say the lack of his pass route. He is actually blocking the entire time. Here is the clip.
I suspect that if the LB were to stay in his position and not cover the crossing route, then Hurts would hit the crossing route with a pass. I do not know this for sure so I looked for some other clips. I could not find a clip where he passes the ball but I did find another clip of the same play in the Texas game. It is below.
The play against Texas is a little different since the coverage is man and not zone (like the first example.) However, it still seems the moment the LB vacates because he is covering the back, Hurts takes off running and #54 is leading the way.
Again, I am a little out of touch these days with the latest and greatest plays from an offensive play standpoint. If you know of anyone else running these types of plays, please let me know.
Regardless...this is a great use of the talents of your best player in a very creative way.