This week we had a tough time getting the offense going. The mounting pressure to put up points to help out the defense was just too much. Part of the reason for that was the slow use of Jace Amaro during the first half.
In the first drive of the third quarter, a quick adjustment made shows a better effort to make sure he was part of the passing game, even with a safety helping out the linebacker.
In this play, a 1st and 10 at the KSU 40, Jace lines up as the inside slot receiver with Eric Ward and Jakeem Grant farther outside. A linebacker is assigned to cover Jace, and a safety is just a few yards behind him to provide cover deeper downfield.
At the snap, the two outside receivers go on streaks up the field to clear out their corners. Baker Mayfield was likely able to pick up the man-coverage and knew that they may not be covering the flat if their assignments were going up field. The safety was over the top of Amaro, instead of shading over to provide deeper support on the receivers.
Now the play really hinges on two things. A quick read by Baker and a sharply run pattern by Amaro. If he rounds that off, then the LB may be able to get better position on the route and defend the pass. But off the snap, Jace runs right at him, even a little bit towards the inside of the field, keeping the LB honest. He then makes a sharp cut out into the vacated flat for a nice pitch and catch routine. The safety help arrives soon enough to keep him from reaching the sticks, but it's still a play in the right direction, especially considering the extra coverage that Amaro was dealing with.
So your thoughts? Do we continue to try to make reads that get Jace the ball despite double-coverage? Are we hoping that film on these plays get overused and we can counter with something else later? I'm looking forward to a play like this where a quick pump-fake pulls the safety to Jace and Ward hits a long bomb. I hope that's in the gameplan somewhere, so long as we can get the QB an extra second to make it happen.