Another conference win in the books on a day when adjustments were really the key to the big win over Kansas. After a slow start Kliff Kingsbury and the boys really woke up and found a way to move the ball when we had it and stop it when we didn't.
Today's play dissection comes from the third quarter when we're really starting to pull away. I'm not sure we've seen as many screens as some may have expected this year, but I have a feeling this nugget was just a preview of what wrinkles we may be seeing as the season progresses. So let's get to the play!
We start off set up in 20 personnel, with Eric Ward on the left alone, Jace Amaro in the slot, and Bradaley Marquez on the right. The backs in the play are DeAndre Washington and Sadale Foster splitting Baker Mayfield.
Before the snap, Foster goes in motion to the right, taking the outside linebacker with him. We'll come back to him later...
At the snap Amaro and Marquez go in routes taking their defenders away from the play to set up space and to begin blocking. Standard screen procedure. I'm also glad Eric Ward wasn't taking notes from new fan favorite Mike Davis. He acts like he's doing something right from the snap and engages his guy like a football player, rather than find some unsuspecting knee he thinks needs to bend both ways.
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As the D Line begins to engage the line, they do a really good job of not letting on to the screen quickly. Two O Linemen stay engaged throughout the development of the screen, leaving the other three to get down field. Unfortunately, as the play develops, the angles get away from them and they aren't left with too many blocking options that are feasible. Nevertheless, the rest of the play sets up well enough for a big gain.
One interesting part of this screen to me is the path that Washington takes coming out of the backfield. While the screen is obviously set up to go to the right side, he takes a little detour on the way to his spot. As he steps up to faux-chip block, he ends up turning inside of the DT and swinging around Jared Kaster before getting in Baker's view. I think he's done a great job here of not getting caught up in the backfield, a great way to end any screen prematurely. However, the other side of that is that Baker needs a split-second more to wait for him to get there. Baker ends up doing a fantastic job using a slight shoulder hitch to make the DT hesitate long enough for him to side step him and get the ball to Washington.
Now to the part of the play that is personally my favorite piece. Remember how Sadale split right, taking his LB towards the intended path of the play? After the snap, Foster turns up field and goes out of view for a moment. As soon as Washington catches the ball and get turned up field, you see Foster re-enter the view, and he is straight-up handling his man with authority. I'd wager to guess that block alone gets us about 12 yards on that play.
If a few more of those linemen get good angles on the guys they find down field, we may be talking another 10-15 yards.
Overall, I'm really impressed the way Mayfield, Washington, and Foster worked to make this play work. Baker and Washington with slight adjustments to get it going, and Foster with the great blocking. That'll earn him some more playing time, and I don't think many of us would be unhappy with that.