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Air Raid Playbook: X Sweep

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We're breaking down Devin Lauderdale's first career TD, which almost ended in disaster.

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, Devin Lauderdale! It was nice to see him get more involved and make some big plays this past weekend.

Late in the first quarter, Tech converted on a short fourth down attempt on a slant to Jakeem Grant. Subsequent first down play was an incomplete pass, and that brings us to our play this week. We've seen this play before from a different formation and with a different receiver, but it's essentially the same.

Formation

First off, Tech is in a power running formation look, at least for Tech. DeAndre Washington is set up a step or so behind Webb and FB Rodney Hall is lined up behind the tackle in a sort of Wing look. Another thing that should have tipped this play off as being a run play were the two receivers to the right of the formation were both on the line of scrimmage, making Dylan Cantrell an ineligible receiver (there was some talk about this rule here earlier in the week).

Essentially, the rule states that at the snap, the offense has to have 7 players on the line of scrimmage, and 4 behind it. And when you have two guys (or more) lined up on the line of scrimmage, the player to the inside is not an eligible receiver. Anyways, you wouldn't make a receiver ineligible if you were trying to throw the ball. Here it is.

Lauderdale sweep formation

And then from the broadcast angle.

Personnel from left to right (top to bottom) for this formation is Devin Lauderdale at X, DeAndre Washington at H, Rodney Hall at F, Dylan Cantrell at Y and Reginald Davis at Z.

Play Design

The X receiver is sent in motion to receive the pitch. This counts as a forward pass because the ball leaves Webb's hand going forward. If he would have simply held the ball in front of him and let Lauderdale take it, the play would have been recorded as a handoff and included in the rushing stats. Six one way, half a dozen the other.

The line is down blocking to their left. The LT and LG double up on the end, the C and RG double up on the nose, and the RT is released to seal the middle linebacker, or next available player.

Hall at F cuts the outside linebacker, which incidentally trips up the middle linebacker who was in pursuit. Washington is the lead blocker looking for the next available defender, and cuts the playside safety. And the receivers lock up their guys.

Lauderdale Sweep play design

Execution

Starting with the first combo block on the left side, LeRaven Clark and Baylen Brown take care of the end. Next block over is where disaster could have (and maybe should have) struck. Jared Kaster locks up the nose, but James Polk rolls or cuts into the nose. This could have been called a chop block, erasing the TD and moving the offense back 15 yards. But it wasn't. And the unblocked end got upfield too quickly and took himself out of the play because Lauderdale was past him and turning the corner before he realized where the ball was.

Reshod Fortenberry releases to get upfield and really doesn't block anyone. The middle linebacker is taken out when Hall cuts the outside backer, so Fortenberry turns and keeps looking. He basically trails the play all the way to the endzone, and bumps a defender at the last second.

The receivers lock up their guys until at least the play is past them.

The key blocks in this play were from Hall and Washington, respectively, in the photos below. As mentioned before, Hall got two guys and Washington took care of about the last possible defender that could have made the play with an excellent cut block.

All that's left is Lauderdale to make a move on the backside safety who over pursued and he's in.