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Air Raid Playbook: Fake X Sweep, Dive

We're going to see how a play against West Virginia set up a touchdown against Kansas.

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

You remember Lauderdale's first touchdown last week? I wrote about it here. We broke it down and looked at how it all worked.

Well, that same play allowed Texas Tech to score again this week. Just in a little different manner. Let's take a look.


It's the exact same formation Tech ran the Lauderdale X Sweep. A little different personnel, but the same formation.

Above is from two weeks ago versus West Virginia. Below is last week versus Kansas.

Pistol wing formation

The only differences are with the personnel. They've still got Devin Lauderdale at X (smart move here with the fake), Justin Stockton at H, Quinton White at F, Ian Sadler at Y and Reginald Davis at Z.

Kingsbury knows Kansas has seen this. He even ran a play earlier in the game similar to this one. And Kingsbury is counting on Kansas to think they know what's coming. And it works perfectly.


First off, look at the alignment of the linebackers and the left-side safety (standing by the umpire) from the pre-snap screenshot above. They are already shaded to the strong side of the formation. Kingsbury has to be smiling when he sees this. But it gets even better. Watch what happens AS SOON as Lauderdale goes in motion. Watch those linebackers and that left-side safety.

X Sweep fake 1

You see the nickel back defender, the left-side safety (who was trailing the whole play vs WVU) and the middle linebacker all crashing to the outside of the formation. Kansas knows that Tech will have two leading blockers for this run, so they crash three defenders in there to stop the ball carrier. And that's where it went wrong.

The ball doesn't go to Lauderdale going around the edge. Nope. It goes to Stockton going right up the middle. And look what those crashing linebackers have created for Stockton up the middle.

X Sweep fake 2

A huge lane and a one-on-one situation with a defensive back.

Let's look at the offensive line. They're blocking assignments have changed from last week. Which tells me that this wasn't a read play. I could see in the future where this could turn into a read option type of play where Webb reads the defense and gives the ball to the appropriate guy. But that's not the case, at least yet. There are no unblocked defensive linemen this week like last week. There are no cut blocks. Just straight up man blocking. And they're swinging the line to the left. Clark is letting his defender push upfield a bit, the left guard holds his ground and then everyone from the center on down to the right is pushing his man downfield to create the space.

X Sweep fake 3

The lane is wide enough to drive a Mack truck through. Look at Stockton there in the middle of the shot. He's already three yards downfield and there are only two defenders left who can make the play, but they are still too far away to do anything. He's got the playside corner that was covering Lauderdale pre-snap and the backside safety.

X Sweep fake 4

Those two defenders are finally able to converge on Stockton, but look at where he is. He's already 12 yards downfield and with the way the defenders are coming in, if they were to tackle him, he would be falling/fighting forward. But here is where Stockton's speed made a difference. That strong-side safety wasn't in that bad of a position to make the play earlier. He was actually only 8 yards off the line of scrimmage and flowing towards where Stockton would be. And yet in this shot above, he's 12 yards off the line and trailing Stockton. He used his speed to blow right past him. And in the actual video of the play, those two defenders get barely a hand on Stockton's back as he's running past them.

These screenshots don't do Stockton's speed justice. We saw it on display in El Paso. We saw it on display two weeks ago against West Virginia and we saw it again this past week against Kansas. This guy is going to be special for Texas Tech.

We see Kingsbury's playcalling acuity here. He not only uses a successful play again, but parlays it into big yards and points by staying one step ahead of the defense -- knowing the defense is going to be prepared to stop the play and then killing them with their own preparations and over pursuit.

You can watch this play in the second half highlight video on the techathletics YouTube channel.