By ‘MightyRx’ Max Paul
Welcome to a new installment in the ‘I SPY’ series. We’ll be looking at the Week 5 primetime matchup between Tallahassee and Houston.
Down 21-3 at the half, Houston had to come up with an adjustment to get back in the game as their offense had been stifled and rookie quarter back Kentez Johnson had been under extreme duress up to that point from Tallahassee’s talented 4-man front. After exchanging touchdown drives early in the 3rd quarter, the Houston defense forced a 3 and out. The 1st play of their next drive was where the magic happened.
Week 5 Tal vs Hou
Ace Quads: 50 h screen weak. That’s the playcall in the Houston huddle. It’s a formation that uses 12 personnel. The number “1” represents the amount of backs and the number “2” represents the number of tight ends. So if a team came out in 10 personnel, they’d deploy 1 running back and 4 wide receivers.
In Ace Quads, the tight ends line up wide of the formation, the wide receivers line up in the slot with the running back lining up 5 yards directly behind the quarter back. Houston does something very nice here as well, as they flip the strength of their formation from right to left so the play is now headed to the right. Screen passes are a great way to counter an aggressive defense. Tallahassee answers with ’43 cover 3 weak’. That’s a defense that rushes the 4 down linemen and the linebackers drop into zone coverage towards the strong side of the formation and the middle of the field, while the weak-side safety covers the weak side of the formation. It’s a great call to mitigate the damage the screen can do.
At the snap, the O-line allows the D-linemen to think they have a free shot at Kentez. The running back leaks to the flat and the playside guard and tackle sprint to get into position to block for him. Free Safety #29 for Tallahassee reads the play but is obstructed by the right tackle. Warren Murray outruns the guard looking to block the linebacker but puts a nasty open field move to lose the would-be tackler. The FS gets free from his blocker and attempts to chase down the play but runs into the block that tight end, Yasin Clifton is applying on corner back, Matthew Sprous. Murray turns on the jets and wide receiver, Badr Ajlouni gives him the final assist by cutting off the pursuit angle of the other star corner back, Michael Sprous.
The replay shows a different angle of everything that had to go right for Houston to pull this play off. Just beautiful, isn’t it!
Thanks for taking the time to check this out. See y’all the next time I spy a nicely executed play!