When Alabama lined up for a 2nd and 2 from their own 32 yard line, AJ McCarron took a look at the defense and immediately audibled to a run up the middle. You have to know that he and TJ Yeldon were both giddy about the upcoming running play because the Rebels were clearly misaligned. Alabama had a six man line with tight end Brian Vogler lined up next to Austin Shepherd. The Rebels countered by putting five men in the box and, honestly the fifth man was way out of position. Take a look:
Here, we’ve circled the three second level Ole Miss defenders. The Ole Miss player circled to the far left is linebacker Temerio Strong (#32). He has moved over to the left of the screen to help against the three Bama wide receivers flanked off the screen. To the far right, Ole Miss defensive back Charles Sawyer (#3) is going to take an outside rush, thereby taking himself completely out of the play. That left Mike Marry (#38) as the only Ole Miss linebacker in the box. This means there were only five Ole Miss Rebels to be blocked by the six Alabama players along the line of scrimmage. Spoiler alert – the Bama line wins this battle easily.
In the frame above, we’ve circled the two key blocks on the play. In the center, backup center Chad Lindsay is blocking Mike Marry. Remember, Marry was the only second level Ole Miss player who could make the tackle. To the left of Yeldon, we’ve circled the key block by Arie Kouandjio – this block opened a hole that even Terrence Cody could have rumbled through. Incidentally, Anthony Steen did a great job of getting across the defensive tackle who was originally lined up between he and Lindsay. Steen was able to turn the defensive tackle out to the right, making sure there was no way he could get into the running lane. At this point, Yeldon was off to the races.
You can see above that Temerio Strong is pretty much helpless. He makes a diving grab but comes up empty. This leaves poor Cody Prewitt in a one on one situation with Yeldon and we all know how that went.
Credit on this play first has to go to AJ for calling the audible to get into this play. Some folks don’t realize that some of the best plays a quarterback makes during a game has nothing to do with him throwing the ball Next, you have to credit Steen, Lindsey and Arie Kouandjio for making some outstanding blocks that cut a huge swath thru the Rebels’ front line. As Eli would say, “TOUCHDOWN ALABAMA!”
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