This may be one of my favorite plays to breakdown of all time. Hopefully the uniqueness of it will come across with a few pictures…
After giving up a safety, Ole Miss promptly kicked the ensuing free kick out-of-bounds, giving Alabama the ball at midfield in the fourth quarter.
Alabama was content to play a little ground and pound football so they sent out their heavy package that included two tight ends and Jalston Fowler. This formed an imposing eight man line across the line of scrimmage and it usually makes for a good time if you are a running back. Alabama had success with this formation earlier in the game so it was no surprise that they trotted it out there late in the fourth quarter. Here’s what it looked like:
As you can see, Ole Miss only has seven men in the box (with an 8th man inching closer) so they are woefully outnumbered from the get go. To make things worse, all five of their interior linemen slanted from their right to left, going away from the tight ends towards the top of the screen. Here’s what that looked like:
With the Ole Miss line slanting to the top of the screen, the Bama line used the Rebels’ momentum and kept right on pushing them towards the top of the screen. The amazing thing about this run is that Drake’s target is center Chad Lindsay but by the time Drake gets to the hole, Brian Vogler and Jalston Fowler have pushed their men all the way from the far left of the Bama formation to beyond where Lindsay snapped the ball. instead of the expected running play going between the center and the guard, Drake actually ended up running between the tight end blocks of Vogler and Fowler! See #45 below in the middle of the screen? That’s Fowler!
Here’s another what it looked like after a couple more frames. You can see Drake has made the safety miss and now it’s off to the races.
This is what it looked like from overhead. Compare where they started from at the snap….
…and watch the entire Ole Miss line move….
…to the right of the screen…
In the shot above, you can tell that “the Drake” has broken thru the line and is headed to the end zone. Look at the huge cluster of crimson and white jerseys to Drake’s right – that’s the Alabama line putting the Rebels on skates and moving them out of the way.
The fact that the play started at Chad Lindsay but ended with Drake running between the blocks of Fowler and Vogler is just awesome to me. Alabama put a hat on a hat and moved the entire Ole Miss front with ease. “TOUCHDOWN ALABAMA!”
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