This was a very subtle but important wrinkle in the LSU game plan. First, we start with the normal pistol run that Alabama features. It’s pretty much a straight handoff without much flare – we show this just as a comparison for the next two plays.
So, now we’ll show you the “counter” wrinkle to this play where Henry and Drake start in one direction but pivot and run to the other direction. It’s just a subtle difference but the end result was that the LSU linebackers were caught flat footed, allowing Alabama to get to the edge. Genius.
Here’s the same play but with Drake taking the handoff. Hopefully you can see the little jab step and then the counter to the opposite side…
Lastly, this was just a great, great play call. LSU overloads the right side of Alabama’s line with three blitzes, leaving just two defenders on the left side of Bama’s line. Kiffin calls a draw to the left side and it busts wide open. It was a fantastic play call against a misaligned and poorly designed defense.