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Inside the Play: Utah

The format of this feature is a work-in-progress. If you have any suggestions, let me know. Also, the video quality is really poor for some reason. It should be better in future weeks.

The Situation
It's the first quarter, and Michigan's offense has already looked kinda bad. A Utah pass interference penalty has given the Wolverines the ball inside Utah's 10 yard line, and a Sam McGuffie rush sets up a second and goal from the 8. A touchdown here could help Michigan set the tone early in this game.

The Personnel and Formation
Michigan comes out in the shotgun with two tailbacks and three wide receivers. Nick Sheridan is flanked by Brandon Minor on his right and Michael Shaw on his left. Greg Mathews is split wide left. Darryl Stonum is split wide right, with Martavious Odoms in the slot to that side.

Utah lines up in a 4-3 defense. To the strong side, the corner is head-up over Martavious Odoms, with the safety deep, but aligned with Stonum. Mathews has a man head-up over him, showing press technique.

The Play

At the snap, Sheridan fakes to Minor, who cross in front of him to the left, and then fakes again (slightly less convincingly) to Shaw, who goes in the opposite direction. After the fakes, Sheridan rolls out to the right. He hits Michael Shaw at the seven yard line, and Shaw races to the corner for a touchdown.
Why it Happened Like it Did

Utah was playing man coverage on this play, keeping one safety in a deep zone, and one linebacker spying Sheridan (Cover-1 Spy). The Utah linebackers bit on the fake to Minor, freezing them long enough for Shaw to beat his man to the outside, and for Sheridan to have enough time to roll out and make the pass. With Odoms and Stonum running crossing routes, Shaw was given a clear path to the endzone.

Now you know what it was like Inside the Play.

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“Inside the Play: Utah”