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Spotlight on Red Zone Offense

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Auburn's early success in the running game against Mississippi State allowed them o take full advantage of their passing game. Rhett Lashlee set up several key pass plays, utilizing Sean White in a play-action pass. During the last 3 games, Sean White has completed 26 of 28 passes within 5-yards of the line of scrimmage for an average gain of 6.6 yards. The Bulldogs were sold on defending the run after Auburn gained 57-yards rushing during their first three offensive possessions.

The play...

 photo MSU - Cox flat pass_zpsnge6ytyx.jpg

On this play Auburn faces a 2nd & 6 from the Bulldog 11-yard line, already up 7-0 on Mississippi State. The key to the play is Auburn's quick "sugar" huddle and sprint to the line of scrimmage. This forced the Bulldogs to make a quick read before Auburn snapped the football. Auburn is in an offset I formation with Chandler Cox set up as the lead blocker for Kamryn Pettway.

At the snap, Sean White fakes the pitch play to Kamryn Pettway. As White carries out the fake pitch, Chandler Cox slides out of the backfield towards the right flat. After faking the pitch, Sean White bootlegs out of the backfield, rolling to the right. In frame #3, it is clear the Bulldogs LB's bite on the toss-sweep to Kamryn Pettway. Chandler Cox is left uncovered in the flat as White delivers a soft pass to his fullback. Cox hauls in the past and gains 10-yards to the Bulldog 1-yard line.

The play set up a Kamryn Pettway TD run on the following play. One of the reasons why Auburn has struggled inside the red zone this season was being too predictable. Auburn was one of the lowest rated teams in the nation, when it came to pass attempts inside the red zone. Auburn broke two tendencies with this one play, which set up a red zone touchdown.

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This is exactly one of the plays I wanted to see from Auburn, and it works well inside of the RZ when you've a 4 yards and a cloud of dust runner. The Multi-layered play-action boot. This one is a slight variation though because it's working off of a pitch and you've a sub-route with the H-Back rather than a backside slam with the TE to shallow out to the flats. We used to run a couple of plays like this at J'ville, and I was particularly good at catching the sub-route pass because it was indeed soft. 

That being said, we ran both of these variations but this play definitely should become bread and butter in the RZ because it makes scoring a LOT easier for a QB when you get flow going away from your routes. The LBs and safeties have to try and cut through a lot of "garbage" and still cover, the Line can't focus on pass rushing because they're getting washed, and you've got an easy read for the QB being that almost all the routes will be in the same location and the backside corner HAS to make a decision. It basically ALWAYS makes him wrong because if he takes the flat, you hit the 10 yard in and if he covers the in, then you take the flat or the post over the top. 

If we were the team to use TEs, then we would be able to have a TE + Wing combination where you've got a big bodied TE running the in-cut at 10, and a sub route being ran by the wing-back its a thing of beauty when you use this as a switch-up and it isn't just limited to the RZ. Can also be used in the middle of the field when you've got the playside split end running a deep post. 

Edited by Malcolm_FleX48

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