Play 4: Vs. Oklahoma State, 1st quarter, 4:44 remaining, 2nd & 5
What the offense is running: Shotgun set, strong side outside receiver running a go, slot running a deep out. Weak-side receiver running a deep out.
What the defense is running: Tampa 2 zone coverage variant with a quarterback spy.
What happens: The play set out of the strong side is designed to beat two-deep zone coverage. There is a soft spot between the roaming safety on that side and the cornerback running a shallow zone. The deep out opens that soft spot more by forcing the cornerback to stay in that shallow zone, and in this case, making the deep safety pause.
Often the go route by the receiver is a decoy; he runs down the field to lure defenders with him. However, Murray seems to know this defensive coverage, and the safety bites on that out. So guess what? That decoy turns into the open-man for a very short period of time, which Murray takes advantage of.
It’s another perfect pass into a tight window by Murray. He threw it quick enough to get the ball harmlessly to his man. That deep-outwards bound, timely throw isn’t easy; it takes serious arm strength to deliver that pass before the safety realizes the receiver is in the soft spot of zone coverage.
- We’ve seen Murray shred man coverage, and he does the same to zone coverage here. His arm strength, accuracy, and understanding of timing will certainly benefit him in attacking zones with faster players in the NFL.
- Good pre-snap read to see it’s a Tampa 2 coverage, but also a good post-snap read. He doesn’t blindly throw it in the soft spot. The route combination is essentially a high-low concept, meaning his progressions go through the corner route first.
- Again, excellent mechanics. His follow-through, quick-release, and hip swivel to put his body into the pass are all pristine. You’d like to see him clear up his footwork but he has an outstanding pro-ready base and release.