Play 5: Orange Bowl, 3rd quarter, 3:10 remaining, 1st & 10
What the offense is running: Play-action, with the slot receiver running a skinny post, X-receiver is running an out-and-up.
What the defense is running: Cover 1 with a five-man pressure and a quarterback spy.
What happens: ‘Bama sniffs out the play-action and instead sticks their attention to Murray. The play is essentially ruined, but it’s Kyler freakin’ Murray, so of course, it stays alive. Again, the quarterback manages to avoid pressure and keeps his eyes downfield to make a throw rather than run first.
This backyard football to the max. Plays like these are why Murray receives so many Russell Wilson comparisons. This play should be dead, but, instead of Murray running for a marginal gain or getting sacked, he sees that his slot burns two guys downfield and decides to rip one of the most beautiful passes I’ve ever seen.
That pass can’t be understated, most pro quarterbacks can’t make that, it’s a sort-of baseball throw. He not only throws it to where his receiver is going to be, but he also throws it 55+ yards down the field, running, with pressure around him.
- Excellent pocket poise and sense of where pressure was coming from. That pocket was collapsing but Murray remains cool, calm, and collected. Instead of bouncing around, he keeps his shoulders square and looks to make the play before freaking out and bailing.
- What.a.throw. I seriously can’t believe he made that. Those types of plays are why the Cardinals were so high on him and why he gets Patrick Mahomes comparisons.
- Improved footwork in the pocket from what I’ve seen before. He used to kind of skip around when there was much more pressure, instead, Murray shows concise, planned steps to navigate pressure.
- The intangibles. This was the biggest game of his career. Although his defense disappointed in the first half, Murray almost led an improbable comeback. Not even Alabama could stop him from making others look silly.