This season, we'll be diving into more film analysis than we have in the past. Some of it is a product of a better understanding of schemes, while a large portion is simply because we have more writers and are able to spread out the posting duties. Hopefully, this is something you'll all enjoy moving forward. At the moment, there's a shortage of film to discuss, but that should change as the Rebels get into the meat of their schedule.
UT Martin didn't cause Ole Miss coordinators Dan Werner or Dave Wommack to lose any sleep this summer, as evidenced by their vanilla, basic schemes on Saturday. I re-watched Ole Miss' 76-3 win, looking for something of schematic intrigue. My fears were confirmed, as the replay didn't yield much in the way of post-able content. However, then I remembered that ROBERT NKEMDICHE SCORED A TOUCHDOWN ON A PASS!
In case you're a no-fun-having doodoohead who didn't see the catch or any of its replays on SportsCenter, SEC Now, and other programs, here it is:
Robert Nkemdiche scored a 32-yard TD. On offense. pic.twitter.com/9U2odrV9bR— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) September 5, 2015
For a little more on the play, let's start with a look at the way the offense was lined up.
Don't worry about the cropping. You can see everyone who was on the field.
Damore'ea Stringfellow is at the top of the screen and is the only wideout on the field. Akeem Judd is lined up in the backfield at tailback in a modified I-formation, with Robert Nkemdiche and another big guy who may or may not have been defensive tackle DJ Jones. Jeremy Liggins is lined up at tight end on the strong side. He will prove to be vital to the play. Ryan Buchanan is under center.
When the ball is snapped, Buchanan drops back and fakes the handoff to Judd, who eats up an unblocked defender. During this sequence, Jones has run straight forward, blocking a UT-Martin defensive end whose name is unimportant. Jones does a great job. Nkemdiche has run out to the flat an is wide open. It appears no one was assigned to man up against him.
It may look like Nkemdiche is being poorly defended by the linebacker who is visible in the bottom right. He isn't. He isn't being defended at all.
Nkemdiche makes the grab, and Jeremy Liggins, who has run downfield uncovered, turns around and blocks the linebacker, opening up a lane for Nkemdiche who displays magnificent speed for a 300 pounder and waltzes into the end zone untouched. It was a thing of beauty.
Even when things go wrong, they go right.
Another play I thought was worth discussing is Jaylen Walton's second touchdown run. Sure, his first run, the long one, was more exciting, but his second run was more significant to me.
Laquon Treadwell's body is cutoff at the bottom of the field. The next player over is Evan Engram, who is on the line of scrimmage. Then there's Dillon Barrett and the offensive line. Devante Kincade is in the shotgun and has brought Jaylen Walton into motion.
As soon as the ball is snapped, this happens.
I've titled this picture "Oops OL." Sorry for the image quality. My computer is a potato. As you can see, UT-Martin dominates the line of scrimmage, sending two defenders into the backfield immediately and keeping the defender assigned to contain the QB at home. Devante Kincade has to hand Walton the ball, or he will definitely be tackled for a loss. Unfortunately, Walton's prospects don't seem much better.
But, despite this...
Walton still manages to evade three unblocked defenders and rumble in for the score. I've looked all over for singular video of this play. If you can find it, please post it in the comments. It was pretty spectacular effort by Walton, but the failure on the part of the offensive line is really, really damning. This is UT-Martin. They aren't supposed to be able to do this against an SEC team, much less one that has set its sights on greatness.