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Film Review: Creativity, repetition, and stealing from yourself

We pull back the curtain on a few successful plays, including one transported from 2011.

Josh McCoy-Ole Miss Athletics

For the second straight week, Lane Kiffin and Jeff Lebby’s offense inflicted damage on yet another defense and inspired lamentations among its fans, which we at Red Cup Rebellion love to see. In back-to-back SEC games, their group has averaged 35 points in regulation and has the look of an offense that, if they put it all together in one game, could get a defensive coordinator fired*.

*I didn’t say Bo Pelini, but you thought it.

As documented earlier this week, improvements are needed in the running game to avoid being overly reliant on Matt Corral and his receivers coming to the rescue, but that does mean the passing game is operating at a quarterback rating infinity level right now.

The points and yards keep piling up for a couple of reasons. Corral and his receivers are #good, and the plays themselves are creative and give Ole Miss matchup advantages, and, in one instance, 2020 Lane Kiffin went out and stole from 2011 Lane Kiffin.

Let’s break down how our point-loving sons are cooking.

The ol’ hidden tight end trick

Ole Miss’ second touchdown of the game came by way of a 14-yard touchdown pass from Corral to Kenny Yeboah, who was somewhat wide open. How did he get so open? A little sneakiness combined with Kentucky defenders falling for said sneakiness.

Here’s where Yeboah lined up prior to the play:

Usually, if a tight end is running a route, he’ll release and run by the outside shoulder of the right tackle. Any other movement causes the defense to interpret that he’s staying in to block. As we know because he caught the ball, Yeboah is going to run a route on this play, but he’ll take an abnormal path.

He steps to his left and darts through a gap between the right guard and tackle. To the Kentucky defenders, he’s staying in to block and not important to their pass coverage duties.

They’re now locked in on Corral’s exchange with the running back, and Yeboah isn’t on their radar.

In real time:

How did that one-on-one work out for you?

Jonathan Mingo decided Saturday would be a great day to catch two touchdowns while running the same play. We begin with the first touchdown, as I find chronological order to be most helpful, which cut Kentucky’s lead to 28-21.

Let’s identify the key players pre-snap.

Mingo is at the top of the screen, facing press man coverage, with the threat of a safety eyeballing him. However, Kiffin/Lebby noticed that, for whatever reason (my guess is Kentucky wanted to leave a linebacker in run support), the safety was charged with tracking anything into the boundary flat when there was a threat of a run.

Ole Miss sends the tight end into the flat behind Mingo, which draws the safety closer to the line of scrimmage, leaving Mingo with a one-on-one post route into space.

With the safety out of the way, all Mingo has to do is roast the cornerback and get himself open into the space created.

Just to prove Ole Miss could run the same play successfully going right to left as they did left to right, Kiffin/Lebby call the same play in the fourth quarter for the game-tying touchdown.

In full speed:

Self-plagiarism 101

In 2011, about five lifetimes ago, Lane Kiffin took his 18th-ranked USC Trojans to Oregon to play the number four Ducks, who were riding a 21-game home winning streak. After USC built a 38-14 lead late in the third quarter, things took a HEAVY swing in the other direction, but the Trojans held on for a 38-35 victory, thank to a missed field goal attempt as time expired.

During the second quarter of that win, USC faced a third and goal at the Oregon four-yard line. Knowing how important touchdowns were instead of field goals against an explosive offensive team like Oregon, Kiffin had to have six here instead of three.

To ensure he got the touchdown, he also knew he needed a special play but not just any old special play. No, friends, he needed a play from the future, which is where he traveled to bring back the 2020 Elijah Moore touchdown play to 2011.

The motion helps identify which defender is primarily responsible for Moore, and once Moore finishes his 12 back and forths and is ready to hit the accelerator, he taps Corral on the hip.

You can’t see it in the USC screenshots, but the receiver at the bottom is also running not a pick and a very normal football route.

How similar were the two outcomes? Identical, right down to two defenders unable to get there in time.