There is a reason Kamalei Correa is leaving early from Boise State to get to the draft.
He is pretty good at getting to the quarterback.
So, in that spirit, let us take a look at a defensive play from the Colorado State win. Correa had a pretty quiet game, statistically, in the matchup. Two total tackles, one of which was a sack for eight yards. But that is what happens when you are a STUD (literally and figuratively): you get game-planned around to limit your effectiveness. But you can only hope to contain the great ones. You will never stop them.
Correa Sacks Stevens. Is Awesome.
For context: Stevens had just been sacked on the previous play, putting the Rams at a 3rd and REALLY long. They pretty much only had an option to throw it. Which made the Boise State defense predictable.
(Unfortunately I cannot tell who is in the secondary for the Broncos on these screenshots. I know Deayon is the left corner, but cannot tell who, exactly, are the other players.)
See how soft the secondary is. With the Bronco base of 4-2-5, the nickel (Maston?) is a better matchup for the expected pass play than a would-be linebacker.
Joe Martarano and Tyler Gray are the linebackers. See how close they are to the line?
The Broncos are going to sell out on this play either way. Intermediate throws yield, basically, nothing. They are going to go for either the sack, or stop the long ball.
The ball is snapped and Martarano is hopeful for the sack and goes right up the gut. Unfortunately he is going to be picked up pretty well by the Rams running back.
Check the secondary. The safety (Thompson?) backs WAAAAAY up. So much that he is not even in the shot anymore.
And how about our right corner and, perhaps, our nickel?
There appears to be some confusion between the two. As in, which back has responsibility for the receivers. The focus appears to be the receiver running the go route, so much that both defensive backs want to pick him up. It has the feel of a pick play, but a Bronco-on-Bronco pick. Which is quite hilarious. Luckily the wide open receiver in the flat is pretty meaningless given the distance. Even if Stevens had dumped to that receiver, the (hopeful) odds are either a tackle or forced out of bounds by one of the backs.
Let us go ahead and focus on Correa for the next few shots.
These next shots are going to be about Correa's athleticism and his explosiveness off the line. On the screenshot below, keep an eye on how fast he gets off the line in comparison to the center snapping the ball.
The center has his arm down, and in the next instance he's snapped it.
It is really hard to tell, but Correa has already elevated as soon as the ball was snapped. Everyone on both lines are quite behind the snap.
That poor left tackle. He has squared up to take on the rush of Correa, but he's already gotten a full head of steam. Without putting any moves on the tackle, Correa beats him pretty well.
Everyone in the audience can tell exactly what that left tackle is thinking once Correa has beaten him on the outside: "CRAP, CRAP, CRAP, CRAP..."
Correa did not allow himself to continue to be pushed back. Essentially the tackle using Correa's momentum against him.
For the Rams' part, the front line, sans left tackle, did the best they could with what they were given on the six-on-six matchup.
As you can see, a nice little pocket for Stevens has, for the most part, developed. In theory, had the left tackle been able to ride Correa's momentum further back, Stevens could have stepped up and made something happen.
The Rams tackle has been thoroughly beat. The last ditch effort? Holding Correa.
From there, it is basically over. You can't stop the Correa freight train from rolling through.
And the rest is history. An eight yard loss results in a fourth and 25 situation for the Rams, who did not have the momentum at all on that series.
While diagramming on stills is fun. How about watching it on loop? That is ALWAYS fun.
Any interesting observations about this play? See anything that made this play a potential for a, *gasp*, completion for the Rams? If the Broncos had not sacked Stevens here, could Stevens had converted this third and long situation? Let me know.