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Boise State Playbook: Breaking Down an Unnecessary Touchdown Pass

Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Here we are again folks. Diagramming some of our favorite football plays from the previous season. Today we are going to review Drew's favorite play from our roundtable discussion a few months back. His favorite play, up to that point, was an unnecessary late TD against a whooped Virginia defense. Want to look it over? Of course you do.

Offense gets set up

So here is the scenario: Boise State is beating Virginia. Pretty bad. Basically, at this point, everything was working against the Cavaliers. The offense is clicking and anything they want to call will basically work. At this point, for some reason, Rypien is still in the game. We can only assume it's because Drinkwitz is curious as to what Rypien sees from the Virginia defense. We are ALL about to see what Rypien sees.

With only ten minutes, and change, left in the game the Broncos are on their 36 yard line, third and three to go. They open with three wide receivers and Roh out wide in the slot. McNichols is out and Devan Demas has some garbage time.

Anderson is going to run a go route complimentary to Sperbeck's. Both Roh and SWR are going to run five and out routes. Demas is going to stay home and help block Rypien. Here is what the Broncos are going to do schemed out:

Virginia is going to get REALLY aggressive on this play. Aside from playing each receiver man-to-man and the safety help over the top, they are going to rush six with linebacker blitzes. Here is what they do, schemed out:

This is, in theory, a six-on-six matchup. But this actually works out in Virginia's favor. If it wasn't for Rypiens quick thinking, and knowing where he wanted to throw it, this play was going to end terribly.  We are going to move ahead a few frames in the play to show why this almost ended disastrously for the Broncos and DID end awfully for Rypien.

Rypien gets leveled

There must have been confusion as to who was going to pick up whom. Demas blocks the defensive end coming off the edge. The Boise State left tackle (I am not sure who is in on the line as I could not get a clear look at any of their numbers) double-teams the Virginia tackle. Which actually leaves the Virginia linebacker untouched. Yakoo (right tackle for Boise State) tries to cut-block the Virginia left end, but the end, for lack of a better way of putting it, side-steps Yakoo.

We have the benefit of capturing the moment in time.





Ah the joys of being a quarterback!

Sperbeck beats the coverage

But the one positive of the above? Rypien knew that Sperbeck was going to be awesome and beat his man. Let's back up and check in on Sperbeck.

In the next few frames Sperbeck has taken to the outside shoulder of the cornerback.

If we go back to the point where Rypien is crushed, we can see just how quickly he is able to get the ball out.

Sperbeck makes catch.

What's great about Sperbeck's catch is that there is hardly, if any, separation between him and the defender.

Rypien is able to place this ball on a dime to Sperbeck. And Sperbeck is able to watch it fall directly in his hands.

Cavaliers weep

And the rest is history. Ah touchdowns!!!

On repeat

Your turn

Anything else on this one? Any observations? Remarks? Let me know.