When a plan comes together, which is the primary objective on any football play, it can be a sight to behold.
Take, for example, the 52-yard touchdown run by Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins last week in the win over Army. The first reaction to it was that an extraordinary freshman simply did what he is supposed to do, which is run to daylight.
But the beauty of the latest grandiose version of “outside zone left,” a staple of the play list for years under coach Urban Meyer, was creation of the daylight. Just like on an 85-yard touchdown run by Ezekiel Elliott in the win over Alabama in a 2014 College Football Playoff semifinal, things had to come together.
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In this case, it was the blocking of center Billy Price, left guard Michael Jordan, left tackle Jamarco Jones, tight end Marcus Baugh and receiver Terry McLaurin.
A successful outside zone play is contingent on four things: offensive linemen and/or the tight end taking on the defenders closest to them in the direction the play is going; the receiver cutting in to cut off a pursuing linebacker or safety; one lineman (Jones) bumping up to the second level to cut off a pursuing linebacker; and the running back taking aim at a spot just left of where the tight end lined up and bursting to that confident it’s going to reveal daylight.
Dobbins did and the daylight came. All he had to do was make one unblocked man miss, which he has a knack for doing, then sprint to the end zone.
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