As Iowa prepared to take on a prolific Ohio State offense on Saturday, the Hawkeyes had to keep in mind that the OSU attack also is evolving, almost daily.
Penn State found out the hard way a week ago in a 39-38 loss. On the winning play that capped the Buckeyes’ comeback, Ohio State sprung a pass play it had put in just four days before.
Coach Urban Meyer revealed it was “817, Y seam, look back,” which is run out of the spread with two wide receivers and tight end Marcus Baugh split to the right, another receiver split left, and running back Mike Weber next to quarterback J.T. Barrett at pistol depth behind the center.
Baugh, the “Y” in the play, was in a tight slot just off right tackle Isaiah Prince. For Baugh, the assignment was simple: run almost straight up the field on a seam route with the intention of getting past the linebacker.
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For Barrett, there was a little more involved. He executed a play-action fake handoff on his left to Weber, while center Billy Price pulled in that direction and picked up the crashing defensive end, actions that caused the lone safety to lean that direction.
Baugh broke out behind the linebacker, whom Barrett had stared down, and was open in the end zone for a 16-yard TD pass.
What new plays the Buckeyes might have in store for Iowa is unknown, but they clearly saved the best for last against Penn State.