Executing a football play is like shelling a walnut in that sometimes it just cracks perfectly wide open.

Like, for example, the wide screen pass that Parris Campbell took 63 yards for a touchdown during a four-minute, three-TD rally last Saturday in Ohio State’s 40-28 win over TCU. It was a nutcracker of a play that beat a fast, aggressive defense.

 

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Take another look, because the Buckeyes, whose defense has been coping with wide screens all season and likely will face similar challenges Saturday from Tulane, turned the tables on the Horned Frogs. Let’s call it “Twin wide screens, choice,” because that’s the option quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. had at the snap.

Running back J.K. Dobbins had sprinted into the right flat where the two wide receivers on that side squared up to block their defenders, drawing the attention of the lone deep safety. But over on the left side, the Buckeyes were up to similar shenanigans.

Campbell was flanked wide with tight end Rashod Berry in the slot up on the line. At the snap, Campbell took some hard steps upfield before cutting inside and back across the line to take the quick screen from Haskins.

Berry blocked the defender covering Campbell, left guard Malcolm Pridgeon pulled and came across the line — legal on a screen — to block the defender who had lined up over Berry, and center Michael Jordan stepped left and upfield to seal the alley from the inside.

All Campbell had to do was catch, cut and sprint. The speedster was never touched.

tmay@dispatch.com

@TIM_MAYsports