Coming out of last Saturday there were not many positives to gather. When you lose by 23 points to an inferior program there just isn’t much to say. I watched the film this weekend, trying to pick up positives, and I found few. One of those positives had to be Keith Gavin who had a career game. Obviously not many are talking about it, but this shouldn’t be over looked. While Gavin still gives up an occasional drop, he seems to be molding into a more complete wide receiver.
ESPN did a horrid job getting back to the field in time for this clip. This is early in the first quarter and Coach Taggart is trying to get to the perimeter. If every receiver blocked like Keith Gavin his swing passes, fast screens, bubbles, etc would work. Keith is aligned as the “X” flanked out to the left, as you can see the arrow pointing towards him. Gavin had a career game numbers wise but the physicality also made it a memorable one. There is more to being a receiver than catching and running. Most coaches will not let a wide receiver touch the field unless they block. Look a the gif below, and watch Keith block for Cam Akers. He pushes his defensive back ten yards back.
A part of the reason why Keith can get so open is because of his blocking skills. Defenders will stop playing so tight on him, to give him room, and avoid the physicalness. That is why I think Gavin is imperative for a short pass series, as not many want to jam him. In the gif below you can see the defensive back is playing man, but look at the space he is given Gavin. He either really respects Keith’s speed or is afraid of the physicality. It seems like all season long Gavin has been eating up defenses with short and intermediate routes. Currently he is in second place for receiving yards on the team, short of two yards behind Murray. By the end of the season he will be the number one go to receiver.
Deep Downtown Target
The dream most had this off-season was lining up Keith Gavin and Tamorrion Terry as split ends, and getting them down the field deep. So far both have shown potential to be that target in the vertical passing game. The gif above gives me hope that Gavin can start grabbing more of these explosive deep balls. With those two as vertical threats it can take pressure off the run game.
Keith Gavin vs. Syracuse Statistics
- 6 Receptions
- 79 Yards
- 13.2 Average
- 39 Long
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