Slowly but surely the term “Lethal Simplicity” is coming to fruition. The last two weeks are starting to give FSU fans hope in Willie Taggart’s Gulf Coast Offense. Today we have another GIF breakdown of a play that was successful against Louisville, and has worked all season. With the success this play is having, expect to see it more. Today’s GIF breakdown focuses on the Tunnel Screen. The Tunnel Screen helps Florida State counter some of its offensive issues, as it takes pressure off the offensive line, gets your athletes the ball in space, and counters blitzes.
Tunnel Screen #1
Both tunnel screens we’re featuring are thrown to Noonie Murray. The first one we’ll look at goes for a 17-yard touchdown. Above, you see the blocking scheme, and below, you will see a looping GIF of the play. The most important aspect of this play is the slot receiver next to Noonie. It is his job to block Murray’s man and take his own man alongside, effectively creating a pick. On this play, Tamorrion Terry is the slot receiver and does an excellent job blocking the defensive back matched up with Noonie.
The other aspect relies on the offensive line. The offensive tackles invite the defensive ends up field but are locked on them. This takes the edge rushers completely out of the play, and therefore cannot disrupt the pass. The three interior lineman invite the other rushers up field as well, but once those defenders are past them, those three lineman climb to the second level of the defense. The Center, Eberle, is the only one of the three that doesn’t climb to the second level, due to his second level assignment coming to him.
Murray’s job is to take a jab step up field to influence the defensive backs. Once influenced, he crashes towards the offensive line, but behind the line of scrimmage. It is important he catches the ball behind the line of scrimmage; otherwise, the linemen would be penalized for being an illegal man downfield. Once he catches the ball behind the line of scrimmage, he follows the “tunnel” of space his offensive line has created for him.
Tunnel Screen #2
The next tunnel screen came early in the second half. The play was effective for nine yards but short of a first down. All of the same rules from the first section apply here. Both looks of the tunnel screen were ran out of double slot, this specific screen just had some window dressing, as Akers goes in motion to the flat pre-snap.
Tamorrion Terry is again the slot receiver, and again does another excellent job of blocking the corner on Murray. The defensive back covering Terry also bites on the outside move, which slows his reaction to the screen enough for the right guard to pick him up.
The interior linemen do a good job inviting their defenders up field, and then climbing to the second level. The blocks by the left and right guards give Murray a chance at the first down, but a good move by the playside safety makes Eberle miss his block, forcing Noonie back inside and toward help.
This play was ran effectively all game long, and you can expect to see more of it all season long. These tunnel screens counter the issues created by max protection – notably, that the defense will bring more blitzers to offset the additional blockers. Allowing the aggressive rush to run itself out of the play makes the Tunnel Screen an effective counterattack.
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