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Auburn vs Kentucky: Breaking Down Vines of the Tigers Win Over the Wildcats

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A new Wildcat play, a quarterback keeper, and a pass rush.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

I'll have a normal X&O article ready early next week, but I didn't want to wait that long to take another look at some big plays. So I found three plays I saw on Twitter last night, slapped them into an article, and added my two cents. If there were any more Twitter videos or Vines (including ones of Gus' contortionist face), share them in the comments!

Buck Sweep out of the Wildcat

First thing to notice is that Jeremy Johnson is lined up to the right, the traditional place for the quarterback in the Wildcat formation. Remember, he had been to the left, away from the sweep motion. Now when the sweep man comes through the backfield, he's running to Jeremy Joh... Wait.

What's Jeremy doing going in motion? I don't know, but the Kentucky defense was probably wondering the same thing. Here's my best guess. Auburn wants to run right out of the Wildcat because the unbalanced line has two tackles on that side. By running Buck Sweep, Auburn wants to get Kerryon Johnson outside with the two pulling lineman leading the way. A sweep toward the right like normal would just draw extra defenders that way. San Jose State always had an outside linebacker stay outside to cover the sweep man.

So Auburn put Jeremy in motion and a Kentucky defender followed him, taking himself out of the play. You can really see it from this angle.

Braden Smith and Alex Kozan found their blocks outside and Kerryon walked into the end zone.

Sean White on the Zone Read Keep

Gus Malzahn doesn't have the luxury of a mobile quarterback like he has the last two years, but it's still important for his offense to find ways to keep teams from "stacking the box". With no outside run threat, defensive ends can crash down the line to reach the running back before the run can get started.

Though Auburn's not using the read option as much as they did the last two years, it's still a good play to use on occasion. Now Sean White isn't going to outrun a safety and he doesn't look that durable out there taking hits, so Auburn found a way to get him some extra protection when he does keep it.

The Tigers used a single back formation with the H-back out wide in a bunch formation with two other receivers to the back side of the play, the side Sean ran to when he kept it. It's hard to tell from this video, but it looks like the three receivers faked a screen of sorts with Melvin Ray blocking inside, Chandler Cox blocking outside and the outermost receiver (Marcus Davis, I think) "looking" for the ball at the line of scrimmage.

The cool thing about that is that the blocking for the Cox and Ray is the same whether it is a screen or a QB run. And if the defense detects a screen and attacks along the sideline to contain it, they've given Sean White an alley to run through between the box and the sideline, which is exactly what happened here.

Lambert Makes a Move

Yes, the title says Byron Cowart, but it was DaVonte Lambert.

I don't know much about technique, especially line play, and I'm not going to pretend to. Just watch this and appreciate it.