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Deep Cuts: Washington

How Auburn successfully attacked this Washington defense on the perimeter and how Darrell Williams saved a touchdown.

NCAA Football: Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game-Auburn at Washington Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Each week, the Cracken and I will breakdown one of our favorite plays of the previous game. It will give us a chance to geek out over Auburn football and hopefully provide some further insight into the previous week’s action. No promises that we actually know what we are talking about.

Let’s do this

Drew McCracken

The Inside Zone Read Option is a very dangerous play for the defense. Auburn had some decent success with it Saturday which is encouraging but this particular play stuck out to me.

Washington was already noticing the trend of Auburn running the Read after a made 1st down and looked to quell the momentum by sending two rushers off the left side. This however played exactly into what the Read is designed to do. Jarrett, seeing the rushers in pursuit really didn’t even drop the ball for the fake, completely removing the rushers from the play.

The fun part of this play was Chandler Cox, who busted open a hole for Ryan Davis, giving one of the best punt returners in college football, open field.

The result is a 16 yard gain and another 1st down. It was a bit of a calculated risk from Washington to send those two edge rushers that would have paid off if Stidham gave it off to Whitlow. Perhaps that’s apart of the change from last season, the ability to add in wrinkles with familiarity with the offense and personnel, or maybe it was a designed to be a pass out to Davis. Either way, it was a perfectly timed call that gives defenses something else to worry about other than just the running back.


One of the biggest moments in the game happened early in the 4th quarter. Once again, the Huskies found themselves at the doorstep of the endzone. Facing 3rd & goal, the Huskies dialed up a Scissor concept. It should have gone for a touchdown as someone busts on the backend of Auburn’s defense. But an incredible play by Darrell Williams saved the day and forced another Washington field goal. Let’s take a look.

This terribly drawn diagram shows kinda what Washington is running to the boundary. The Y receiver is gonna run a corner route which will draw Smoke Monday over the top. Jeremiah Dinson is showing blitz while Javaris Davis is lined up over top the Z receiver. Darrell Williams is circled to the bottom of the screen. The fact he’s at the line of scrimmage at the snap just makes this play more amazing.

After the snap, both Dinson and Williams drop into coverage. Monday picks up the Y receiver while Davis and Dinson are both bracketing the Z. However, the Z will hesitate for a moment which seems to confuse the Auburn’s DBs. Dinson is watching the corner route while Davis seems to think that Dinson is going to pickup the WR. Meanwhile, Williams is reading Browning’s eyes and sees he’s staring down his options to the left.

This would be a suboptimal situation. Neither Dinson nor Davis have picked up the slant route. I suspect that Dinson is supposed to take him but I don’t know for sure. Not sure if you can tell or not but Browning is just starting his wind up so he’s about to let this thing fly. Meanwhile, Williams has read what’s about to go down and is just starting to break on the ball. But I mean there’s no way a linebacker can cover that much distance in such a short period of time right?

If I had any editing skills I would photoshop the Air Jordan logo around Williams. Somehow, the senior is able to break on the ball, time his jump at the right time and get his hand on the football to knock away the pass. His effort saved a touchdown and forced the Huskies to kick another field goal. This is championship type of effort people. Busts are gonna happen but great teams have the talent to overcome it when it happens and just go make a play. Auburn has that type of talent. This season has a chance to be a ton of fun.

War Eagle!