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Apple Cup 2016: Coach’s Quick Screen - Brink’s Final Pass

Looking back at a great play in Apple Cup history.

Washington State v Washington Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Only one quarterback in the history of the program has beaten the Huskies three times in a career. Let’s take a look back at his final pass thrown as a Washington State Cougar.

WSU Offensive Formation

10 Personnel - Deuce

Washington Defensive Front

Nickel Personnel - 42 Double Fire Cover 4

The Huskies brought the heat on this one. Both defenders lined up over the slot receivers will blitz hard, and the defensive linemen will pinch to inside gaps trying to influence the tackles to block down, giving the blitzers a free run. And it works to the top of the screen.

But there’s just one problem.

At the Snap

The Cougs run a little play action in the backfield and pull the backside guard to protect Brink as he, presumably, rolls out to the top of the screen. Credit where credit is due, this is actually one hell of a play call by the UW Defensive Coordinator. He’s getting unblocked pressure off the edge into a rolling quarterback. But Brink beats the blitz.

The two receivers at the bottom of the screen run a drag and post combination. And the post comes wide open, for the record. But at the top of the screen, the receivers run a bubble and vertical. Based on the blitz by the nickel corner, the Husky secondary must be playing some sort of soft man coverage. It’s tough to know their responsibilities for sure, but generally in this sort of look, if the number two (slot) receiver goes to the flat on a bubble, the safety will bail to the number one receiver threatening deep while the corner will drop off to the bubble. It’s essentially a pattern-match read, but they blow the switch.

The corner never drops off to the bubble, which causes the safety to hesitate, caught between taking Brandon Gibson on the vertical or covering the now wide-open receiver in the flat. He ends up doing neither. Brink, off his back foot, chucks the ball 45 yards in the air and hits Gibson at the goal line. Touchdown Cougs.

Regardless of the outcome tomorrow, this won’t be any senior’s final game as a Cougar. But it will be their final Apple Cup, and it will be their final game in Pullman. It would make for a hell of a moment if there were another walk-off score like Brink’s final pass as a Washington State Cougar.

Go Cougs.