There wasn’t a whole lot of drama last Saturday afternoon when the Washington State Cougars went to work on an overmatched Nevada squad. After a turn against the Oregon State Beavers where there was a direct focus on getting the outside receivers involved — to the tune of 27 receptions and 352 yards — Wazzu went back to their normal game plan of hitting what’s available.
Renard Bell made H very available, and on one play in particular. Bell hauled in four receptions for 113 yards, including a 60-yarder on the first play of the third quarter that was straight mean.
Early 90 Randy H-Angle
At this point WSU has already housed a Larry to Tavares Martin Jr. that featured left tackle Andre Dillard pancaking a defensive back, which is broken down nicely by Jason Gesser and Matt Chazanow in their Recap video below.
The quick screen game is a huge part of this offense and Nevada was obviously paranoid about stopping it. Aside from Randy and Larry, which each have offensive linemen get downfield, the Cougs run numerous quick hitters to wide receivers and carry out “block em’ up” drill receiver blocking for a quick and easy few yards.
This play sells that action.
Renard Bell, in the middle of the trips set to the right of formation (“Early”), runs an angle route. He sells a blocking angle for a few steps before hitting the jets and turning upfield.
The Wolf Pack are in their Cover 1 that they played for the majority of the afternoon. The defender on Bell sees the screen action from Isaiah Johnson-Mack (Z) and crashes to make a play. By the time he gets his eyes back on the receiver he’s in man-coverage against, he’s already beaten.
The free safety has to cover a lot of ground to keep this from getting to the endzone and Renard Bell’s speed is on full display here.
Southern California defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast puts the Trojans in a lot of man-coverage with single and two-high safeties. This will typically allow fast inside receivers room to shine. Cal worked seams and crossing routes inside on USC last weekend and Wazzu will need big production there to keep the offensive attack varied and effective.
The young guys Bell and Jamire Calvin are growing in the offense every week; they’ll both need to step up when thrown in the fire against a very good SC defense.