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Cal Defense vs. Nevada Pistol Offense, Play One

First play of the game. Colin Kaepernick is standing in Pistol formation with running back Vai Taua straight behind.

Nevada has two wide receivers lined right, strongside tight end Zach Tudfield and a tight end Virgil Green in a close flanker position at the bottom of the screen. When a receiver is this close to the offensive line, the Wolf Pack like to pull him to the opposite side to either block the outside linebacker, or if Kaepernick is reading the Golden Bears defense, he'll read one of the defensive linemen/outside linebacker and get him out in space, and the receiver will go downfield and lead block for the running back.

Cal puts the two outside linebackers at the line of scrimmage to try and get five down linemen.  Also, Darian Hagan is playing close up, as if anticipating that the wide receiver will be blocking on this play.


Kaepernick receives the snap. There was some pre-snap movement, with the three down linemen moving to their right. Hill looks to be either in zero technique or one technique, although it's hard to tell from this angle. He does try to attack the A gap on the left side of the center Jeff Meads


Keith Browner is left unblocked at the top of the screen as outside linebacker to be read. Browner stays back on this play though, so Kaepernick seems disposed to handing the ball off to Vai Taua.

Nevada runs their zone blocking scheme. You can see the right tackle and right guard double-teaming Cameron Jordan, while Derrick Hill trucks the center backward. Ernest Owusu and Mychal Kendricks also do well to push their linemen backwards.

You can see the tight end pulling strong side.


Hill does a great job pushing the center backward, but Jordan is clearly overwhelmed by the double-team. However the right tackle overcommitts to Jordan and that allows D.J. Holt to seal off Taua's run.

Notice Hagan and Anthony keep their feet, playing their zones. Hagan does not pursue the tight end and allow any outside runs on his edge.


Holt makes the tackle before Haley can get there. Minimal pickup of three yards. However, Nevada's offensive line does its job for the most part and keeps Cal's defensive front from getting penetration (although Jeff Meads seems to get away with tugging on Hill's jersey). Bad sign of things to come.