It is no secret that Tony Franklin continues to be one of the preeminent offensive innovators in the game. This creativity will, hopefully, help to give the Golden Bears an edge when the competition is less lopsided than it was against Grambling State. Run pass options have grown in popularity in recent years, in part because offensive linemen are allowed to be up to three yards down the field on a forward pass. Thus, an offense can call for a run and a pass on the same play, with the quarterback choosing the best option based on the defense's pre snap alignment and expected coverage/run fits. The following Jared Goff to Kenny Lawler touchdown was a run pass option that put the defense in conflict and took advantage of its alignment and rules.
Also note Darius Powe in the slot to the left of the formation and Trevor Davis as the wide receiver to the top of the screen. Powe also runs a quick in breaking pattern, and Davis runs a fade. Goff could have thrown to either of these receivers as well. By re-watching the GIF, below, one can see that both of these routes were well covered. Such is the benefit of having an experienced quarterback - the quarterback position is about making correct decisions and making them look easy. Goff did so with pre-snap reads and knowledge of matchups on this play. He had confidence that Lawler would beat his man to the inside, and Lawler obliged.
The end result is an "easy" Lawler touchdown. On first glance, it looked like an old fashioned play action pass to a slant route. But next time you see Daniel Lasco break free for a touchdown on what looks like a typical outside zone run play, look again. You might see Kenny Lawler running a slant route to the back of the end zone, and you'll know why.
Keegan Dresow is the head coach of the Avedøre Monarchs of the Danish American Football Federation, the author of Offensive Football Systems and Gridiron Cup, 1982, and the operator of totalamericanfootball.com.