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Film Study: Stopping UA’s QB Outside Zone Play

See the adjustments that helped Cal stop the QB run in crunch time.

Since exploding onto the scene in the mid-2000’s, the QB run game has only expanded in popularity and sophistication. In this video, we’ll go beyond the basic zone read and look at UA’s QB Outside Zone play. This is a designed run that asks the QB to function as a RB, essentially turning it into a Wildcat run even though the QB takes the snap.

Although this is interesting from a purely X’s and O’s standpoint, this particular play also figured into an important moment of the game Saturday. It’s what UA ran on 3rd and 3 with about 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter. They’d had great success with this play throughout the game, especially in the first half, but at this key moment Cal countered it with a nice, but very subtle, adjustment that helped them get the stop. Plays like this show the high level of technical knowledge that playcallers and position coaches have to have, and show the minor tweaks that can turn a defensive call from a bust into a key play.