If you haven’t had a chance to watch Trent Richardson’s 57-yard fourth quarter dash against Auburn, here it is:
A couple of things about this run:
1) This was a perfectly designed and executed play that put Trent in position to make a big play.
2) Notice first that the Tide was lined-up with an unbalanced line: LT Barrett Jones was lined up on the right, beside RT D.J. Fluker. Tight end Michael Williams was lined up on the left beside G Chance Warmack.
3) This unbalanced set also featured three total tight ends: Williams (lined up left next to Warmack), Brad Smelley (lined up in an H back position on the left side, just off the line and outside of Williams) and Chris Underwood (lined up in an H back position, on the right, outside of Jones).
4) At the snap, the Auburn defense reacts to a run to the left side and three key blocks occur: Smelley blocks the right cornerback, #11 Chris Davis; Williams kicks-out right defensive end, #55 Corey Lemonier; and Warmack picks up right inside linebacker, #25 Darren Bates, who doesn’t make it within two yards of the line of scrimmage. In fact, Warmack pancakes Bates and also nearly blocks #21 Eltoro Freeman who is pursuing the play. (There’s actually great blocking up and down the line on this play.)
5) In the blink of an eye, Trent has picked up 15 yards (from the 27 to the 42) before being trapped by the sideline and box of five Auburn Tigers.
6) Richardson stops on a dime, rag dolls safety #15 Neiko Thorpe (who has taken a terrible pursuit angle) out of bounds, cuts right, heads toward midfield as #11 Davis and linebacker #38 Jawara White make a sandwich out of each other on the sideline.
7) As Trent races diagonally across the field, at least seven Tiger defenders give chase.
8 ) Finally, Tiger cornerback #6 Jonathon Mincy cuts off Trent around the Auburn 15 yard line, before also being rag dolled like Thorpe.
9) Auburn defensive back #12 Demetruce McNeal finally downs Richardson at the 16.
The result? An incredible 57-yard run.
There was one missed block on this run that probably cost Richardson a touchdown. I hate to point it out, but it’s true. Brandon Gibson lines up wide right, on the line, guarded by Auburn defensive back Mincy, who is 10 yards off the ball. At the snap, Mincy takes a deep pursuit angle as Richarson runs to the left sideline. Gibson pursues. When Richardson finally reaches the sideline, Gibson falls behind Mincy, who immediately begins to pursue Trent back across the field. If Gibson ever lays a hand on Mincy, it’s likely all the remaining help Richardson would have needed to finish the run. Mincy was able to cut Trent off, and he did have help on the way, but Trent would have most likely reached the endzone.
A great run by Richardson. Many, many great blocks by teammates. Hopefully, this was a Heisman dash.