Spartans’ Trap Option Game Winner

By FirstDown PlayBook on Oct 31, 2021

The Michigan State Spartans sealed the game yesterday with this well designed trap option late in the fourth quarter. There were enough mistakes during the game, from both teams, to give coaches plenty to complain about. However, there were some critical plays made at critical times.

The reason FirstDown PlayBook likes this play, other than the fact that the game winning touchdown came from it, is how the Spartans adjusted. Michigan is running a hybrid bear and tight front on defense. They are playing a 4i to the tight end side and a 3 technique to the weak side. All of this with a zero nose of course.

Michigan leads 33-30 with 5:13 left in the game. It is 2nd and 5 and the ball is on the Wolverines’ 23 yard line. The ball is on the offense’s right hash. The score? Michigan 33 and Michigan State 33. Yes, this is crunch time in a game that Michigan lead by as much as 16 points late in the game. Michigan State went into what we call our FlexBone package on FirstDown PlayBook.

We are not going to pretend that we know everything about how the MSU offense blocks this play vs a 4-3 over or under front or a 3-4. Here is what we think though. We think that vs some fronts the right guard would pull on this play. Because of the excellent coaching and execution by the MSU offensive line, they followed their rules and the tackle pulled as an adjustment.

There Were Some Great Adjustments On This Trap Option

Instead of trapping someone on the far side of the formation or turning up, the Tackle doubled the Nose with the Center. #12, the Michigan Linebacker steps up and gets caught up in that double team on the Nose. The play side guard blocks out. The Quarterback reads the outside Linebacker who is affected by the Tight End arc release. Michigan is in man coverage too so the Safety works outside to cover the Tight End.

Long story short, the Michigan Safety was going to have to make the solo tackle on Kenneth Walker. Think he made it? Watch this video to see but make sure to give credit to Mel Tucker and his Michigan State staff for a job, well done, as they remain undefeated in the 2021 football season. Click on this FirstDown PlayBook play drawing to see the video of the play.

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