Butch Jones’ Favorite Misdirection Play

One of the most successful plays that Tennessee ran in Butch Jones’ first season was a nice misdirection concept. The Vols ran playaction, rolled the quarterback out and had almost all the receivers move to one side of the field. Then they slipped a single receiver to the backside. With the flow of the roll out and all the receivers crossing to the same side, the defense is prone to overreact and leave the backside receiver wide open.

Tennessee lines up in a trey formation with the tight end as a wing. They run playaction off a split zone concept with the tight end crossing the field to block. The quarterback then rolls out to the single receiver side and away from the playaction. Both backside receivers run deep crossing routes while the single side receiver runs a crosser away from the roll out. The play is designed to get the defense moving towards the roll out so the quarterback can throw back to the single crosser on the backside.

USU Cross 1.1

Against Utah State, the Vols brought this play back. Unfortunately, Josh Smith lined up on the line of scrimmage rather than in the backfield so Tennessee was whistled for being in an ineligible formation. Despite that, the play itself was successful and the concept is worth taking a look at.

The Utah State linebackers bite down hard on the playaction while the defensive backs react to the crossing routes and the roll out to the left. This leaves Pig Howard a lot of room as he sneaks from the left to right. Jalen Hurd sells the playfake then runs out to the right flat as a receiving option also grabs the attention of a linebacker and helps give Howard more space.USU Cross 1.2

Worley is able to set his feet and throw back across the field to a wide open Howard. He catches the ball and is able to pick up 22 yards on the play. Unfortunately the play came back because of the mental mistake with the formation, but this is still a neat, effective concept. As often as we ran this play in 2013, I fully expect we will see it more in the near future.USU Cross 1.3


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