Tennessee Uses “Y Cross” to Score

Tennessee’s second touchdown in the Utah State game came on one of Butch Jones’ favorite pass concepts, Y Cross. This is a play the Vols especially like using in the red zone. Also known as weakside flood, Y Cross is a key play from the Air Raid offense. The Vols have adapted the concept from how Hal Mumme and Mike Leach originally ran it to make it a playaction pass and use an H-Back to help sell the run fake.

Tennessee often runs this play using an H-Back. They have him come from the backside to the playside to simulate a slice block before he slips into the flat as a receiver. Since Tennessee runs a lot of split zone, this action is effective as it helps sell the playaction.

The Y tight end, Brendan Downs on this play, runs a cross route. The backside receiver, Marquez North, runs a post route while the playside receiver, Pig Howard, runs a go route.

The quarterbacks’ read is simple. He starts with the go route, moves to crosser, then the post. Finally, he can check it down to the H-Back in the flat.USU Y Cross 1

This is a pretty effective play because of what it does to the linebackers. They see the zone action to the left and immediately start to flow to defend that. But then you have the tight end crossing the field right behind them and the H-Back slipping into the flat.USU Y Cross 2

The tight end is often open on the crosser on this play. Right here, we see the linebackers bite on the playfake and are out of position. The one defender that doesn’t flow to the run fake jumps the flat route. Brendan Downs is running the crosser behind them and comes wide open. It appears the strong safety (#21) is responsible for Downs in coverage but he bites so hard on the run fake that he can not recover.USU Y Cross 3

By the time the defender realizes what is going on, it is too late and Downs is walking into the end zone for a touchdown.


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