In their 21-14 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks, the Missouri Tigers ran one of the best 2 point conversion plays of the season. The play involved all sorts of trickeration, as there was a direct snap to the running back, reverse to the slot receiver, then a throw back to the split end for the score. So how did Missouri offensive coordinator Josh Henson dream up this play?
This play originated with Clemson in 2012. Offensive coordinator Chad Morris dialed up his favorite 2 point conversion play in a game versus Georgia Tech.
Clemson lined up in a trey formation.Quarterback Tajh Boyd moved over towards the right tackle as if he was making an audible while running back Andre Ellington shifted over to be directly behind the center.Ellington took the direct snap from center and sprinted left. The line blocked left as if it was an outside zone play. Receiver DeAndre Hopkins ran behind Ellington and took a pitch running right on an end around. Meanwhile, Boyd had frozen on the backside of the play, but ran to the end zone when the pitch was made.Georgia Tech’s defense had moved with the original action. No one was left covering Boyd and Hopkins flipped it to him for an easy score.Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel and Henson put a twist on Clemson’s play. They lined up in the very same formation and at first, the play looked the same. Quarterback Maty Mauk moved towards the right tackle as if he was making an audible, and the direct snap went to running back Marcus Murphy. The adjustment to the play came on the route run by split end Darius White. White faked a crossing route and then ran to the corner of the end zone. After sprinting left, Murphy pitched the ball to receiver Bud Sasser. Sasser received the pitch with two receiving options. This was a basic vertical stretch on the cornerback. The corner moved upfield to cover Mauk, so Sasser threw the ball to a wide open White in the back of the end zone for 2 points. Had the corner stayed with White, Sasser could’ve thrown to Mauk for the score.Pinkel and Henson did a great job of taking a good play and making it better. The weakness in Clemson’s play was that if the corner stayed home and took away the quarterback, then the receiver would be left with no one to throw to. By having the split end run a corner route, Missouri gave the passer multiple options and put the cornerback in an impossible position. Great play design by Missouri’s staff.