Top 35 Plays of 2015: #31 – Josh Dobbs and the Sweep

The number 31 play in our countdown to determine the best plays of Tennessee’s 2015 season is Josh Dobbs career long 62 yard run against Florida.

PLAY #31 – Josh Dobbs and the Sweep

The longest run of Josh Dobbs’ college career came midway through the second quarter against Florida. The junior quarterback turned a basic sweep play into a 62 yard gain, setting up a field goal for the Vols.

The career long run came on a pin-and-pull sweep. This is a play that was a new addition to the playbook in 2015 by offensive coordinator Mike DeBord. Here is a good explanation of what the pin-and-pull sweep looks like from a Football Concepts article about the Vols win over Bowling Green.

“The blocking scheme is pretty simple. On the playside, covered linemen (offensive linemen with a defender across from them) “pin.” This means they block down on the lineman across from them. Uncovered linemen (offensive linemen with no defender across from them) “pull” around the edge and pick up the linebackers. The backside linemen reach block as if it were outside zone.

“This results in down blocks on the defensive linemen with two linemen pulling to the second level to block a linebacker, and the backside being sealed off by the reach blocks. Here is an example.Pin and Pull

“Which linemen pull and which pin will vary depending on how the defense lines up. The Vols’ playside tackle, playside guard, center, and backside guard all pulled at some point against Bowling Green.

“The running back is to get outside. This is not really a play for him to cut back, but he is to follow his pullers to the perimeter.”

On this play against Florida, left guard Jashon Robertson and center Coleman Thomas are the pullers. Tight end Ethan Wolf and left tackle Kyler Kerbyson pin down on the playside.

Rather than give the ball to a running back, this play is actually designed for Dobbs to keep the ball all the way. Running back Alvin Kamara ran a swing route away from the play. This was simply a decoy, designed to pull the second level defenders away from Dobbs.

SWEEP 1

Kerbyson and Wolf did an outstanding job with their down blocks, sealing the defensive linemen inside. Robertson was able to pull around and kick out the cornerback. However, Coleman Thomas was not able to get to the weakside linebacker. This left Dobbs one-on-one in the open field with Antonio Morrison, an All-SEC player.

Let’s just say Dobbs made Morrison look silly. The quarterback put a spin move on the all-conference linebacker, before accelerating down the sideline. 62 yards later, the quarterback had the longest play of his career.

Despite the blocking not being perfect, Dobbs was able to simply make a play. The Vols’ quarterback is perhaps the most important player on the team, and plays like this show you why. Tennessee is never out of a play because of Dobbs. His incredible combination of strength, balance, and speed allows him to break out of impossible situations and keep the ball moving downfield.

Be sure to check back on Wednesday to see what play comes in at number 30 on our countdown (it might just be another fantastic run by Dobbs).


You can read previous installments of this series by clicking below:

Play #35 – Evan Berry’s Pick Six

Play #34 – Preston Williams’ First Touchdown

Play #33 – LaDarrell McNeil’s Comeback

Play#32 – Malik Foreman’s Interception

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