Top 35 Plays of 2015: #25 - Dobbs to Malone

The number 25 play in our countdown to determine the best plays of Tennessee’s 2015 season is Josh Dobbs touchdown pass to Josh Malone versus Oklahoma.

In 2015, one of Mike DeBord’s go-to play calls in the red zone was Snag. In the red zone, DeBord is typically expecting man coverage from a defense, and Snag is a really way to attack this type of defense. Snag is a three man route combination where the outside receiver runs a spot route, the number two receiver runs a corner route, and the number three receiver runs to the flat.

When the Vols are in the red zone, DeBord will often have the three receivers align in a bunch. This serves to put stress on defenders who are playing man coverage. With three receivers lined up close to each other and crossing in different directions, defenders can easily get picked or rubbed, and taken out of the play.

The first read for the quarterback is the corner route. The Vols’ receivers can often gain separation when they break away from the defender and towards the back pylon of the end zone. The next best option versus man coverage is the flat route. There is often a natural rub formed by the other two receivers can often leave the flat receiver open with room to run.

Against Oklahoma, Tennessee scored their first touchdown of the game on Snag. Late in the first quarter, facing a second-and-seven from the nine yard line, DeBord dialed up Snag. As he often does when the Vols are in the red zone, DeBord called for quarterback Josh Dobbs to sprint out to the right.

The sprint out serves a few purposes. First, it gives the athletic Dobbs an opportunity to run if no one is open downfield. Second, and perhaps more importantly, it gives Dobbs a better angle to throw the corner route.

On this play, the execution by Dobbs was flawless. Oklahoma played press man coverage, and the defender assigned to Josh Malone stuck with him throughout the entire play. Malone was able to get just enough separation on the corner route for Dobbs to place the ball to where only his receiver could catch it. This pass literally could not have been better. This was one of Dobbs’ best passes of the entire season.

It’s also important to recognize the job done by running back Alvin Kamara. In the sprint out protection scheme, Kamara’s job is to seal the edge and make sure no edge rusher is able to get to Dobbs. Kamara was able to get an outstanding block on the outside linebacker, driving him outside. This allowed Dobbs to step up and make the throw. This touchdown never happens without Kamara.

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

Play #31 - Josh Dobbs and the Sweep

Play #30 - The Speed Option

Play #29 - Alvin Kamara’s First Touchdown

Play #28 - Jalen Hurd’s Big Hit

Play #27 - Dobbs to Smith

Play #26 - The Jump Pass

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