The number 3 play in our countdown to determine the best plays of Tennessee’s 2015 season is Josh Dobbs’ career long touchdown pass to Josh Malone against Kentucky.The one thing missing from Tennessee’s offense in 2015 was the deep ball. The running game was outstanding, and the Vols often got receivers open over the middle on play action passes. But rarely was quarterback Josh Dobbs able to connect with a receiver deep down the sideline.
One big exception to that was on a second quarter play against Kentucky. With 5:39 left in the half and the Vols trailing 14-10, Dobbs threw the best pass of his college career, and hit Josh Malone deep down the right sideline for a career long 75 yard touchdown.
The Vols were running a play called Y Cross. Dobbs’ first option was Malone, the flanker, on a deep go route down the right sideline.
Kentucky called a zone blitz that sent both the inside and outside linebacker off the left edge, with all three linemen rushing the quarterback. Vols left tackle Kyler Kerbyson picked up the outside linebacker stunting to the inside, while the outside backer appeared to come free off the edge. Jalen Hurd stepped outside after his run fake and made an outstanding block on the blitzing linebacker. Hurd made the blocked just inches away from Dobbs, allowing the quarterback to step up in the pocket and get the pass away.
Dobbs stepped up and heaved the ball deep to Malone, who was being covered one-on-one by the cornerback. The ball travelled nearly 55 yards in the air, and the ball was placed perfectly over the head of the trailing defender. Malone secured the contested catch, and was off to the end zone.
This was an absolutely incredible play by Dobbs. He was able to narrowly avoid the sack, thanks to an outstanding block by Hurd, and made the best throw of his career, despite the pressure.
This play should give Vol fans hope going into 2016. If Dobbs, Malone, and the rest of the receivers can step up and consistently make plays like this in the deep game, then the Vols’ offense will be a force to be reckoned with. The deep ball is the one thing Tennessee did not have in 2015, so more plays like this one would make the offense nearly unstoppable in 2016.
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