Alabama Football: Scouting the Rebel Pass Game

Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama football takes the field against a dangerous Ole Miss offense on Saturday afternoon. Transfer QB Jaxson Dart is a gifted athlete with a big arm and a great pedigree. He’s gotten better as the year has gone on and he’s become more comfortable with Kiffin’s scheme. The sophomore USC transfer is middle of the pack in the SEC statistically but excels off the play action fake. RB Quinshon Judkins is a dynamic playmaker, and the Rebels get the ball to him in a variety of unique ways. They use this to their advantage as any fake to him creates gaps in a defense that is overly concerned with stopping him.

Dart on Downfield Shots

Here, the Rebels run a variation of a play that is a staple of the Kiffin offense. The run fake holds the linebackers, and the receivers run a deep crossing action with a post route over the top. It’s a relatively easy read for the QB who spies the deep safety. If the safety runs with the deep post, the QB delivers the ball to the crossing route behind him. Here, Auburn jumps the crosser allowing Dart to deliver the bomb and hit an explosive play downfield.

Ole Miss Hard Play Action

Where Kiffin and the Rebels are particularly dangerous in the play action game is in the redzone and on short down and distances. Here, the Rebels pull a guard which keys the linebackers and the safety who is the edge defender to engage in the run. The receiver action also mimics a run play as the two outside receivers release inside like they are cracking the interior defender. This allows the H-Back to arch release down the sideline wide open for a big gain.

Alabama Football Defensive Adjustment

Although the Rebels don’t possess the same downfield speed as Tennessee their schemes mirror each other to an extent. Both use space and switch routes to create favorable matchups and confusion in the secondary. For Alabama to have more success than they did in Knoxville the Tide needs to stick their men in coverage, rather than switching off as they did against the Vols. Being successful against the run will also help negate some of the effects of the play action pass and keep the Rebels from creating splash plays.

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