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In da Film Room: An Ode to Kevin Sumlin

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Thanks for the memories

Texas A&M v LSU Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Got to hand it to Kevin Sumlin, he always made us feel good going into the bowl/offseason. LSU is 5-0 against Sumlin as the head coach of Texas A&M with most of those wins being played on the last regular season game for LSU after what had been a dissapointing season.

It’s just not going to be the same when Major Applewhite is the head coach next year. I decided I wanted to go back and look at some of the big plays LSU has had against the Aggies since 2012. There have been a lot of them.

From bottling up Johnny Manziel to Fournette running over people (pretty sure he did this to every team, actually) to me crying after Miles beat them in 2015 it’s been a fun ride destroying their hopes and dreams.

Here’s to you Kevin Sumlin!

Let’s go.

2012 -

Bros, I love sluggos. Back in the day with Mettenberger, LSU ran a lot of slant routes so the natural progression is the sluggo (slant-and-go). Sluggos are lovely to run against single high safety looks because you want the deep third or man coverage cornerback to jump down on the route before the receiver breaks back up the seam. Often, sluggo’s are paired with a backside seam route to hold the single safety but here LSU uses it off a slant/flat progression to the weakside. This concept helps lubricate the corner in to jumping on the slant because he’s seen LSU’s slant/flat concept in practice all week. Mettenberger doesn’t even look off the safety but puts a nice enough ball for YA BOY Kadron Boone to make a spectacular catch.

LSU has proved time and time again how the biggest gains on zone runs were on the cutback and Jeremy Hill cuts his way to a long touchdown here. LSU is in 22 personnel so Texas A&M loads the box but when you end up with three (!) players in the same gap, you’re going to get gashed.

Hill reads it right and the backside guard, tackle and tight end combo do a great job sealing off the pursuit.

2013 -

A nice lil’ post-wheel here. If I recall correctly, this might have been LSU’s favorite formation back in the Landry-Beckham days. The Aggies are once again in a single high safety look which we love post-wheel against. The post is supposed to take away the corner and the safety. It does. Because of the play-action, the flat defender over Landry bites up and then can’t diagnose the wheel until it’s too late. You can actually see the safety recognize the wheel but take an awful angle to get there. If Mett had realized that a tad earlier, he hits Beckham on the post for the touchdown so either way this was going to be six points for the good guys.

2014 -

Do you guys think Texas A&M remember this? Again, it’s the cutback on inside zone. The double team by the backside guard and tackle on the 3-tech is gross and because he gets pushed so far back, when the Mike realizes what’s going on, he gets caught up in the mess. The Will fucks around goes outside of his end for some reason. The end is playing 50/50 so the backer has no reason to go outside of him. Even if his job was to do that and the end was supposed to crash you only run your stunt when you see “color” in the gap. This means that you gotta stay put until you see your friend come inside. He doesn’t and the rest is LSU history.

The ghost of Anthony Jennings take this midline read for a big gain here. LSU is going to read the first defender outside of the backside guard. The defender that LSU is reading stays on the hip of the guard so Jennings knows to keep the ball. What makes this a long run is that Jennings reads the block of the offensive tackle. Generally, on midline, if you keep the ball, you run directly at where your read was. Here, our tackle gets beat inside (though it’s possible this was by design) and Jennings scoots outside of him. This makes the safeties angle useless. You can see him come down and look for the ball before realizing it’s already outside.

2015 -

There’s no point in analyzing this (MOSTLY BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT KICKOFF COVERAGE AND RETURNS) because it’s just pure poetry by Guice. Do you think this Guice character is going to be special? We will revisit this statement in 2016.

Wait, let’s revisit that statement now.

The interesting thing about this is how they give the reverse to Guice going the same direction is the power that they are faking. It’s pretty cool because when the fullback (Bananas Foster Moreau) goes to kick out, he actually bluffs the end. The guard pulls around him too and now they’re the lead blockers for the reverse. The defensive end is taught (like we saw on the midline read) to crash inside. LSU knew this going in and that’s why they put this in the playbook. The Mike linebacker actually is in position at first to play the reverse over top but he still thinks Fournette has the ball and then it’s too late.

A funny tidbit about MY BOY Donte Jackson is that after this season, my friend had a Heisman pool in his office here in, you know, MONTREAL QUEBEC CANADA WHERE EVERYONE KNOWS SO MUCH ABOUT AMERICAN COLLEGE FOOTBALL, and some dude in the pool picked Donte Jackson to win the 2016 Heisman. Maybe it was this play that got him thinking.

Anyways, LSU is in Cover One and the Aggies run four verts against it. Tough to throw seams against Cover One so Kyle Allen Field gets to his fade progression. Donte probably gets beat a bit and is low shoulder against the receiver. With that said, he’s still in phase (meaning he’s making contact) with the receiver so he can now freely turn his head and play the ball. A great pass defense turns into an even greater interception for the would be 2016 Heisman trophy winner.

2016 -

One of the things that made Jamal Adams elite was his play recognition speed and his, you know, foot speed. The amount of times that teams would throw a type of receiver screen to Adams side because he was at eight yards or further only for him to come down and make a TFL was incredible.

Here’s your famous LSU toss power play for a long touchdown. When you can block it up, power plays are a thing of beauty. The five Tigers who are down-blocking (frontside tight end, frontside tackle, frontside guard and the center) do a great job. The fullback kicks out Myles Garrett and the Aggie playside linebacker does a good job of coming downfield and meeting the pull block in the hole with his outside shoulder. This forces Guice to hit it inside the pull block. Jeter gets on the other linebacker who is trying to scrape over top. Guice bursts inside for a step, helping Jeter, and then bangs it outside for the touchdown.

Happy thanksgiving everybody!