Photo Reel: Outside Zone

Photo Reel: Outside Zone

North Carolina offensive coordinator Blake Anderson provided his perspective of Romar Morris's 26-yard touchdown run against Middle Tennessee.

North Carolina's bread and butter run play is the inside zone read, but on this particular play, Anderson called the outside zone. They are similar in design, however, as both are packaged with a perimeter screen. Quarterback Bryn Renner has three options as he lines up in the shotgun - (1) zone play to Morris, (2) QB keeper or (3) a throw to A-back Kendrick Singleton in the flat. Morris is lined up to Renner's right and Singleton is lined up to Renner's left.

MIddle Tennessee only has six defenders in the box, making Renner's decision to run instead of pass an easy one - UNC's scheme is designed to run when there's six blockers against six defenders and pass when it's six against seven. The keeper option allows Renner to act as a blocker by "reading" the right defensive end.

As Singleton rolls out to the right for the screen pass, note Middle Tennessee's linebacker keying on the A-back and following him away from the play.

While Eric Ebron and Quinshad Davis are preparing to block in case Renner throws the screen pass, the quarterback has already handed the ball to Morris. On the play side, James Hurst has sealed off the defensive end and Sean Tapley has outside leverage on the cornerback.

"There were three really critical blocks," Anderson said. "Hurst on the edge, he beat the defensive end really well. [Caleb] Peterson got up to the backer and got the backer on the ground. And probably one of the biggest blocks was Tapley on the corner. The corner squirmed and he covered him up, so all three guys at the point of attack did a great job."

You can see Peterson knocking the linebacker down in this photo, as well as Tapley sealing off the corner for Morris.

With the linebacker on the ground, Morris just needs to make the approaching safety miss to have a clear lane to the end zone.

Despite the safety taking a solid angle, Morris jukes to his left and runs by the would-be tackler.

"Romar actually made the safety miss," Anderson said. "We didn't make anybody miss a week ago."

The backside safety is the only defender with a chance of stopping Morris before he reaches the end zone, but his task is made tougher with right guard Landon Turner running interference down the field.

Morris's speed ultimately wins out.

"All of those things together created an explosive play," Anderson said. "That's what we've become accustomed to. Did not do a great job of that against South Carolina. That's a sign of things going in the right direction. We obviously had more explosive plays than we did the week before and that's something to build on."

 

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