Dirty Work Wednesday: Paving the Road

Welcome to another edition of Dirty Work Wednesday where we worship grit, grind, and generally ask kicking. We aren’t into end zone celebrations here; we’re into taking a man from point A to point B against his will and then repeating that action until we take his heart, his soul, and his will to resist. If that warms your heart, read on, if not, I’m assuming your jeans are bedazzled, and you’re wearing suspenders for no apparent reason. Move along.

Be Your Own Lead Blocker

Ultimate self-help for a running back is to go ahead and take that pesky linebacker at yourself. As college football moves away from fullbacks, this skill is becoming a necessity. Here’s SMU running back and the pride of Liberty-Eylau, pronounced Eylau.

That’s no slouch linebacker either, that’s Austin Robinson, one of the leading tacklers in all of college football. He’s having nightmares this of getting sledgehammered and rag dolled. He’s given his fair share of nightmares as well.

The Eyes of Texas

We love this concept. If I were younger, I’d ask it to go to prom. This is a pull/cross block lead scheme that Texas pulled out against West Virginia this week. This is Sam Cosmi pulling from his C gap into the A Gap and working with the tight end to lead through the hole and into the chest of a linebacker.

Most linebackers are going to see a light stance or another pull key and assume Cosmi is going all the way across the formation to the opposite A gap if not further. Instead, Cosmi moves immediately into and thru the A gap. This movement gives the guard a clean kick out on the defensive and gives Cosmi a great angle on the backer.

The linebacker actually does a good job of finding back molars and making a touchdown-saving tackle, but Cosmi delivered a violent shot here. Andrew Beck the tight end does as well.

Paving a Highway

Here is a more conventional pull scheme by UTEP. The offside guard, Bobby Deharo, pulls and comes through the C gap. The H-back, Trent Thompson, leads on the end man while the play side tackle (Jerrod Brooks) and tight end collapse the Rice defensive line and the guard gets to the second level where he plays under control and washes out a safety. UTEP’s tight end, David Lucero, does a little thing that means so much by combo blocking up to the second level and getting a piece of the linebacker.

What’s left for Wadley is to get up the highway created and into the end zone.

Tunnel of Love

SMU scores on this tunnel screen and all because two offensive lineman show they’re athletes too. Meet #75 Hayden Howerton and #77, Alan Ali. Now watch them meet two Houston defenders downfield and pave the way for the touchdown.

You might think, that’s easy enough, run downfield and hit something. Remember the defense gets a say. Defensive backs especially are quick and tricky little suckers. That’s why Ali and Howerton do such a good job closing space, playing under control, and then getting violent. Watch their heads, by the way; they stay up, eyes on the center mass of the target until the last second, then they drop their eyes and plow the field. If you drop your head too early, you are an unguided missile and easy to parry. Nice job boys.

If you have a nomination for a Dirty Work play, as always, DM us on the Twitter machine or leave a comment. Or keep it to yourself and stay warm at night.

More Dirty Work…