Photo Reel: Smoke Screen

Marquise Williams connected with Mack Hollins on a smoke screen that turned into a 33-yard touchdown play due in large part to Jack Tabb's textbook blocking.

Trailing Liberty 22-21 with 6:18 to play in the third quarter, UNC assistant head coach for offense Seth Littrell called consecutive run/pass package plays that included the smoke screen on the left side of the formation. Williams connected with Hollins for seven yards on 1st-and-10 from Liberty's 40.

UNC's no-huddle approach paid dividends immediately thereafter as the Tar Heels rushed back into formation. As you can see below, UNC's offense is completely set while Liberty's defense is scrambling. Note the cushion Liberty's boundary corner is giving Hollins at the top of the photo.

Williams snaps the ball with 30 seconds left on the play clock. Not only does Liberty have seven men in the box, but the cornerback's 10-yard cushion makes Williams's read an easy one.

Here's good perspective of a Fedora staple - the package play. All five offensive linemen are blocking an outside zone play to the right with both running backs following closely behind. The split end (not pictured) on the right side of the formation will provide downfield blocking, if needed. The two receivers to the left of the formation, however, are running a smoke screen play. If the numbers in the box are too high for the run play, Williams has the option to throw to Hollins on the smoke screen with Tabb blocking from the slot position.

Note how the run blocking forces Liberty's linebackers to flow to the left side of the field, away from the smoke screen.

The screen pass in Fedora's offense is considered a part of the running game. Its intent is to pick up 4-5 yards and keep the chains moving. Note how Hollins only takes one step back from the line of scrimmage - that assures that Williams throws a forward pass, thereby turning a drop or poor throw into an incomplete pass instead of a potential fumble.

A basic play, however, can turn into an explosive play with quality blocking. By the time Hollins catches the pass, Liberty's front seven is just beginning to pivot to the play. In order to contain Hollins, cornerback Kenny Scott must get outside leverage and force him back into the middle of the field. Tabb is in perfect position, though, to make the block.

UNC's receivers are taught to square up their defenders on blocks instead of cheating to one side. If Tabb targets Scott's outside shoulder and tries to immediately seal the sideline, Scott may have an opportunity to slip inside and still have a shot at Hollins. Once Tabb engages Scott, he extends his left arm to pivot Scott back to the inside. Note how Tabb's hands are making contact with Scott's chest, not his arms or shoulders. Wide receivers coach Gunter Brewer emphasizes that aspect of blocking every day in practice.

Tabb has effectively pivoted Scott to the inside and delivered the sideline to Hollins. Strong safety Gary Sampson is the only Flame left with a legitimate chance to tackle Hollins and he's arriving at a bad angle due to Tabb's blocking.

Sampson is too late, Tabb has Scott sealed off and Hollins sees the end zone 30 yards down the field.

A basic screen pass goes for a 33-yard touchdown due to horizontal spacing and solid blocking technique.

Inside Carolina Top Stories