PSU Playbook: Kinlaw Screen

Get the lowdown on the screen pass the Nittany Lions used against Temple, a play which went for 10 yards but had the potential to go for more. What did the formation look like? What went right with the play? What went wrong? Find out here.

One of the most intriguing and entertaining aspects of the Football Fantasy Camp at Penn State is having the ability to dig into PSU's playbook and learn about the schemes, formations and play variations the Nittany Lions run from the coaches themselves, like Larry Johnson, Galen Hall, Jay Paterno and Brian Norwood. Periodically this season we'll take a closer look at the inner workings of specific plays or schemes PSU runs to help provide understanding of the play and give you just a taste of what you can experience and learn from the staff at Fantasy Football Camp.

In Saturday's 31-0 shutout of Temple, the Nittany Lions found some success with the screen. In fact, Rodney Kinlaw caught a career-high five passes in the game. The screen pass was a significant factor in his receiving success against Temple. You can see the screen play to Kinlaw at the midway point of the highlight video below:

Temple Video Highlights

This general formation is called Spread Right Pistol X Left Flight Screen A. This formation is a single-back (A - Rodney Kinlaw) set, which features the receiver (X - Terrell Golden) in the slot. The X man motion in a drag route to the left of the formation, drawing the linebacker coverage wide.

Here is how the general formation looks:

Here are the route assignments for this play:

Z: Out Pattern
Y: Right Block Protection
X: Drag Route Left, Run Block
A: Fake Hand-off, 5-Yards Out, Hold Target
R: Out Pattern

At the snap, the center and right guard hold then release their assignments, allowing the coverage to commit to pursuing the quarterback (Q - Anthony Morelli). This brings the pursuit into the pocket, hence opening up the intermediate flat, allowing Q to dump a screen pass to A. In this particular play, the center (A.Q. Shipley) appears to release his assignment too soon, nearly resulting in a sack of Morelli.

In frame two below, the A back, Kinlaw, gets the ball and has three linemen as blockers in front of him (A.Q. Shipley No. 57, Rich Ohrnberger No. 64 and Mike Lucian No. 50). In frame three, Ohrnberger fails to engage a key block, which prematurely stops the play, although Kinlaw has managed to pick up about 10 yards on the run.

The key to the success of this play is the timing of the line's release and the down-field blocking. If both are timed correctly to allow for the pressure to lock onto the quarterback and subsequently make a lane for the running back, the play can see significant yardage gains. However, if the opposing linebackers make a good read on the flat, or the line releases to early, the play could get blown up for a short gain, or even a loss.

Get an entirely new view and appreciation of the Penn State games by attending Penn State Fantasy Football Camp; the only way you can learn the playbook from the Penn State coaches without making the team. It's the perfect holiday gift for the die hard Penn Stater.

Check out PSU's Fantasy Camp and register today — slots are filling up

Questions about the camp? Contact Patrick Steenberge, Camp Director, at

Catch other features in our PSU Playbook series:

  • Broken Kick Coverage
  • William's End-Around
  • Evan's Fumble Return
  • Butler's Touchdown Strike


  • Fight On State Top Stories