PSU Playbook: Royster's Run

Get a closer look at Penn State's go-ahead touchdown run by redshirt freshman Evan Royster in the Alamo Bowl. The 38-yard score was a career-long run for the reserve back. What went right with the play? Who threw the key block? Find out right 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 various schemes, formations and play variations the Nittany Lions run from coaches like Larry Johnson, Galen Hall, Jay Paterno and Bill Kenney. Periodically this season, we have taken closer looks at the details of specific plays and schemes Penn State has run to help give you a better understanding of the game and just a taste of what you can experience and learn from the PSU staff at Fantasy Football Camp. We've looked at both successful and unsuccessful plays to see what went right and what went wrong.

In Saturday's Alamo Bowl victory, the Nittany Lions ran an impressive play which resulted in a 38-yard scoring run by backup running back Evan Royster. The touchdown put PSU up for good in the contest, 24-17, late in the third quarter. What went right with the play? Who threw the key lead block? See the play at the 2:18 mark of the video below.

PSU is in an I-formation with tight end (Y, No. 10) Andrew Quarless on the line to the left of tackle Gerald Cadogan. Fullback Dan Lawlor (F, No. 38) is lined up in the I-formation with Royster (A, No. 22) as the deep back in the set. The formation also has two split ends on the wings who end up running short routes in an attempt to pull in the focus of the safeties.

Here are the assignments each major offensive player has on this play:

Y: Inside Block
LG: Inside Block
LT: Inside Block
FB: Outside Block
RG: Pull Left, Lead Block
A: Carrier, Break Left

Here is basically how the play is set:

Here is generally how the play is scripted to be run:

In this particular play, the left guard (Rich Ohrnberger) and the left tackle (Cadogan), along with the tight end (Quarless), seal off the inside of the lane. Texas A&M blitzes on the snap; Lawlor (FB, No. 38) picks up TAMU linebacker Mark Dodge (No. 50), taking him out of the play.

The key to the play's success, though, is right guard Mike Lucian (No. 50). Lucian pulls wide left from the right side of the line running as Royster's lead blocker and clearing a path while pushing A&M defensive back Alton Dixon (No. 9) out of the way.

See the various steps of the play below:

With the lane sealed off, Royster hits and accelerates through the hole untouched for a career-long 38-yard run, giving Penn State the go-ahead touchdown en route to Joe Paterno's record 23rd bowl victory.

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.

Learn More About the Ultimate PSU Football Experience

Questions about the camp? Contact Patrick Steenberge, Camp Director, at Other breakdowns in our PSU Playbook series:

  • Michigan State: Spartan TD Strike
  • Temple: Kinlaw Screen
  • Purdue: Broken Kick Coverage
  • Purdue: William's End-Around
  • Indiana: Evan's Fumble Return
  • Wisconsin: Butler's Touchdown Strike


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