In the first quarter of Syracuse’s season opening win over Villanova, Prince-Tyson Gulley provided the biggest play of the game, at least in terms of yardage. He raced 65-yards up the middle to pay-dirt.
The play lines up as a normal play for the Orange in their offense. Three receivers spread out with two players in the backfield. Gulley is next to Hunt who is in the shotgun. Brisly Estime is going in motion. At the top of the formation is Jarrod West, who acts as if he is running a seam route down the sideline. The opposing cornerback buys it and covers him initially. The Syracuse offensive line crashes to the right and the ‘Nova linebackers blitz.
The defensive end lined up on the right side of the picture tries to bull-rush Ivan Foy, who does a great job pushing him to the outside. Sean Hickey slants in towards the right while Rob Trudo, John Miller and Michael Lasker all drive to the right. The ‘Nova middle linebacker initially flies straight while the weakside linebacker tries to hit the middle where the Syracuse offensive line is crashing.
Gulley takes the handoff from Hunt who continues with his assignment by faking a run of his own to the outside. That brings the ‘Nova strongside end with him and out of the play. Lasker (#67) drives his opponent to the ground while Trudo directs the middle linebacker to the right and out of the hole. Miller is also driving is player to the ground opening a crease in the middle. Villanova defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon (#92) has a beat on the play.
You can see Hunt’s fake freezes the Villanova linebacker while the offensive line has created a nice crease. As Gulley explodes through the hole, Kpassagnon is trying to take the proper angle to cut off Gulley’s opening. He is not quick enough for him, however, and Gulley gets by with ease. The next Villanova home is the safety at the top of the screen. He crashes down, clearly not recognizing initially where Gulley is headed.
The Villanova safety now recognizes Gulley’s path as Trudo finishes his block to provide the opening two yards past the line of scrimmage. As Gulley explodes past Kpassagnon, he reaches the open field.
Gulley now only has to beat ‘Nova safety Cameron McCurry who has taken a poor angle due to his late recognition of the play. Gulley explodes past him and races to the end zone.
The run provided Syracuse an early 7-0 lead.