OXFORD, Miss. — Last weekend, Ole Miss found itself with a true freshman quarterback from Mississippi going up against Alabama, the King of Kings in today’s college football world. John Rhys Plumlee found himself playing in Bryant-Denny Stadium in the CBS SEC Game of the Week. The stakes were big for the young quarterback, and he shined both in performance and leadership.
So, in this week’s edition of The Rebel Walk QB Film Room, we take a look at the performance of Plumlee and also that of Grant Tisdale, another true freshman quarterback, who saw playing time against Alabama. Starter Matt Corral was out due to a rib injury, so Plumlee got the start at Bryant-Denny. Let’s just say Plumlee didn’t look at all like a true freshman as he led the Rebels against the Tide.
The QB Film Room – Ole Miss vs. Alabama
As a coach I’ve always liked this play that implements the old Washington Redskins’ “Counter Trey” blocking scheme. The playside blocks down while the backside guard and tackle pull to seal and kick out. QB John Rhys Plumlee fakes the pitch and then picks up good yardage behind their blocks. It’s well executed out of the double twins set.
This play needs to be in everyone’s goal line package. Notice the defensive end at the bottom will take the dive back. Plumlee removes the football from the mesh point, then gets behind his blocking back and tight end who have both crossed the formation to seal off any pursuers, and scores untouched.
This is a play we’re seeing a little more of. The Rebels go to a no-back set and to their left they have a stop route outside and two go patterns on the inside. Most of the time you’ll see a corner route run by the 2nd receiver, but in this case Plumlee is forced to throw the corner route anyway because of the coverage on his intended receiver, Elijah Moore. You’ll never see a better adjustment on the football than the one made here.
Here the Rebels have a two-back set where both backs are lined up to the quarterback’s right. The defense is thinking Plumlee will be following them on a QB sweep to the right, but the Rebels come back to the Counter Trey to the left. Excellent execution allows the QB to slip inside the guard’s kick-out block and rumble for a 13-yard pickup.
On this pass play the Rebels line up in Trips to the right and are looking for the drag route coming right to left. Bama’s in tight man coverage though and when Plumlee sees no open receiver, he notices plenty of running room in the vacated area to his right. In this case it’s positive yards and as good as a completion.
Does a Go route get any prettier or finer executed?
Here Plumlee makes a quick fake to his back before floating one with perfect trajectory down the left sideline to another true freshman, Jonathan Mingo. Against anyone, this is a big-time throw and catch.
One thing you always have to determine about your quarterback is, “Will he stand in there and deliver the football accurately when he knows he’s about to get his head knocked off?” This pass to tight end Jason Pellerin answers this question.
Here the Rebels are in a no-back set on 4th down. Everyone in the stadium knows there’s a pass coming. What they don’t know is the two true freshmen are about to hook up again on a perfectly-placed fade route against superb coverage. It’s Plumlee to Mingo connecting on their signature play.
It’s late and the Rebels have just converted on 4th down. True freshman Grant Tisdale, the high school phenom QB from Allen, Texas, drops a dime on another true freshman, Dannis Jackson, for a big gain. He’s not finished.
With the clock running down and a score on the line, Tisdale goes to the other side of the field with equal facility, hitting yet another true freshman, Jadon Jackson, with a perfect rainbow strike in the end zone. “Bryant-Denny, is it? Good to meet you.”
The Bottom Line
One final note….in the Alabama game, Plumlee played — in terms of ESPN Total QBR — the second-best game of the season (66.7) of Ole Miss QBs, and he did so against the now No. 1 team in the nation.
While we don’t know which QB will lead the Rebels on to the field at Vaught-Hemingway today in a Homecoming game against Vandy, we do know there’s no wrong choice as all three of the Ole Miss QBs are talented in their own right.
Hotty Toddy, Rebels!