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QB1 Film Room: Blackjack, 4th Downs, and Top Plays from the Alabama game

QB1 Film Room: Blackjack, 4th Downs, and Top Plays from the Alabama game

OXFORD, Miss. — If you’ve ever spent time at a Blackjack table, you’ve probably seen plenty of eyes rolling when a player makes a poor decision as to taking a Hit, Standing, Splitting or Doubling Down, particularly when the player is sitting to an individual’s immediate left.

To avoid the head shaking and to give ourselves the best chance of winning at Blackjack, we either memorize or use a “cheat sheet,” the proven guidelines that stand up statistically to any situation we encounter.

Like Coach Kiffin says, regardless of the amount you’re risking; the strategy never changes.

Below is a Blackjack Chart, undoubtedly tested a billion times by computers in expectations of providing players the best call to make in any specific situation. (I never leave home for a casino without it.)

This chart tells you when to Hit, Stand, Split or even Double Down. Using it in every instance does not guarantee a win, but it does guarantee that you’re making the best possible move from a statistical standpoint.

Fourth Downs

Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin uses analytics for his fourth down decisions, and we’ve got a sample chart below (This is not specifically what Coach Kiffin uses, but it gives you an idea of what he’s talking about.) As with the Blackjack Chart, the Fourth Down Chart allows no deviation. Its instruction is to be adhered to 100% of the time without exception. 

Both the Blackjack Chart and the Fourth Down Chart are analytics in these games of chance/skill. With them, you have a window of opportunity.

The sample size is sufficient, they will tell you, to assume better than 50/50 odds for either chart. Thus, the Chart. (If you can find the app or the Rebels’ chart anywhere, you’ll be able to predict before any of your friends whether Lane’s going to go for it or not on 4th down. Won’t that be fun? Assuming he ever punts again.)

Against Alabama, the Rebels went for it on fourth down on five different occasions, converting two of those. Ole Miss fought hard but eventually lost, 42-21, to a very tough No. 1-ranked opponent.

Rebels’ QB Matt Corral finished 21-of-29 for 213 yards, one touchdown through the air, and no interceptions. He also scored one TD rushing.

With all that said, let’s look at some game film from Alabama.


Video 1 – Braylon Sanders’ incredible catch on the Go route

Here we are on the opening drive and you’ll see Braylon Sanders up top being covered man to man by the Alabama cornerback. It’s time for the Go route and it’s perfectly executed. Sanders’ catch even made the NFL’s “You’ve been Mossed” segment on Sunday morning. You can’t do it any better.


Video 2 – Corral to Sanders on the slant pattern

Here we have a beautifully executed slant pattern off the RPO from Matt Corral to Sanders. It’s already evident the windows are smaller against this Tide defense, but he still slips it in there.


Video 3 – Corral to Drummond on the slant

Here the Rebels are in a wide double Twins set and look to find Dontario Drummond on the slant. Once again an excellent throw and outstanding effort by the receiver after the catch.


Video 4 – Corral on the flare to Jadon Jackson

Here the Rebels put Jackson in motion left to right. The motion takes Alabama out of its Cover 2 defense and they check to a strong safety blitz. It’s picked up very well by the RB and Matt whisks the football wide to Jackson for a big gainer.


Video 5 – Corral untouched into the end zone

It’s not often that a quarterback can run untouched for 10 yards into the end zone against Alabama, but here we have it. Notice the beautiful kick-out block by the right guard Ben Brown and the quick feet of the QB. It’s a well-designed and well-executed play to open the scoring for Ole Miss.


Video 6 – Corral to Dannis Jackson on the Go Route

Here we have another well-executed Go route, perhaps a little back-shoulder throw, and an excellent reception by Jackson.


Video 7 – Corral hits Drummond on a crossing pattern

This play provides an indication of Matt Corral’s nimbleness and coolness in the pocket, and also his lightning-fast release and tremendous arm strength as he hits Drummond on a crossing pattern.


Video 8 – Corral to Chase Rogers for a TD on the out route

Next is an excellent goal line play with Rogers on an out route as Drummond takes the underneath coverage into the flat. Notice the perfect placement and zip on the football for the Rebels’ final score.

About The Author

David Walker

David is the consummate true-freshman quarterback, first pioneering the position only a year after college freshmen were given varsity eligibility by the NCAA in 1972. In 1973, the left-handed all-state gunslinger from Sulphur, Louisiana started for the Texas A&M Aggies and earned the All-Southwest Conference Freshman of the Year award as selected by the league’s coaches. He was only 17, and still holds the NCAA record as the youngest starting quarterback in college football history. He wore No. 8 at A&M in honor of one of his football heroes, Archie Manning. In becoming the winningest quarterback ever at A&M, David was converted from a dual-threat QB to a triple option trailblazer. The two-time team captain led three record-breaking offenses that changed the direction of football at A&M forever, establishing once and for all the winning tradition that the Aggies had so-long desired. As a high school head coach in Houston in the late ‘80s, David stationed his quarterback in the shotgun formation, having him reading defenses and throwing hot routes at a time when such offensive schemes were frowned upon by traditional fans and coaches. One of his quarterbacks tossed 57 passes in a single game, which stood as the all-time Greater Houston Area record for many years.  As you can tell from his bona fides, David is extremely qualified as our expert on all things Quarterback at Ole Miss. Enjoy his exclusive analysis only here at The Rebel Walk!

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