An extensive series in the veer-and-shoot offense run by new Texas Longhorns offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert focuses on run-pass options that asks defenses to make difficult choices about resource allocation. One of those plays, a simple combination of a bubble screen with a running play like inside zone, has a complementary call -- a bubble and go that gives the outside receiver a chance to beat his defender into the middle.
When Gilbert's former team, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, played the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman last year, Gilbert used this play in the shot zone -- the area of the field between midfield and the opponent's 30-yard line -- to seek a big play by getting the defense out of position.
The outside wide receiver to the boundary fakes a block for the screen as the inside receiver drifts outside, then the outside receiver explodes hard vertically. On this particular play, the Oklahoma cornerback got beat and had to grab the Tulsa receiver to concede a penalty and avoid a touchdown.
Notice how the alignment to the wide side of the field draws coverage over the top to that hash, leaving a one-on-one match up to the boundary.
For Tulsa, this was a route that star wide receiver Keyarris Garrett would typically run, but Texas has two big options in sophomore John Burt and freshman Collin Johnson. At 6'6 and 212 pounds during the spring, Johnson looks like the ideal target on these throws, but Burt's combination of size and track speed also makes him an extremely appealing option.
Regardless of the recipient, winning that match up against the cornerback means a lot of open field to the end zone against this particular defense.
The veer and shoot is all about utilizing the width and length of the field and the tempo will often get the defense winded or out of alignment. With one small misstep, a simple play like the screen and go can quickly turn into a touchdown as long as the quarterback can make decisions quickly and deliver passes with accuracy and timing to explosive wide receivers.
Given the recent state of the Texas offense, putting all those things together may seem unlikely, but Gilbert's offense is designed to make things easy by gaining every advantage possible.
Sound likes a good recipe, no?