Anatomy of a Play: Massachusetts

Trailing Massachusetts 17-10 late in the fourth quarter, the Ball State football team’s defense was backed up in its red zone. Massachusetts lined up in the wildcat formation, and wide receiver Elgin Long took the shotgun snap and scored a touchdown, further extending the lead.

Massachusetts entered the red zone seven times and scored just four times, but Ball State’s offense was unproductive in a 24-10 loss.

  1. There’s 5:47 in the fourth quarter. Massachusetts is lined up in the wildcat formation on the left hash of Ball State’s seven-yard line. Long is lined up a few yards behind the center, and Lorenzo Woodley is a few yards behind Long. Running back Matt Tuleja is to the right of Long.
  2. Ball State is lined up in its typical 4-3 defense. There are four defensive linemen, three linebackers and four defensive backs. Because of injuries, many of Ball State’s normal starting defenders are not on the field.
  3. At the snap, Long fakes a handoff to Woodley, and Woodley takes off to the right pretending to have the ball. Briefly, multiple defenders follow Woodley.
  4. Long starts running around the left side where there’s open running room. Tuleja kicks out to the same side, cut-blocking Ball State safety Gilbert Stlouis to give Long all the room he needs to run untouched into the end zone.


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