Iowa Linebackers Vs Sprint Pass Is Clinic Tape

By FirstDown PlayBook on Oct 10, 2021

Iowa has had a long tradition of good football coaches. Having actually visited the pink locker rooms and coached against the staffs put together by Coach Fry, I know. Yesterday the coaching that the Iowa players receive was on full display early on. This particular play showed how well the Iowa linebackers are coached vs sprint pass.

Kirk Ferentz’s squad punted Penn State back to it’s own one yard line early in the game. The Nittany Lions understand that if they want to throw it they need to be careful. Penn State elects to sprint out because they know if they drop back it could be a safety.

Actually this is a smart thought but Iowa’s linebacker coach (don’t know who he is) had his guys coached up. One of the first things you want do vs a sprint pass is to pull the quarterback up as he sprints out. Often times the defensive end is not in a position to do this.

The play side linebacker is often responsible for sliding to the sprint out action in coverage. This can put a defense a man short with pass rush. It looks like the Hawkeyes are playing quarters coverage to the side of the sprint pass. This means that the nickel and linebacker were pushing to the curl and flat on this action.

Neither of these two players can remove themselves from coverage to pull up the quarterback.That is why the backside linebacker is needed to shoot the gap and pull up the quarterback if he can. That is exactly what #44 Seth Benson did.

Gain Your Backside Linebacker To Pull Up A Sprint Pass QB

You can almost see Benson’s coaching kick in as he diagnoses the sprint out and triggers to pull up the Penn State QB. The quarterback is already rolling away from his throwing hand. As Benson shows up, it just adds to the problems for Penn State.

The quarterback’s throw is well behind the receiver but not the nickel back for Iowa. The ball is picked and it cost Penn State three points. The difference in the game at the end…three points. So hats off to the linebackers coach at Iowa.

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This is a great job of coaching. The Iowa linebackers are very coached up on recognizing and how to defend a sprint out pass game concept. It’s one that you can and should teach to your high school linebackers too. Tap on this play drawing to watch how the Iowa linebacker played this sprint pass perfectly.