In Maryland's loss to Indiana on Saturday, senior running back Brandon Ross was a bright spot. He carried 19 times for a career-best 3 touchdowns and 250 yards, pacing Maryland's offense through an otherwise difficult day.
Here's a deeper look at Ross's first touchdown – a 79-yard jaunt on Maryland's second play from scrimmage. This was an interesting play, neatly designed and expertly executed by Maryland's offensive linemen and running back.
Here's the play:
What we've got is a pretty simple misdirection run, but there's a whole lot of deception going on here. Ross (45) starts out to his right, but then follows pulling right tackle Damian Prince (58) toward the left side of the field. This sets up the play to look like a counter run. That's the first deception, and Indiana buys into it.
Notice that as Prince pulls to his left, the members of Indiana's six-man defensive box do the same thing.
Except then Ross cuts back to his right – a double-cut – and the only body left in his way is a blitzing slot cornerback, No. 3 Tyler Green (a DeMatha product and former Maryland target, interestingly enough.)
Green, the cornerback, doesn't have much help. That's because the rest of Indiana's front has shifted leftward on Maryland's counter look, except for defensive end Zack Shaw (33), who's locked up by Maryland tight end P.J. Gallo (88). With Prince running toward the left, Gallo effectively becomes Maryland's right tackle for when Ross cuts back that way.
So, when Ross cuts back toward the right, he's got one man to beat. But then, Gallo even gets in front of Green at the very last second and chips him. The result is Ross really has nothing in front of him but green.
Maryland is 2-9 and pretty terrible this season. But this is a nice reminder that the Terps can still do some savvy things.