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In the start of the second quarter against Iowa State, the TCU Horned Frogs ran one of the most beautifully-designed plays of the entire year. In today’s Big 12 Film Room, we will look at the Frogs’ play against the Cyclones, and why  the play call was so ingenious.

The call came on the first play of the second quarter. Finding themselves in the red zone in a second-and-goal, the offensive coordinating duo of Doug Meacham & Sonny Cumbie dialed up a creative play that resulted in TCU’s third touchdown of the half.

The formation here is a strong twins formation in the pistol; the ‘strong’ moniker indicates that the fullback and the tight end are on the same side of the formation, and ‘twins’ indicates that the two receivers are on the same side of the field.

This play is designed to clear out one part of the field for the main receiving target, which in this case is the fullback in the backfield.

On the twins side, the receivers are running a simple smash route combination; these guys are not the focus of the play. The corner route on the twins side draws the free safety to the left corner of the field while the tight end’s corner route draws the strong safety to the opposite corner. This leaves the deep middle third unaccounted for by the defensive secondary. The play action pulls the linebackers toward the line of scrimmage and the flat release by the running back pulls the strong-side linebacker to the sideline immediately after. All of this opens up the middle of the field, and Charlie Reid (#82) slips his way to the middle of the end zone for an easy 14-yard touchdown.

This was just one of the Horned Frogs’ six touchdowns in their 45-21 victory over the Cyclones, but it was by far the most strategically impressive. Hopefully today’s Film Room has educated you in the world of strategy, as well as given you a new appreciation for what goes into a successful play.

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