Share every sharing options for: how Clemson obtained away v 2 critical rub/pick plays versus Bama in the Championship

john David Mercer-USA TODAY sporting activities
Clemson had actually time for one an ext play. And for every the marbles, under four, the many tigers went ago to the fine of exploiting Alabama’s guy coverage ~ above the goal line.


“We knew Alabama would be in zero coverage inside the 5,” Clemson QB Deshaun Watson said after the video game on ESPN.

You are watching: Are pick plays legal in college football

So Clemson took advantage, running what offensive coaches will call a “rub route,” or what defensive coaches will certainly term a “pick play.”

Watson called it a “pick.” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney referred to as it a “rub.” but pick plays are not necessarily offensive pass interference, also though those terms are regularly used interchangeably.

And Clemson ran the play to perfection.

The external receiver top top the play runs a quick slant, and also the external cornerback initiates contact and grabs him. This forces the within cornerback to take a circuitous route to sheathe the inside receiver, who initially fakes inside, just to quickly cut outside. He is wide open. The throw is perfect. Clemson dethrones the Tide.

If the exterior receiver had initiated contact, or had actually not made an effort to run a route, attack pass interference might have been called. Heck, if the defender had actually not initially grabbed the outside receiver, it most likely gets called. The civilization in charge saw it this way, too, and also confirmed as much the next day.

NCAA coordinator of officials roger Redding on final TD:"What we witnessed was call was one of two people intiated by the defense or mutually initiated."

— Ralph D. Russo (
ralphDrussoAP) January 10, 2017

Clemson scouted Alabama well, knew the exact play come call, and executed it come perfection.


Throughout the very first half that the nationwide Championship, Alabama’s guy coverage offered Clemson’s offense fits. The many tigers run-pass choice (RPO) game, often more effective versus zone coverage, to be limited.

But in the 2nd half, the Tigers had actually counters to all the male coverage gift played by the Tide. This is a similar play to set up a front Mike Williams touchdown:

Pick? Rub? relies on perspective.

So, why walk the official keep the flag in his pocket? A couple of reasons.

First, while Clemson’s external receiver is essentially blocking, Alabama’s cornerback is engaging through him and also initiates contact. The receiver must be actually be trying to run a route, yet it’s not clear the he isn’t.

Second, this is a pretty great sales project by the tight end, who transforms around and also pretends to suppose to receive a pass.

See more: Are The Casinos Open In Lake Tahoe, All 12+ Lake Tahoe Casinos

Third, one defender slips down, and also the other does not carry out a good enough project attempting to fight v the pick/rub.

Fourth, if friend watched the game, you’re conscious the officials repeatedly let both sides obtain away with very physical play. These room just an ext examples of that.