The Tape: Deon Butler Does Something Amazing That Vanishes

  1. Penn: 2 WR (left), Butler (right), TE (left), RB. Brett Brackett motions from the left slot to the right tight end. Snap. Play action. Butler runs a looping in-route that resembles an italicized seven. He's a decoy. Brackett comes open underneath and receives for eight.
  2. Penn: 2 WR (left), WR (right), TE (right), RB (left), shotgun. Butler is five yards off the left sideline. Will Harris gives him a five yard cushion. Butler quickly eats it up, but does not factor.
  3. Option right. Butler does not factor.
  4. Butler subs out.
  5. Penn: 2 WR (left), WR (right), TE (left), RB. Right wide receiver Derrick Williams motions in. Snap. Williams runs behind the line. Free safety Taylor Mays blitzes. Darryl Clark finds Williams coming open off-tackle. Butler, about ten yards deep and transitioning from running a route to blocking, gets into an unidentified Trojan's body and shoves him hard. The Trojan's momentum, aided somewhat by the block, causes him to tumble sideways and away from Williams. Williams runs for 11 and the first.

Then this happens...

  1. Penn: Starts with 2 WR (left), motions the left slot receiver into the right slot, motions Deon Butler the right slot receiver into the left tight end spot, and ends WR (left), 2 WR (right), TE, Butler (left), RB (right), shotgun. It's complex and something bad happens. USC is in a 3-4 with the left outside linebacker shaded down towards the line. Snap. Clark motions play action. Butler fades slightly and fakes block. Clark turns, drop-steps. Butler turns and burns, easily outpacing Brian Cushing and settling in between Cushing (trailing) and Josh Pinkard (over top). The pass is high-arcing and Butler slows to stay under it. Cushing closes to within two. Pinkard closes; lowers his shoulder. Butler receives, splits Pinkard and Cushing using a cross-body shove and a tight spin move, evades Pinkard's tackle and angles right and away from Cushing. Cushing outstretches an arm and attempts to wrap, but Butler easily breaks free and continues in and up field. Cushing is left behind, prostrate. Butler evades Ray Maualuga, cuts so he's running parallel to the goal line, is capped by Kevin Thomas, and stops. Squares, is nearly back-sided by a recovering Will Harris, jump-jukes back and left, watches Harris stumble past, redirects upfield-and-left away from Thomas and a still lurching Harris, is now surrounded by eight USC defenders including three between him and the end zone, runs five yards, runs behind Penn receiver Brett Brackett, slides under and through his block and stumbles to the turf for 45.

I wish I could show you it. It's beautiful really. It's a hard clip to find, because technically it never happened. Butler, yes Butler himself, committed a ticky-tack illegal shift, beginning ever so too early. Ever so slightly before Derrick Williams was set, Butler shifted left and because that the play was erased. He might have fumbled, too. No one really checked.

Pictures and the rest of the drive tomorrow.

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