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How linebackers should play the cutback

Got these images from the excellent USC Trojan Football Analysis.

Central Florida killed us with a similar play in the third quarter. Replace Ray Maualuga with Rashad Bobino and Keith Rivers with Robert Killibrew.

Now Rivers is a Will and Killibrew a Sam, but their allignment is pretty much the same in both plays.

At the snap of the ball, the USC linebackers don't go running full speed into the waiting arms of a blocker. That's what an offensive lineman wants, to be able to get his hands on you. And by staying back in position, they can minimize any mistakes like reading a false key.

Because both linebackers didn't go running wildly toward flow, they're able to recognize the cutback hole that Marlon Lucky is going to try to exploit. On a play to the outside they should be pursuing inside-out anyway.

And in the last pic we see both linebackers tackling the running back for a 2 yard gain rather than watching him run downfield for a gain of 36.

It's like Woody Allen said, "Eighty percent of success is showing up."