Film Study: The Unsung Heroes of Lindsey Lamar's Kickoff Return

I wanted to go back and recognize a few of the guys who made Lindsey Lamar's kickoff return for a touchdown possible last Saturday. Of course Lamar had a critical role in his own big play, but he got a lot of help downfield from some players whose names don't get called very often. Let's go frame by frame and fix that.

Lamar fields the kickoff right on the goal line and heads up the middle.

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As Lamar is approaching the 20-yard line, notice Donte Spires on the left side of the picture at about the 25. He's engaging a Louisville defender, linebacker Eugene Sowell...

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and through the next couple of frames…

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he pushes Sowell back a good five yards to let Lamar run by him. (We also can't forget the block on Dominique Brown at the 22-yard line by both Andreas Shields and Richard Kelly, which helps create the lane for Lamar to run through.)

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Then as Spires falls at the end of his block, another defender (Preston Brown) falls over the top of him to take himself out of the play.

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As Lamar approaches the 40-yard line, it looks like he's going to be brought down, as Chris Philpott, the kicker, and I think that's Shenard Holton are waiting for him. Although Lamar is getting a couple of nice blocks from Armando Sanchez (on Troy Pascley) and Mark Joyce (who wipes out Deon Rogers), this appears to be the end of the play.

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BUT NO! as Howard Cosell used to say. Lamar slips through the tackle attempt (a feeble one at that by Philpott) and keeps running.

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Lamar makes another player miss (Scott Radcliff) as he crosses midfield.

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Lamar is into Louisville territory at this point, but he's out ahead of his blockers.

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So as Lamar angles himself to the sideline, he slows down a little bit to let Victor Marc, Andrew Ketchel, and Sanchez get in front of him. There's no way Lamar gets to the end zone without waiting for his blockers to catch up and pass him.

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Now the blocks that will guide Lamar to the end zone are lining up. First, Marc shoves Dominique Brown to the turf as Lamar tightropes the sideline and eludes Darius Ashley. (You can also see Ketchel at the top of the screen picking up Pascley again to make sure he doesn't get an angle.)

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Lamar is almost home free, and in case he needs him, Armando Sanchez is nearby if he needs to peel back and make sure Sowell or Hakeem Smith (who comes flying in out of nowhere) doesn't trip up Lamar just short of the goal line.

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But it's not necessary as Lamar beats them to the goal line for the touchdown.

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