Gritty Clayton Tune Comes Through For The Coogs

Clayton Tune willed his team to a three-overtime victory Saturday afternoon at the Alamodome. Despite anemic offensive numbers through three quarters, Tune ran the ball seven times in the 4th quarter and overtime for 56 yards and a touchdown. He followed that touchdown with a fantastic throw to Nathaniel Dell, who made a great play to stay in bounds and convert the two-point play.

Tune showed his grit most on the two-point conversions in overtime: the throw to Dell and his eight-yard acrobat score that ended up as the game-winner. Of course, the AirTune flip will be the lasting highlight, and it should be, but the throw to Dell was a damn good football play.

After scoring a touchdown on a QB draw in the second OT, Tune lined his team up in a four-wide set: KeSean Carter and Matthew Golden to the right and Nathaniel Dell and Joseph Manjack to the left.

Golden runs a slant route from the right side while Carter is in a rub route, giving Carter space over the middle. On the left, Manjack is supposed to run a slant as well, but he tries to run a fade route. The corner pushes him to the boundary, making a mess of things for the offense.

Tank Dell was supposed to run to the corner, but with Manjack deeper and wider than him, he had to cut it off into a dig route.

At the snap, Christian Trahan, lined up as an H back, pulls inside to block, leaving Patrick Paul on the defensive end. The end goes around Paul and uses a swim move to get in Tune’s face. As he threw it, there did not look like much of a window.

Tune immediately understood what happened with the routes to the left and adjusted perfectly. He stayed in the pocket and delivered the ball to Dell in the only window he had. He had to go high, had to go to the sideline, and had to split two defenders.

All credit goes to Dell for his focus, great catch, and having the presence of mind to get his foot in. But Clayton Tune made a helluva play: a year ago, he would not have made that throw. Saturday, he was poised and pinpoint accurate.

In real-time, Dana Holgorsen did not think Dell had a foot in bounds but was glad to be wrong. In praising his QB after the game, Dana said that Tune “made the most incredible throw, cause that ball was not thrown where it was supposed to. It was thrown where it had to be.”

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