Late in the third quarter, Robert Marve takes over for Caleb TerBush. It's 1st and 10, and Purdue will run a power off-tackle to the left. Michigan comes out in its
As the ball is snapped, Purdue's right guard (highlighted) pulls across the formation. Michigan rushes its four down linemen while everyone else drops into coverage.
Before the handoff can be completed, Washington has already pushed Purdue's left guard a yard into the backfield and into the pulling lineman.
Washington is still powering through the Purdue guard, which has forced the Purdue back to bounce outside.
By himself, Washington has negated the lead blocker and forced the running back outside where a crew of defenders are waiting.
At this point, the play has been strung out and Washington just puts the Purdue guard on skates.
Three yards behind the line of scrimmage...
... five yards behind the line of scrimmage. Oh, and Jake Ryan made a shoestring tackle.
OK, OK, this was against Purdue, but if I had told you before the year started that Washington would be capable of doing this against any BCS competition, you'd call me crazy. This is just more proof that Mattison and Hoke can turn just about anyone into a good defensive tackle. I assume this play is catnip for the coaching staff in the film room. Washington gets off the ball quickly, gets his hands inside the offensive guard, and drives him straight upfield, single-handedly blowing up the running play despite it not showing up in the box score. Though Washington wasn't this effective on every play, he was often making a difference that didn't show on the scoreboard by taking on double teams and getting good penetration.