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Weapons to watch: Miami and the back shoulder fade

With the ability of Stephen Morris to throw the deep ball to Miami's burners (Phillip Dorsett runs a sub 4.3, Herb Waters and Stacy Coley run just at 4.4), the back shoulder fade is the perfect weapon for the Hurricanes already explosive offense to evolve to another stratosphere.


The rocket armed QB comes up to the line of scrimmage. He spots the corner, who he has seemingly punished all day long with "9 routes" playing press coverage. He gives his WR a nod, and snaps the ball. The corner, determined to not find himself on the wrong end of Sportscenter's top 10 plays of the weekend, runs stride for stride with his counterpart. Nonetheless the QB releases a tight spiral toward his target's back shoulder. Before the defender knows what hits him, the wide out twists to make the catch and the DB either face-guards helplessly or twists back the wrong direction in complete futility.

Ah the back shoulder fade!

It's the football version of the back door cut. It requires perfect execution but done properly it is equally impossible to defend.

This throw is any offense's unstoppable weapon to scorch even stronger, faster cornerbacks. It uses that speed and size against them. Stride for stride, CBs are helpless, because by the time they see the ball it's in the receiver's hands.

Of course it isn't as simple as it sounds. The QB has to make a pinpoint throw into a small window. The WR must not give away the ball is coming, and often needs to corkscrew his body to make the catch.

It's very much about timing and feel.  This is something that gets better as QBs and WRs develop with experience and practice. Fortunately for UM they have a senior QB in Morris, who with the exception of the freshman Coley, has worked with all of his top targets aplenty.  Because of their size and soft hands (plus we have seen them make this catch), look for Waters and senior Allen Hurns to be the primary targets when Morris goes back shoulder.  Of course, once he gets comfortable Coley could get in on the action, as could junior Rayshawn Scott. Morris not only has the deep throw ability to set this up,  but the accuracy to execute it.

Here's a sample of what it looks like when Morris has it going.  Look for a lot more back shoulder fades this season, and thus the 'Canes to put some ridiculous #s, and show some serious red zone efficiency!

(Special thanks to SOTU Video coordinator Josh Kaufman for putting this highlight together)

If you're wondering where you might have seen this play before, well if you have watched all-world Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers over the past 3 or so years....


Executed properly, It's basically unstoppable!!