October 26, 2006

Sneak attack

Exposing a Heisman-caliber quarterback to direct hits doesn't make Charlie Weis an offensive genius. But calling on his quarterback to sneak his way to first downs does suggest the Notre Dame head coach knows how to creatively use his resources.

Brady Quinn snuck his way to four first downs against UCLA, and although the Bruins stood up the Notre Dame quarterback in the fourth quarter to create a turnover on downs, the sneak has been an almost unstoppable running play for the Irish this season. Quinn has rushed for 11 first downs through seven games, helping off set the lack of a short yardage power back with Asaph Schwapp out for the season.

In one drive against UCLA, Quinn converted two 4th-and-1 plays on sneaks. The possession ended with a Carl Gioia field goal just before halftime.

"It's funny, I can't take really a lot of credit for those types of situations, it's really the guys in front of me," Quinn said. "Those guys made a good job of making sure they blow guys off the ball. Being tall and lanky, I have to fall forward and get a yard or so."

Quinn may be tall, listed at 6-foot-4. But the senior can't get away from lanky considering his chiseled, 233-pound frame. The quarterback's mixture of size, stoutness and experience make him the perfect candidate to run the sneak, even if he won't take all the credit for it.

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