Running Game Pros and Cons


A few people seem to believe that our stagnant offense seems to be on the shoulders of one individual. There are many of variables that affect play outcome (the latter portion of play-calling). In this instance, let’s focus on the offensive line and how it relates to scheme. Some times it works, sometimes it doesn’t. You should also understand that we run a power-spread and that requires zone-blocking to be successful (yes, we have a run first system). No need to get into details on alignment, the focus will be on the blocking of the offensive line. Here’s just a few instances (other games bring back too much hurt i.e.Tulsa, Tulane, Memphis), but you’re more than welcome to add to it.

1a. 2 backers in the middle of the field are free, before the snap. We have 5 linemen and an in-line TE on the left side. They have 4 down linemen. We have a numbers advantage on the line, to start.

1b. This looks like a Trap play and the guard pulls to pick up our outside man. Little do they know is the LG is getting rather skinny and going to pick up the other backer.

1c. Boom! We have a hat on a hat. Both linemen are making second level blocks, and here comes Catalon.

1d. We now need the reciever to make his block. He does, and by design, Catalon has one man to beat.

1e. Catalon is gone; tackled at the other end of the field.

2a. This is a play were they don’t execute the zone blocks ,and second level players are running free. It’s a good thing the defense was in zone (maybe the OC anticipated they would be), because Catalon has to find a way to make a million people miss.

2b. Not sure if this was a counter and linemen forgot to pull or Catalon decided to cut-back. The in-line TE gives the DE a clean lane and picks up CB.

2c. There are lot of white helmets around Duke, given the blocking scheme. He has to really work for this score. The appropriate blocking scheme would make it easier (see example 1.)

2d. Somehow he scores. lol


1a. TE motions to pick up a defender.

1b. TE keeps going and leaves LB’s free.

1c. The TE,LT, and C allow their respective men free.

1d. King has to scramble and is faking as if it was pass, in order to confuse defenders for a running lane. They know that TE’s can’t block while the ball is in the air so it was a clear option play.

1e. It’s obvious what will happen at this point when linebackers are left unblocked. King goes down.

2a. late in the 3rd, obvious running play on 2nd and goal.

2b. The ball is snapped and pad level is huge here; Navy has the O-Line almost laying down.

2c. Josh Jones saves the day as he recovers and gets to the second level.

2d. Jones slows down the last person who could make a play on King.

2e. Though the result was a touchdown, you want JJ to drive the defender out of the back of the end zone because he’s still able to go at King. Understanding context, imagine if this play was ran at midfield. It would have been considered a "bad"play, given one missed block.



1b. What’s interesting about this play is, schematically you knew you would have a free man if the guard moves up to the second level. Why not motion the TE back into the H to pick him up? The G goes for the LB, leaving a man free.

1c. Car is lucky to have made the free defender miss. Both Guards get up field and save the play.

1d. Rogers is just running up the field looking for someone to pancake at this point.

1e. Car is taken down, way down field.

We are at our best when we can zone block. I have yet to find a chunk running play without this type of blocking. If the running game starts to sputter, the previously mentioned issues most likely will be the cause.

Go Coogs!

(PortlandCoog) #2

Wow, great analysis! careful, you’re actually talking football here… what gives?


lol Just trying to view our struggles objectively as possible. I don’t believe for a second we were that bad this year. We just need to be more technically sound on offense.


Good stuff. So you think everyone blames on person…OC? I for one am of the opinion that most play results are because of player performance…blocking or not blocking, Tackling or not tackling, etc. Obviously, schemes and play calls contribute as well. Sometimes a Rb can save a play like Catalon did, sometimes they run wrong hole. There are player mistakes on every play…one side or both. If not every play would be a stalemate.

Our run game was inconsistent and crapped out at inopportune times…Goaline, short yardage and vs some bad run defenses, Tulsa and Tulane. Also the Hurry up short yardage game backfired on us…and put us at disadvantage in box sometimes resulting in fails.


One other issue is our play calling got very predictable. Could watch game and call from the stands alot of times what play we would run next.

Hopefully with King getting alot more reps we can add to the playbook.

(PortlandCoog) #6

I agree with you. People want Air Raid. I want wins.

(Al) #7

I just hate it when someone brings in real analysis vs fire the OC, HC, AD, etc. C’mon…

Nice work. Thanks.

(PortlandCoog) #8

I know, I’d rather assert uninformed opinions. Come on! This is the internet!


I feel like this is a thing that people think is more of an issue than it is.

First, I’ve been over this before, but football ultimately comes down to execution. A well-designed offense perfectly executed is literally unstoppable. Most modern offenses – the Air Raid, the Flexbone, and yes, Applewhite’s scheme – rely on the ability to execute a relatively small number of plays pretty effectively. It doesn’t matter if the opponent knows what’s coming, if you get stopped for a loss, that’s a failure of execution.

Second, fans typically think the offense is a lot more predictable than it is. You may be able to predict that they’re going to run the ball to the inside, but what gap are they running to? Is it a dive, or a trap, or an inside counter? All of that makes a substantial difference in how effective the play is and how the defense should play it.

(Mike Higdon) #10

I want wins too. But a little more excitement and long gains are always nice too.


Is 7 enough?
You mean wins like we had vs Tulsa and Tulane?

(Eric Prado) #12

No 7 is not enough. But does Air-Raid guarantee more than 7? Let’s ask TT


The implication of the statement I quoted was that this offense wins and Air Raid doesn’t. My response is that this offense doesn’t guarantee wins any more than Air Raid does


I thought he meant whatever the offense, it’s wins we want. If 3 yards and cloud of dust gets it done, so be it!


Doubtful… plenty of posters on here saying Air Raid can’t win championships. CMA even says championship teams run the ball. All I’m saying is just because you run the ball (or try) doesn’t mean you win championships espcially when you’re a run first team that doesn’t run the ball well

BTW I’ve never advocated for Air Raid before anyone accuses me of that. I’d like more balance than that. But I don’t like this offense


Not everyone, some people. It’s a lazy cop out and is quite annoying to say the least. I figured I’d try to contribute to objective conversation, instead of over simplifying the problem. I agree it’s a collection of misfires.


I don’t know if it’s predictable; run plays have different variations out of the same alignments. They also affect the defense differently (as intended). I always use the Academy schools (Navy, Army, Air Force) as examples. We know the run is coming on 95% of the plays right? The question is why are they so tough to stop then? They do everything really well. We also have an advantage of not being in obvious running formations like those schools. I’m not making excuses; we need to clean it up. However, every play should work if Academy schools can get their “predictable” offenses to move the ball.

(Eric Prado) #18


Bingo! Claim your prize sir!


I know that if executed it should be unstoppable. But same could be said for defense. My issue is we seem to have the same tendencies on certain downs and distances and the defense can game plan for this.