If there’s one thing that this Oregon Ducks offense does better than any before, it’s the screen game. Not only has Coach Marcus Arroyo designed some very effective screen plays, but he also has an uncanny feel for calling them at just the right time. This kind of success leads to even more effective constraint plays.
Multiple times this season, Oregon has gone to a fake screen/go concept after torching defenses with a variety of screen passes, and against the Arizona State Sun Devils, it emerged again.
The fake screen/go concept (above) is exactly what it says it is. After receiving the snap, the quarterback pump fakes to the wideout running a “now” screen and then fires the ball downfield to the slot on a go route. It’s really that simple, but it’s quite devastating for opposing defenses.
In the case that the defense doesn’t bite, the Ducks also run a kind of smash/seam concept to the other side. On that side of the field, the outside receiver runs a slant and sit while the slot goes downfield on the seam. The first read on this concept is the seam as the offense tries to stretch the field.
Of course, the smash/seam becomes unnecessary when the fake screen and go works as well as it has for the Ducks this season. Above, Oregon runs the play to perfection against ASU in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game. You’ll notice how Johnny Johnson III sells the illusion that he’s blocking for the now screen before releasing downfield. Just as impressive is the pump fake from Justin Herbert, and the act of a leaping grab by Josh Delgado.
All of these pieces come together in a perfectly orchestrated play for six points.
The cool thing is that this is all set up by what has been an extraordinarily effective screen game by the Ducks this season. I can’t remember a time when the Ducks have used wide receiver screens as often, or as well. And when a team runs them as successfully as Oregon has, the constraint plays off of them become easy money.
Coach Eric Boles
Newark, Ohio Top Photo Credit: Irina Filenko
Eric Boles was born and raised in Central Ohio, 25 minutes outside of the capital of Columbus. He was raised in a University of Michigan sports household, but at a young age, converted over to the Oregon Ducks. Eric has a degree in Psychology from The Ohio State University, and had started a second degree in Middle Childhood Education. He is also the author of one, soon to be more, children’s book.
Eric had served as an assistant wide receivers coach for the Central Ohio Technical College football program. Now he assists with the football camp provided by his local YMCA’s day camp.
FishDuck Going to Articles on Monday and Tuesday Only…
Our off-season schedule begins, and we move from publishing articles seven days a week to Mondays and Tuesdays only. Same great group of writers, and we will have an article on other days on occasion.
The Our Beloved Ducks Forum (OBD) is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there. At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.
Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) do not tell anyone what to think, feel or write, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!
OBD Forum members….we got your back. No Trolls Allowed!