The Joe Moorhead Offense: The “Duo” Run Play

Coach Eric Boles Analysis

Sometimes in football, the best plays are the most simple plays. That just happens to be the case for a run scheme called “duo.” Coach Joe Moorhead has utilized the duo concept during his time with the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Mississippi State Bulldogs.  He will almost certainly bring the play to the Oregon Ducks offense.


Duo is also a play that is right down Coach Mario Cristobal’s alley; a concept planted firmly in the realm of tough and physical play. Duo is considered to be a close relative to the power play. In fact, when you get down to it, duo is the power play without a pulling guard.

Looking at the play in the diagram above, you can see just how similar duo and power really are. Across the line of scrimmage, every player from the center to the playside tight end have the same responsibilities that they would have in the power concept. The tight end performs a kick-out block on the playside defensive end while the tackle through center all down-block. On many occasions, the tackle will join the guard on a double team block of the defensive tackle.

On the backside of the play the offensive tackle cuts off any backside pursuit, while the guard works in unison with the center on a double team block.

Notice in the video above how easy it is to mistake duo for inside zone, and it often is mislabeled as such. It’s actually designed to get multiple double team blocks by the offensive line, but here the defense brings so many players to the line of scrimmage at the snap that the OL is forced to block man-to-man across the board.

The running back still follows the path where the pulling guard would be in the power play and picks up a first down.

Duo is the perfect play to bring into the fold as Coach Cristobal and company continue to use a run game centered around physicality. This is a play that definitely caters itself to that personality and would be welcome in Autzen Stadium.

Coach Eric Boles
Newark, Ohio

Top Photo Credit: Eugene Johnson

Phil Anderson, the Volunteer editor for this article, is a trial lawyer in Bend Oregon.

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