The idea of the Oregon Ducks perhaps adding the GoGo offense is an exciting one. As we’ve learned from Coach Mosier and Mr. FishDuck the last couple days, the GoGo is an offense that can give defenses all kinds of fits. Though the GoGo can apply substantial pressure in the run game through its unique, twin-back formations, that pressure makes the GoGo’s pass concepts all that more difficult to defend. One of these pass concepts is the Mesh Wheel concept, which takes on added effectiveness within the GoGo scheme.
Coach Brennan Marion, like Coach Joe Moorhead, likes to use a West Coast passing scheme, and his mesh wheel is a twist on the classic mesh concept. As with West Coast versions of the mesh, the GoGo uses a shallow crossing route by the wide receiver. But the GoGo adds two running backs into the mix. As with the classic concept, Coach Marion’s version is especially effective against man coverage but has built-in answers to zone coverage as well.
Let’s first appreciate the kind of stress this play puts on the linebacker. The fact that both running backs are aligned to the same side of the formation means that the middle linebacker (MLB) is going to have to high-tail it out of the box to keep up with the inside running back bellying out on a wheel route. That is a tall order for a MLB. It’s also risky business for the defense to shift their MLB out the box with the still-existing threat of a run play to the second back and/or quarterback.
The outside receiver to the left of the formation runs your basic shallow crossing route through the belly of the defense. If the defense is playing man, he’s going to carry the corner with him. This receiver will be responsible for rubbing the linebacker in an effort to free the running back on his wheel route. If the defense is in zone, the wide receiver has the option to break his route off and settle into the void under the linebacker.
The way that the RBs run their routes, with the wider back running up the seam, can also create a bit of a rub on the overhang defender or middle linebacker. This can also help free up the RB running the wheel up the sideline. It’s yet another GoGo bonus created by aligning both RBs to the same side of the formation.
In the clip above, the defense looks to be in a robber scheme, a type of hybrid man coverage. The shallow route carries the corner across the field with enough depth to affect the middle linebacker. The physicality that takes place between the overhang and the wide RB spills into the MLB’s lap, creating a natural rub that leaves the second RB open down the sideline.
This mesh concept is just one of many possibilities within the GoGo offense. It’s a scheme that puts a lot of stress on opposing defenses, an objective of all offenses. The possibility of these concepts being added to the system Coach Joe Moorhead is building at Oregon is extremely intriguing!
Coach Eric Boles
Top Photo Credit: Tom Corno
Phil Anderson, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is a trial lawyer in Bend Oregon.
Eric resides in Central Ohio, just outside the capital city of Columbus. He is a former offensive assistant and return game coordinator for the Ohio State – Newark/Central Ohio Technical College Titans football program.
He is an OSU-N graduate, having completed a Bachelor of Arts program in psychology.
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