Breaking Down the GoGo Offense: An Option at Oregon?

Jeremy Mosier Analysis

The GoGo Offense is unlike anything you have witnessed in college football. While we know Oregon’s coaching staff has been introduced to it, whether we fans will see it this season (or ever) remains educated conjecture. But even if we don’t see the GoGo implemented at Oregon, a quick analysis of this emerging  trend can only add to our collective football IQ. And if Oregon does manage to slip a few GoGo plays into this COVID-condensed season we will all seem that much smarter explaining the GoGo to our football-watching buddies.

Not Just a Zone/RPO Offense

As referenced in Mr. FishDuck’s article yesterday, the GoGo aligns twin running backs to the QB’s side. But other than that, the GoGo Offense doesn’t look all that different than the backfield alignments of today’s Zone-Read, option, and RPO (Run-Pass-Option) offenses with multiple backs surrounding the quarterback. What makes the GoGo unique is its triple run threat that creates even more options for the quarterback and more diversions for the defense, allowing the offense to take even more advantage of vertical and horizontal space.

Use of Horizontal Space

The first two plays above are Zone-Reads, with the running backs taking off in opposite directions at the snap. A staple of the GoGo is that it usually includes a read option for the QB to give the ball to the running back or keep the ball depending on the defense’s reaction at the mesh point. The wider back adds a diversionary element that prevents the end and linebackers from collapsing into the box or keying on the QB.

The third play above is a Zone-Read option. The GoGo allows the offense to support the QB if he keeps the ball by dedicating a blocker or providing a pitch option. This forces the defense to assign two players opposite the primary run play; having a player “stay home” or “spy” the QB is no longer an option with most plays. The third play above also illustrates the twin running backs in an offset “i” to the quarterback’s side.

(FishDuck note: the last two plays in the video above look like Oregon’s old Straddled Triple Option a decade ago but from a different formation and blocking scheme!)


Use of Vertical Space

As Mr. FishDuck pointed out, the GoGo‘s multiple backfield threats create opportunities to stretch the field vertically. A case-in-point is the video above, a Play-Action Pass off the Zone-Read. The horizontal stretch component of the GoGo creates problems for a defense to account for all  options sideline to sideline, often forcing the defense to roll a player down into the box to play the run, leaving only one safety deep. This horizontal stretch opens up access to vertical routes down the field. Here we see a tight end on a vertical post draw both safeties, creating single coverage on a deeper post by the wide receiver.

So many options, so many elements for the defense to defend. Oregon has the dual threat quarterbacks and versatile running backs to make the GoGo go in Eugene. Will we see it? We probably will with other teams, and rumors are that a Playoff-Candidate team has studied this new variation of a Spread-Option offense. (It makes watching that much more exciting this year.)

“Oh how we love to ponder about the GoGo Offense with Our Beloved Ducks!”

Coach Jeremy Mosier
Geneseo, Illinois
Top Photo from YouTube Video

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



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