Breaking Down the GoGo Offense: An Option at Oregon?

Jeremy Mosier Analysis 51 Comments

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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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Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Want a Forum to discuss Oregon Sports every day, without the TROLLS?

Yes, the Our Beloved Ducks Forum is coming in the next two weeks!

What we have here is so rare and special, and now it will expand into a full forum where we can discuss all the topics of Oregon sports.

In this forum we will have the safest, most civilized discussion of all things Ducks anywhere, and I was told that this goal of civilized discourse is impossible, yet we know we can create the safest forum out there since we have successfully created a GREEN REFUGE with our enforced decorum for three years now!

Thanks for your patience,

Mr. FishDuck

Coach Eric Boles

Good stuff, Coach!

As far as installing some of the GoGo, I don’t see it being incredibly difficult to do. This would have been on the coaches’ radar since interviews for the WR coach position took place. If it is something that Coach Moorhead is interested in using, he would have had plenty of time to fit it with his playbook. At that point, it just becomes another part of your offensive install.

Plus, we probably won’t end up running the GoGo formations near as often a Coach Marion does.

Jon Joseph



That should put them out of playoff contention as they both will now have, at best only 6 total games played. I don’t see how the playoff committee could select them.

David Marsh

Also… looks like Washington v Cal is cancelled this weekend due to COVID.

That is a scinario that Oregon MUST avoid to make it into the conversation for the playoff.


Cal still has just one positive test and that player is asymptomatic, per source. Local health authorities’ contact tracing protocols disqualified too many other players from being able to participate.

Jon Joseph

Beat me to it Dave. A ‘no contest’ for both teams.

BTW, ESPN announced the firing of 300 employees and the removal of 200 open positions that were open.

But, ESPN is going to pay big $ for the Pac-12 media rights come 2024?

Why, oh why, did not the people in charge of the Pac-12 take the ESPN Media offer last year?

David Marsh

I was too busy to comment on stuff yesterday so it may have already been said…

But I would love to see this offense on the field for Oregon this year for one major reason… we have 3-5 runningbacks that the coaching staff are high on. The goal of so many offenses is to put a team’s best players on the field to get them in a place to make plays. This could get multiple Oregon runningbacks on the field at the same time. Just think of a defense having to account for the QB (whoever it is), Verdell, AND then Dye or CHL or Dollars? That’s a headache waiting to happen.

Jon Joseph

I’d love to see this too. But more RPOs with the QB a run threat will also be fine with me.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

And…if the defensive backs peek into the backfield to see if they have to take on an option play coming their direction…the receiver slips past them deep, and Touchdown!


This is what I liked most after reading about it this morning. It requires decisions by the defense that the offense can counter very quickly in many ways, as illustrated by horizontal & vertical space being created.

The GoGo plays will require the D to recognize them and respond quickly. If not, it will get burned for chunk yardage. The Ducks have the personnel to exploit opponents with GoGo sets. The GoGo yields many moving parts to defend.


Just for fun: The highest ranked team Notre Dame coached by Brian Kelly has beaten was #8 Stanford in 2018. This Saturday they play #1 Clemson. I think that Clemson with their back-up 5* QB beats Notre Dame. ESPN analyst Trevor Matich, picks Notre Dame.

David Marsh

If we see the Clemson defense that showed up against Boston College in the second half last week I think Clemson walks away with it. If we see the first half defense against BC I think it’s a jump ball.

Jon Joseph

Good call.

Although the fumble returned for a TD, a 14 point swing, was not on the D.

Jon Joseph

The last top 5 match up ND won was against FSU in 1993!

Clemson has 7 such victories since 2015; including, a beat down of nd in a playoff semi-final game.

I like Clemson because I think the Clemson D can stop the ND run game and the ND passing attack is marginal. I have Clemson at -6.5 and I ‘middled’ my bet when the line dropped to -5.5. Kind of like Insurance at the 21 table? But, Clemson still has to cover by at least 6 points or I lose both bets.

Matich is one of the few ‘experts’ I have seen going with ND.

Unfortunately, ND/Clemson tees off at the same time as does the Ducks game.

Thank goodness for these ‘new fangled recording machines.’ Back in the day both games would likely have kicked off around 1 PM?


Pac-12 football programs need a minimum of 53 scholarship players to be able to play a football game this season, per conference policy.

Cal has one positive case (as of Wednesday). That requires 31 new positive cases Thursday to cancel the Saturday opener vs Washington.


This isn’t entirely true, the rules state “Teams must have at least 53 scholarship players — including one quarterback, four defensive linemen and seven offensive linemen” my guess is The issue stems in their Dline n which they only have 6 players scholarshipped anyway.

The other issue comes to the city of Berkeley has some of the strictest quarantine rules in the nation. so the exposed players in the Dline room may all have to quarantine for a number of days even though their tests are negative.

Jon Joseph

Right. The entire CAL D line would not have been able to play.

Will these 2 play in game 7?


After reading yesterday’s post and today’s. I am fairly confident we will see this during the season. My guess is they won’t use it till later in the season that way they can keep practicing it and then throw it in to confuse either cal or washington when we get to the game. My guess is to lead up to this we may see some more 21 personnel with Dollars and Dye lining up in the slot/2 back shotgun formation.

I’d also keep an eye out for some 30 personnel formations in the gogo. with the two offset RB’s and another RB in the pistol. Overall it’ll be interesting to see if the staff thinks of this shortened season as a wash and experiments on play design a lot more or if they keep it closed due to the limited practice. I’d think that due to the lack media at practices they could get away with testing and installing a lot of different things.


Yesterday Charles told us of the Huskies barking about Cougar fans getting seats. Of course they never stop howling.

The media does not like Washington that much this year.

Wilner thinks we will really suck, Thinks WSU will Beat us? Caple thinks we lose at home to Stanford? Fan sizes just posted a blog that suggests UW finishes 7the in the PAC. For the love of god man? Crazy talk.
My predictions for what it’s worth.
We beat Cal. We likely beat the rest, until we get to Oregon. That will be a battle. But if were healthy and the O really starts to click. We beat them. I predict we win the North. Worse case, 2nd in the North. If we host USC at Washington in the middle of winter. We will win that too. Go Dawgs!

Jon Joseph

Wilner likes CAL but still predicts an L for CAL at Oregon State, and 1 more L. In his opinion CAL wins the north at 4-2 with a W over the Ducks.



Yep, his is legitimate as any can be picking games from the start. But the contradictions such as the Team winning the North losing to the team picked to finish last in the North render it as nothing more than musing with a headline.


I think it all comes down to execution of the play called. My concern is we can’t even run the pistol well and we are adding another, the GOGO.

My hope is Moorhead is able to get everyone running what is called with precision. If it is the pistol then let’s have everyone carry out their jobs with gusto. If it is the GOGO then let’s have everyone know what to do and how to do it.

Too many options often means you don’t do anyone of them well. My vote is we keep it simple until we can bring this new offense up to speed.

I love we are talking about something innovative, but let’s be real about what is possible to be really good at with only a few weeks to prepare. It is the team that executes that wins, not just innovates.


Yep, getting to many NEW things on the plate only leads to confusion. New OC, new offensive scheme, new OL, new QB, new water boy.

It was politely pointed out to me yesterday that GOGO is really spelled GoGo. I didn’t ask about the pronunciation differences.


Same as GO DUCKS vs Go Ducks.


You got it.


Don’t forget no Puddles either, a lot to digest for a program their first game back.

I think the capitalization is referred to as yelling at people rather than just speaking in a regular voice. I just hope the GoGo doesn’t lead to people yelling GOGO, to the GoGo!


It’s all in how one pronounces it.

Jon Joseph

Is there a possibility of a Puddles fly-over? Hopefully, directly over the Stanford bench?

Jon Joseph

From 1890s into the early 1960s, Charles was the Ducks water boy, earning team MVP honors on 4 occasions.

Unfortunately, Charles could not adopt to the world of Gator Aid and there has been a lot of turn over at this position since.


The truth comes out. Great hidden facts to ponder.


Moorehead has described his offense as easy to learn. We will find out soon enough. This team is obviously replacing key personnel and installing a new offense, therefore I don’t see him throwing the entire playbook at Stanford. He will roll out more of his playbook as the season progresses.

I think our defense will buy this team some time to gain game experience and cover up some of the inevitable execution errors. It’s what the team does after making those mistakes that will define this abbreviated season.

Jon Joseph

And the schedule could not be kinder with UCLA replacing USC and the on-paper big games vs CAL and UW, in week 5 and 6.


This is reminiscent of the wishbone. I would like to see how the running backs are used in the passing game as receivers. I really like the way the 49ers attack teams with their wide receivers in the running game. A guy like Redd is a Swiss army knife.


Nice points ptdduck.

Jon Joseph

Good call. But very few wishbone QBs could pass the ball effectively.

I think this a lot like what Art Briles ran at Baylor? Before Art was run off.


A lot of moving parts to account for in the backfield. If nothing else it creates a lot of movement that is distracting to the eyes of the defensive backs. A moment of hesitation is all that you need to gain a distinct advantage. Add an uptempo pace and mysterious defensive injuries start to happen.

The second back concept is brilliant. The defense has to account for that back, or pay a huge price. An all out blitz can be quickly countered. Installing a block of plays from this formation would not be that difficult for an offense already running an RPO scheme.

Only two days before our new offense gets unveiled. I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas morning…Can’t wait.

Go Ducks.

Lou Farnsworth

Thanks for the analysis Coach. I like the stresses that GoGo offers. And as you’ve shown us, the horizontal vs. vertical is certainly something that Coach Joe could have fun exploiting. We know he likes to run a lot of 11 personnel, but with the question marks surrounding our TE room ATM, I don’t think we would be surprised to see some GoGo out of 20 personnel.

Thanks again Coach. Nice take!

Jon Joseph

I’m old enough to recall goin’ to a go-go. At least, I think I can so recall?

Lou Farnsworth

Chuckle…yeah Jon….those memories from the 70s are 50+ years ago for us. Accuracy drops off exponentially it would seem huh?


Thanks for the details coach.

Yesterday we talked about this a lot in the comments and everyone seemed very interested thats why your details are giving it life. It is definitely something I would like to see in our playbook but maybe not for this year. To many new things right now to add anymore.

This also begs the question of how does a defense defend against it ??


It is new. But with a new OC, new OL, new QB, everything is new to them, so I say let’s see some GO-GO, instead of Bob Dylan, I’ve got The Go Go’s, “We’ve Got The Beat” rockin’ round in my head!. I really like the “diversionary element” you featured, and you concluded by showing how both horizontal & vertical space is created.

Jon Joseph

The day disco died, THAT was a very good day.


Disco Demolition Night was a Major League Baseball (MLB) promotion on Thursday, July 12, 1979, at Comiskey Park in ChicagoIllinois, that ended in a riot. At the climax of the event, a crate filled with disco records was blown up on the field between games of the twi-night doubleheader between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers. Many of those in attendance had come to see the explosion rather than the games and rushed onto the field after the detonation. The playing field was so damaged by the explosion and by the fans that the White Sox were required to forfeit the second game to the Tigers.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

To me, the coaches know best. I am not going to say “they should” or should not add this offense or parts of it. The coaches know if 1) they want to run it, and 2) how much of it to install.

Defending it is the same as a Spread; each defender has keys to watch for, assignments and responsibilities and has to follow them and defeat the blocks.

Jon Joseph

Redundancy Alert! But why not try this out in this ‘throw away’ season?


I would hate to wast a season when we have a slight chance of making the playoffs this year. Even Kirk Herbstreit can see a path for Oregon this season, so it must be true, RIGHT ??


Washington can’t help from hurting Oregon, even indirectly. Oregon needs to look more impressive than any team besides Alabama, Clemson & Ohio State to have a chance. Now 2 of the other teams in the North will have at best 6 games played at season’s end, only diminishing winning the division, conference.


You don’t think that Washington would cancel the game with the Ducks at the last min, because of the virus (of course), just to prevent Oregon from completing its full venue of games, 6 + 1, and prevent them from going to the playoffs with a total of 6 games played in place of the 7 planned ??

I’m not sure they could pull that off if they wanted to. But !


Washington fans have shown that they really do derive more joy from something bad happening to Oregon than something good happening to Washington. Granted there has been more of the former than the latter.