The Joe Moorhead Offense: The Bash Triple Option Appears!

Coach Eric Boles Analysis

Some time ago, I wrote an article about three plays that I would like to see added to Coach Marcus Arroyo’s playbook, the offensive coordinator at that time. They weren’t schemes that I thought would actually show up, but ones that would compliment the offense and was mostly wishful thinking on my part. Well one of those plays was deployed by Coach Joe Moorhead against the Washington State Cougars this last season. Let’s learn some more Oregon Football!

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The Bash Triple Option

Truthfully, the play design is not exactly like the one that I previously wrote about, but it’s close enough to make me excited. The topic of discussion is the Bash Triple Option of which kind of the reverse of roles from Chip Kelly’s Straddled Triple Option. One option in the STO is a running back (RB) running the Inside Zone in one direction, with a Speed Double Option of the quarterback (QB) and another RB going the other direction. In this Bash Triple Option, the roles of the RB running the Inside Zone and the QB are reversed, or Inverted.  Hence it is kind of an Inverted Triple Option–let’s see what I mean…

The blocking scheme for the inside option in the Bash Triple Option is pretty straight-forward since it is just Inside Zone blocking. The difference is that the zone blocking works towards the quarterback’s direction as the RB runs naked (outside of the OL’s blocking scheme).

In this scheme the QB is tasked with reading the frontside play EMOL (end man on line). See the screenshot at the top of the article to see the defender “read” by the QB. If the defender widens or moves outward with the RB, the QB pulls the ball and follows the inside zone blocking upfield behind the offensive line. He’ll look for a hole and run to daylight. Should the defender crash on the QB, the RB will get the ball from the mesh handoff and run to the perimeter.

Once the RB has the ball on the outside–he has the option to pitch it to the second RB on the play! This decision is made off of a secondary read of the apex/overhang defender. There is also another decision that the QB can make before the snap, as Coach Moorhead also has a slant pass option to the backside. If the opportunity presents itself, the QB can abort the three run options and throw the slant. (Four options?!)

Coach Moorhead pulled the Bash Triple Option out on a two-point conversion attempt that worked perfectly. In the video above, the EMOL crashes on the QB prompting a handoff. Travis Dye gets the ball and takes it to the edge and easily gets to the end-zone. Unfortunately, a penalty for having to many players in the backfield reversed the conversion. If the overhang defender had come down on Dye sooner, the pitch to CJ Verdell would have been wide open!

The Bash Triple Option is a fantastic concept and something that I hope to see again in the future. Coach Moorhead has shown off some great play designs in the previous shortened season, and should have Duck fans excited to see what comes next with his offense in 2021.

Coach Eric Boles
Newark, Ohio
Top Photo Credit: Pac-12 Video

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