At this point in the season, the dominance of the Oregon Ducks’ rushing attack is well established. The Ducks are averaging a solid 227 yards per game on the ground. Their output places them as the tenth best rushing offense in the nation. That’s a 5.6 yards per play average. Their ability to ground and pound opponents has also helped to open things up through the air, as Anthony Brown is throwing for 214 yards per game.
Against the Washington Huskies, Coach Joe Moorhead and the Ducks offense introduced a new Triple Option play from a Tight Bunch formation. This version of the Triple Option is one of Oregon’s base plays, the Slice Zone, but with a pitch man attached to it. Though the Ducks do not run this version of the scheme often, it works as a nice change up to keep defenses on their toes.
Up front, the blocking scheme is the exact same as the Slice Zone. The offensive line blocks classic Inside Zone. If any OL is covered by a first level defender, he will block that defender. If the OL is unblocked, he will look to the next playside gap and either create a double team with his line mate or climb to the second level of defenders. The tight end slices across the formation as a lead blocker on the option.
The Our Beloved Ducks Forum is BACK! Come get the links to Oregon Sports articles, the press releases from the Oregon Athletic Department and the news from your fellow Duck fans. It is the only safe place on the web for Duck Discussion, such as today’s article, so join us over there!
The backside C-gap defender (green circle above) is being read. If the defender stays home, or gets wide, the quarterback will hand the ball off to the running back. From there, the RB will have an aiming point of the centers backside and look to see how the blocking expresses itself before deciding which gap to attack. This is slightly different from how Oregon used to run zone, where the RB’s aiming point was the playside guard.
If the C-gap defender crashes down, the QB will pull the ball and follow the TE around the edge. The QB will also have a pitch option to the wide receiver that orbited around him at the snap of the ball. The pitch will be decided by the overhang, or second level defender responsible for the alley.
In the clip above you can see that the unblocked defender stays home, prompting Brown to give the ball to Travis Dye. While the run only goes for about three yards, it’s obvious how devastating it would have been for the defense had the C-gap defender crashed on Dye. Brown alone could have caused a great deal of damage, let alone the pitch option available to him.
The Tight Bunch Triple Option is a play that I hope to see more of in the final games of the season. It’s a scheme that could cause plenty of problems for the Duck’s remaining opponents.
Coach Eric Boles
Top Photo Credit: Oregon Football Twitter
Come join us in the new Our Beloved Ducks Forum, where you get the news about Oregon Sports and is the safest place on the web to read and post your opinions!
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.
FishDuck Going to Articles on Monday and Tuesday Only…
Our off-season schedule begins, and we move from publishing articles seven days a week to Mondays and Tuesdays only. Same great group of writers, and we will have an article on other days on occasion.
The Our Beloved Ducks Forum (OBD) is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there. At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.
Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) do not tell anyone what to think, feel or write, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!
OBD Forum members….we got your back. No Trolls Allowed!