Two-Back Sets in the Kenny Dillingham Offense

Coach Eric Boles Analysis

Two-back sets look to become a big part of the Oregon offense under Coach Kenny Dillingham’s guidance. This is a tactic that Coach Dillingham is accustomed to, serving under Coach Mike Norvell since his days with the Arizona State Sun Devils. The offenses that Coach Dillingham has previously coached have used two-back personnel in a variety of unique ways. Today, we’re going to take a look at a few of those ways.

The first way that Coach Dillingham will use two-back sets with the Ducks is through the traditional 20-personnel. The 20 in this description of the offensive personnel stands for two backs and zero tight ends. This set is how most recognize this personnel package. In the clip above, the Memphis Tigers are in this traditional two back set. The clip is from the 2018 season, a year in which Coach Dillingham had a large role in play-calling. This formation should be particularly recognizable to Oregon fans, as it was common within Coach Chip Kelly’s offense.

Another way that Coach Dillingham will use the two-back set is with 21-personnel. As you would guess, the 21 in the name stands for two running backs and one tight end. Again, the most traditional way this set is run is with two running backs in the backfield with the quarterback, and the tight end in either an H-back or in-line position. In the clip above, the Florida State Seminoles are utilizing two-back personnel with an H-back and hit a Counter for big yards.

One of the more interesting ways that Coach Dillingham uses 21-personnel is by placing one of the running backs in one of the wide receiver positions. In the clip above, the Seminoles start off in a formation that looks very much like a traditional 11-personnel set before motioning the second back into the backfield.

The final way that Coach Dillingham uses 21-personnel, that we’re going to look at, is by having one of the RBs line up in a wing position. This is kind of the same way that the Flexbone offense uses its wingbacks. The above clip shows an RPO play that Coach Dillingham and Coach Norvell have liked to go to with some frequency. It’s a play that we’ll take a closer look at in the near future, but it is a combination of the shovel option and a hi-lo concept.

The two-back set is definitely part of what Coach Dillingham is going to do as the new Oregon Ducks offensive coordinator. Whether it be in the sets we’ve looked at here, or in other unique ways, it is going to be a tactic that that opposing defenses will have to be ready for.

Coach Eric Boles
Newark, Ohio
Top Photo Credit: Twitter

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