After three weeks of college football, the Oregon Ducks offense has emphatically declared its identity. They are a physical unit based around the run game, that is also going to stretch defenses both horizontally and vertically through the air; they’re going to attack.
One of the run concepts that these Ducks have used to set a tone the last couple of weeks is an interesting twist on the classic Zone Read; an Arc Zone Read. This is play that the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers have used to great success over the last few seasons, and one that Coach Kenny Dillingham looks to capitalize on.
From the backside (left) guard to the playside tackle, everything is the same as it would be in a traditional zone read play. If covered, (above) the OL will block that defender. If uncovered, he will look to the next playside (right side) gap and help double team a first level defender before climbing to the second level (Linebackers). Where the difference comes in is the blocking of the backside (left) tackle. His job is to arch to the backside, acting as a lead for the quarterback, if he should he pull the ball on the “read” and run.
The tight end in the wing slices across the formation to cut off any backside pursuit, while the QB reads the backside defensive lineman. If the DL stays put or gets wide, the QB will hand the ball off to the running back. If the DL crashed down after the running back, then the QB will pull the ball and follow the arc.
In the video above, Bo Nix gets the give read from the DL (No. 93) and hands the ball off to Noah Whittington for a six-yard gain. You can also see that had the DL crashed, Nix could have picked up huge yardage behind an arching T.J. Bass.
The Arc Zone Read is a concept that has the ability to lend itself to a variety of wrinkles. It’s a concept that could very easily become a triple option through motion, or it could have a RPO attached to it. The possibilities are vast and give us something to look for as Coach Dillingham’s offense continues to expand.
Coach Eric Boles
Top Photo Credit: Eugene Johnson
Phil Anderson, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is a trial lawyer in Bend Oregon.
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.
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