The Oregon Ducks Offense: Will Stein’s Heavy Veer

Coach Eric Boles Analysis

Though Coach Will Stein’s scheme is chalk-full of Spread Offense elements, it should not be lost that it is also built around key Pro-Style components. An area where this is on full display is in some of the short-yardage concepts he used with the UTSA Roadrunners. Yes, there is a lot of flash to Coach Stein’s offense, but there’s also a lot of tough-nosed football being played, and no play optimizes that more than his Heavy Veer.

Coach Will Stein’s Heavy Veer

Coach Stein’s Heavy Veer is run from 22-personnel (2 Backs, 2 TEs), or 13-personnel depending on how you categorize the H-back position. The play is essentially Inside Zone with a frontside read of the edge defender. All of this is run from a modern version of a two-tight I-formation out of the Pistol.

The blocking in the Heavy Veer is exactly the same as you would see from the Inside Zone. If any of the offensive linemen, or in-line tight ends, are covered up by a defender, they will block that man. If they are left uncovered, they will step to the next playside gap and either aid their linemate on a double team block or move up to the second level of the defense.

Both the backside and frontside edge defenders are left unblocked. The backside because the H-back will slice across the formation and kick that defender out, creating a nice cut-back lane. The frontside is left unblocked to be read by the quarterback. If he stays wide or sits, the QB will hand the ball off to the running back. If he crashes, the QB will pull the ball and take it himself around the edge.

In the clip above, the edge defender takes an angle into the backfield that muddies the read and prompts the QB to hand the ball off. If the read is not a clear pull read, the QB should always hand off to the RB. Here, the RB looks for a hole at a crowded line of scrimmage before bending through the cut-back lane created by the slicing H-back for a touchdown.

During the 2022 season, Coach Kenny Dillingham showed off his short-yardage 14-J package, and it looks like Coach Stein will continue to evolve these packages with the Ducks — I do expect them to use both under center, and in Pistol versions.

Coach Eric Boles
Newark, Ohio
Top Photo Credit: Eugene Johnson

Phil Anderson, the Volunteer editor for this article, is a trial lawyer in Bend Oregon.

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