A lot has been said about how similar Coach Will Stein’s offense is to the one that Coach Kenny Dillingham ran during his time with the Oregon Ducks. Both offenses are pro-style offenses dressed as spread offenses with an extensive RPO game. They both also use an incredible variety of run schemes. Here, we’re going to take a look at one Coach Stein used frequently with the UTSA Roadrunners: the Insert Iso. (Iso is short for Isolation of a defender)
The Insert Iso is very similar to the Split Zone. But instead of the tight end slicing across the formation to kick out the edge defender, the offense uses the slice to isolate the B-gap defender. The defender isolated all depends on where the 1-tech/2i (shading the center/shading the guard) is at the snap of the ball.
The offensive line is pretty much tasked with executing standard Inside Zone blocking. If an offensive lineman is covered, he will block that defender. If the OL is uncovered, he will play to the next playside gap and assist with a double team or move up to the second level of the defense.
Now, if the 1-tech/2i is aligned away from the TE, as they are in the above diagram, the TE will pull across the formation and insert into the B-gap to block the 2nd level defender. In this situation, a linebacker is being isolated. But, if the 3-tech (outside shade of the guard) is away from the TE, he will be the defender isolated. Much like they would the edge in Split Zone, the OL will ignore the 3-tech and the TE will slice to trap him.
As with just about every run scheme in his playbook, Coach Stein also attaches passing options to this concept. He has one pre-snap option (the bubble) based on numbers, and a post-snap option (slant) based on a read.
In the clip above, the quarterback has decided that the run is the best option and hand the ball off. Since the 1-tech is aligned away from the TE, he pulls into the B-gap and blocks the linebacker, springing the running back for a nice 9-yard gain.
The Insert Iso is a great play for breaking offensive tendencies, and one that I fully expect to see in Autzen this coming season.
Coach Eric Boles
Top Photo Credit: Mike Snow
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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