So far this season, the Oregon Ducks are averaging 232 yards per game on the ground, which is good for seventh in the nation. Their success is due in part to the variety of Coach Will Stein’s rushing attack — keeping opposing defenses of balance. Against the Colorado Buffaloes, the Ducks offense unleashed a play that they hadn’t run all year; the Same Side GH Counter.
The Oregon offense is no stranger to the GH Counter. It’s a play that saw an uptick in its utilization last season, under then offensive coordinator, Kenny Dillingham. The Ducks have run the play with great success since, and this variation of the play is proving to be just as effective.
The blocking scheme for the Same Side GH Counter is exactly the same as the classic GH Counter — the only difference is that the blocking scheme is executed in the direction of the running back’s alignment, as opposed to away from it.
The playside tackle to center all block down on the defensive line. The backside tackle takes a step inside, and essentially pass block to cut off any backside pressure. The backside guard pulls around and kicks out the playside edge while the H-back pulls and leads through the frontside C-gap.
The RB takes the ball as if he’s running an Inside Zone and then cuts back to follow the H through the hole as the quarterback carries out his fake keeper.
As is the case with most of Coach Stein’s run plays, this is an RPO. The backside wide receiver runs a Now Screen, and the tight end in the slot blocks for him. If there are favorable numbers, the QB can sling the ball out to the perimeter.
In the clip above, Bucky Irving sees the cutback lane open on the backside of the counter and takes it for a 25-yard gain.
The Same Side GH Counter is a great variation to the classic GH Counter, and a fantastic constraint play to the rest of the Ducks’ inside run game.
Coach Eric Boles
Top Photo Credit: Eric Evans of Oregon Football X
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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