The Oregon Ducks offense is an absolute machine this season. According to ESPN, the unit is averaging 540 yards per game and 47.4 points per game. Those are averages that Oregon hasn’t hit since 2014 and 2012 respectively. Coach Will Stein has done a tremendous job taking over the Ducks offense and he has added wrinkles that have helped elevate the system. One of those wrinkles is the Touch Pass Sweep, as seen against the Utah Utes.
The Touch Pass Sweep is essentially a run play that’s counted on the stat sheet as a pass. That may seem a little confusing, but the act of the quarterback receiving the snap and then tossing it forward to the receiver on the sweep is what makes this play a pass. Everything else about the Touch Pass Sweep is executed in the same way that a run play would be.
In the diagram above, the play is run from a 12-personnel (1 RB, 2 TE) bunch set. The offensive line and the two tight ends block a variation of the Sweep. The TE at the tip of the bunch blocks down on the playside edge while the tackle and wing TE pull to become lead blockers. The rest of the OL essentially outside zone blocks to cut off the backside pursuit.
The playside receiver motions across the formation, a look that’s present in a number of Oregon’s plays, before returning on the sweep to take the touch pass. After receiving the touch, the WR takes the ball wide and follows the pullers, including the running back as a third lead blocker.
In the clip above, the Ducks run the Touch Pass Sweep to the boundary. Traeshon Holden receives the ball and gets behind good blocks made by the pullers for a seven-yard gain and a first down.
I expect the Oregon Ducks offense to continue to be a force for the rest of the season, and wrinkles like the Touch Pass Sweep from Coach Stein will be one of the reasons why.
Coach Eric Boles
Top Photo Credit: Kiffer Creveling
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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