Will Stein’s Oregon Offense: Sequential Plays WIN

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Analysis

Every college football team has their own bread-and-butter plays that are central and crucial to their offense. The Will Stein Oregon Offense has fascinated me because of how he is dedicated to a passing game that scores boatloads of points, but yet he is also absolutely committed to a powerful run game. I took some time out from my fun researching the Texans Game Odds, and some betting homework in advance of the NFL season to ponder a critical element of the Oregon Offense in 2024.

One staple that Stein and prior Oregon OCs have shown is how they hunker down and make a particular running play work with great execution, and then run a series of plays that are Constraint or Sequential plays off of the running play to take advantage of an opposing defense’s preparation.

The Counter play has been an Oregon staple for a few years. (Screenshot from ESPN Video)

A play that Oregon has cleaned up on in the past two years is the GT Counter play that features a guard and tackle (hence the “GT”) pulling from one side and running to block on the other side. It gives the offense an imbalance of blockers on one side, and because the Ducks have worked hard to perfect it against so many different defenses–the execution is superb. Above is a screenshot from the Fiesta Bowl showing the pulling offensive linemen (Red arrows) beginning a Counter play.

Above is the full play in slow-motion, and you can really see in the replay from behind how the extra blockers on one side can create an explosion play. Other times in the game the counter did not succeed, as the defense was highly attuned to their keys used to stop the play. As soon as the defenders see pulling–the defense moves over to plug those gaps before the play can develop. On this play above they did not get over, and perhaps they did not recognize it in time.

Defending the Counter with discipline opens up the Sequential plays! (Screenshot from Pac12 Video)

Coach Stein now has Sequential plays built into the offense to take advantage of the opposing defense reacting quickly to pulling offensive linemen in our Counter play. Above is the beginning of a play in the Spring game where we see both the guard and tackle (Red arrows) pulling from the right to the left, and the defense is now looking to dig in and protect those gaps.

But wait! This (above) is a Sequential play off the Counter where the Oregon offense uses the reaction of the defense to outnumber the defenders on the perimeter of the opposite side to where the pulling offensive linemen appear to be heading. Note how the linebackers and defensive linemen are frozen on the line-of-scrimmage because they must stop the Counter, and the easy pass play gets ten yards to keep the chains moving.

Getting yards so easily comes from the established threat of Oregon’s running game, thus Coach Stein’s emphasis on a powerful running attack helps Our Beloved Ducks win that much more often from the Sequential plays. Watch for more plays that are sequential off the Counter plays this fall.

“Oh, how we love to learn about Our Beloved Ducks!”

Charles Fischer   (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
Top Photo by Tom Corno

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