While going through the film for the large Baylor O Write up I did here I saw North Carolina running something that caught my eye. They used a quick toss to the RB from the shotgun to try to get outside. Now this was nothing new, I have been doing this from gun for years… it gave us a “same side” RB alignment play and we tried getting to the edge. The problem is, we would always outside zone/reach block it… The better DEs would string it out, we couldn’t get around them, and we wouldn’t gain much. North Carolina DID NOT reach it, they used the defense’s technique against them. They blocked the play using “Power” blocking rules. The play side Down Blocks, and they pull the Backside Guard up inside to LB.
This had a tremendous effect on the Baylor DEs. They had to respect the tackle’s down block, and they were taught to squeeze everything down and wrong arm the guard. Rather than fighting him and trying to reach, they use his own technique against him. The tackle steps down, the DE squeezes him, thus giving up the edge and you are able to get outside of him.
Here is a diagram of the play
I highlighted the DE with a large circle to indicate that he can be read. In the clips below you will see the UNC QB taking a quick shuffle step and tossing it out there. My personal hypothesis is that it was a pre determined play, UNC knew Baylor would squeeze the down block and they would get the edge immediately. It is very possible (I have talked to several HS coaches who do this successfully) as a true read play. This is just a variation on the Inverted Veer or the speed option. The action would be somewhat like speed option, but the blocking is with a standard power scheme (what most use for inverted veer).
Play Action Pass
Baylor ran a play action off of the Toss backfield look. It appears the QB wanted to go deep, and had nothing open so he threw it down to a backside route. Although the play didn’t gain any yards, watch the effect it had on the OLB and the MLB. You will see them take off initially to attack the toss. They definitely opened up space to throw the ball behind or between them.
Toss Play Action
I love the simplicity of this play. You can make it a predetermined call if you know from film/scouting that a DE is disciplined and will squeeze every time. If you are not going up against someone who is more disciplined, or you want to be able to get the QB involved in the run game more, making it a true option read might be better. I just love how easy the RB is able ot get out of the box. There is no fighting to reach a DE, there is no turning him out. He just goes away from the play because he wants to do what he has been coached to do all week, in this case “block down – step down”. Like I mentioned in the video, the most critical component to the success of the play is the WRs’ ability to block in space. North Carolina’s successful toss plays came when their WRs were able to occupy those playside threats.