Part 3 of the series covers how offenses combat gap, scrape, and option exchange. We will look at Nebraska’s trap play, the Sooners’ TE pass, and the Oregon dart play for some modern option adjustments.
Against the ‘Canes in the 1995 Orange Bowl, Nebraksa adjusted their option scheme and added a much useful trap play with bruising fullback Corey Schlesinger for two touchdowns in the second half to win the National Championship, Tom Osborne’s first.
Why does the trap work? The DEnds get so used to screaming up field to play the QB on the option, and the Defensive Tackles get use to being combo’d that when they come unblocked, they’re easy to lure upfield and to trap and with the SAM and WILL playing pitch and the safeties running the alley, the inside trap is open.
As seen below, speed option also worked well for the Huskers against the ‘Canes in ’95.
The benefits of speed option are you can run it out of a more spread look to draw linebackers and safeties away from the box. It’s also quicker than triple, hence speed, and against a light and fast Miami defense worked to get Tommie and Lawrence Phillips (RIP) on the edge in a hurry.
What’s another fear against the ‘Bone? A QB that can throw and a TE like Keith Jackson that can snag passes and break tackles. Don’t remember Keith Jackson? He made a heck of a career out of being a pass catching Tight End at Phily and Miami.
Above- a look at the Bone Triple Option PA Pass
How does a star like Jackson wind up so open? Because after seeing so much run action, it’s hard to defend a good play-action like this. Defenses have to be unbelievably patient, and as you can see here, he gets open and fights off smaller tacklers into the end zone.
Lastly, to touch on some modern era adjustments, a way to slow down fast flowing linebackers is a false-read play like Dart. The Oregon Ducks adopted it to perfection and our guest Vlogger Mike Gregory loves it as well.
You have to love any play that can offer a false key for linebackers while still being an option and possible to link to RPO’s.
Check out the Patreon Exclusive video below that has chalk-talk and cut-ups on the way to adjust to option exchange for the offense