Power corrupts, unless you’re talking about offense.

Ian Boyd looks at what Mike Gundy is up to at Oklahoma State and wonders if he’s coming up with the next big thing.

The nature of the spread offense is to isolate defenders in space and attack whichever defender is out-leveraged with someone fast. Originally that focused mostly on the passing game with the run game as a constraint if the defense spread too wide and left themselves outnumbered up front.

Oklahoma State’s spread-I looked to add the component of attacking the interior of the defense with size and versatility in the running game but with the main overall purpose of still setting up fast people to out-leverage opponents.

The Power run offense is a different beast than the spread and power generally hasn’t been combined much with spread offenses save for the 3rd generationsmashmouth spread” systems that use the QB as a runner or with the RPO-heavy Baylor and West Virginia attacks.

The power run is about imposing your will up front with a scheme that will drive defenders off the ball and put hats on hats so that the running back is generally always running for a gain, potentially a big one if he can juke a safety or the defense wears out and huge holes appear.

It makes for a ball-control run game that is often accompanied by a deep strike passing game off play-action.

Maybe I’m missing something, but that sounds familiar to anyone who’s watched what Mike Bobo was doing the past couple of seasons.

Not that this is dumb by any means.  If defenses all over the country are retooling themselves to deal with conventional spread offensive attacks, going after those with power running games makes very good sense.

Then again, Alabama, which already runs a power attack, may be taking steps to meet Gundy in the middle.  Take a look at a quarterback Saban is chasing right now:

Despite his name, Pass’ greatest weapon is his legs. At 6’5 and 220 with incredible athleticism and the potential to play at 240-plus, he’s drawn comparisons to Cam Newton or Cardale Jones. Pass is not yet a refined passer, but teams running the spread option don’t care much. Even some elite pro-style programs believe Pass can be a great passer from the pocket.

North Carolina, Alabama, Auburn and Louisville are major players. Alabama’s recruitment, following its use of mobile QB Blake Sims, could signal a change in recruiting philosophy.

And offensive philosophy.

Saban’s no dummy.  He knows what gives him problems defensively.  He’s already shown a willingness to let Kiffin introduce some hurry up principles into Alabama’s offensive scheme.  A big running quarterback seems like another example of going “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”  And perhaps an acknowledgement by a defensive guru that it’s the offense’s world that the game is living in now.



Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

3 responses to “Power corrupts, unless you’re talking about offense.

  1. Bulldog Joe

    Agree. QB runs for 1st downs (or scores) gave Saban’s defense huge problems in big games.

    2015: Cardale Jones ran for 6 first downs.
    2014: Nick Marshall run for 4.
    2013: Nick Marshall ran for 6.
    2010: Cam Newton ran for 4.

    It’s a demoralizer for a defense who may have done everything else well in coverage and in pressure, to still give up the first down.

    This was the biggest difference between Ohio State and the other teams in the playoffs, in my opinion.

    The QB does not have to be a physical beast, but it helps.


    • Yep, and Marshall was more about quicks, being able to take a play like you said that was defended well, but then scramble and get it. That’s frustrating but I think the Jones/Newton’s of the world are even more frustrating. If it’s 3rd and 3 or less, they’re money on a designed QB run. You don’t even have a chance to scheme and defend it well…… Even if you make contact with them at the LOS, they’re just so big and long that they fall forward for the first down, almost impossible to knock a guy that size backwards.


  2. AusDawg85

    Maybe Shottie should work Blazovich (sp?) under center some this spring?