Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Inside the Playbook - Wisconsin's Run Game

This is all going to get quite confusing here. But in this piece and another future piece, I will preview Wisconsin for the blog Land-Grant Holy Land, an Ohio State Website. Yup, that's happening.

Over the past, oh, I dunno, let's just leave it at over the past, Wisconsin has been known for their potent run game. While Alan Ameche, that old Iron Horse, isn't walking through to run his offense any time soon, the Badgers seem to be doing pretty well dating back to the Alverez era, er, the Alverez coaching era, er, that first time Alverez was coaching Wisconsin on the sideline and, well, this introduction is all over the place. And I have a great Alan Ameche story for those willing to hear, for those who like old timey stories that may or may not be true about really old Wisconsin Heisman Trophy winners.

Bread and Butter
I don't want to get too in depth about how these plays work, and instead spend time how they work off each other. In several places, I have previously discussed inside and outside zone runs. You can also see a lot of the blocking rules here.

Outside zone is the Badger's favorite run play. We'll discuss a big reason it has been so successful in a bit. Here's a diagram:
To counter that, sometimes Wisconsin will run inside zone. Initially inside zone looks very similar to outside zone, but it will end up being a more drive blocking scheme, with the option of cutting the play to the backside.
Follow the LINK to learn more about Wisconsin's Run Game, how they use Power O as a counter to the zone, and how they use two TEs to force the defense into real predicaments. 


  1. Good stuff Space Coyote. Great example of a team that uses zone and gap concepts. I feel like too many people these days see them as incompatible. Because zone is so often associated with spread teams the casual fan seems to think zone is finesse scheme used by spread teams. When really zone blocking as been around for many many years and is the "base" blocking scheme of many pro teams and "pro-style" college teams.

    The use of multiple TE's can also put a lot of pressure on the defense if those TE's can also be a threat in the passing game. It makes it much harder to bring that safety into the box when there are 2 TE's that can hurt you vertically.

    1. Completely agree. In fact, especially inside zone is a very drive-block oriented attack. Teams like the Texans utilize zone blocking out of 1-2 TE sets and with a FB. It can be adapted in any offense.