Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Film Review: 2000 Purdue vs Northwestern

In this Twitter moment, I looked at some of the schematic choices featuring Purdue and Northwestern from 2000. This is an interesting moment for college football and the Big Ten specifically. Both teams were very early to the spread revolution, but utilized spread quite differently.

Here's the box score from the game: LINK

Thursday, May 13, 2021

History and Evolution: Power O - Bonus - "Power" within the Zone Architecture

 It always bugged me when at Michigan, Rich Rod would call his Lead Outside Zone play "Power". Football terminology is notoriously inconsistent from program-to-program, where the same word can mean very different things. But Power had established a sort of agreement and consistency, it is down blocks on the frontside with a backside puller, a true gap/man scheme. Yet here was Rich Rod calling Outside Zone "Power." It made my head hurt for a long time, until one day I was looking through the Joe Gibbs's playbook, and the rationale behind it struck me. 

As I noted in the History and Evolution Series, power itself was originally focused on the Power Sweep, as a sort of variant to the inside run and option series. As Option Teams (often Wing T types) moved more toward zone blocking in the 70s, Power had to be adapted in ways to fit what they did. Rarely did these teams pull within the formation, it was mostly zone blocking, occasional traps as a change up, and maybe a lead pull around the edge.

So thinking within the sense of not pulling blockers (even around the edge), you ask how you can still get outside the formation. The answer becomes outside zone blocking with a lead back trying to open up the alley. And you get this, from Joe Gibbs's playbook (which also contained traditional Power O by then).