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By Brent Dearmon, Offensive Coordinator, Arkansas Tech University

 

Having spent two seasons as an offensive analyst with Gus Malzahn at Auburn, Brent Dearmon is no stranger to the utilization of 20 personnel groupings and how defenses are aligning with six in the box to defend the run. Now as the offensive coordinator at Arkansas Tech University, he helped the Wonder Boys produce the biggest offensive turnaround in college football - including a 360% increase in rushing yards from the previous season. Tech's offense was the second-rated offense in the GAC, racking up 36.5 points and 458.8 yards per game. In this exclusive clinic report, Coach Dearmon details his most productive 20 personnel RPOs including how he tags routes to affect the 7th and 8th defender in the run fit. Read the report.



By Brent Dearmon
Offensive Coordinator
Arkansas Tech University

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Introduction:

At Arkansas Tech University, we are a run first offense that mixes in complimentary RPOs to replace quick game. We base out of 20 personnel formation, so we see 6 guys in the box every snap. Most of our RPOs are designed to control the 7th and 8th hats in the run fit.

With every RPO we run, we have to figure out the following questions:

  1. Who is the extra run fitter to the side of the field we want to read? Which secondary player is designed to get his hat in the run fit to the field and to the boundary? Since we are a run first offense, our RPOs are based upon getting an extra hat out of the run fit each week.
  2. Are we protected? We rarely like to let DE’s run free in our protection unless the QB has a run option. If the RPO is designed to stay in the pocket, then we will read Safeties or Linebackers.
  3. What do we do verses blitz or man coverage? Do we have built in hots to serve as answers verses blitz to get us out of bad plays?

Below we will outline 10 different ways that we use scheme our RPOs as guided by these fundamental questions.

Concept #1: Split Zone with Glance Post (20 personnel)

This is a boundary ‘run fitter’ read attached to split zone. We see a lot of invert coverage into the boundary so this run concept is designed to read the boundary safety. So we had to ask ourselves the three questions from above.

  1. Who is the extra run fitter? With this concept it would be the boundary safety. If he fits the fun, we will pull and throw the glance post.
  2. Are we protected? Yes we are protected because we are running zone to the field with our HB blocking the backside edge on the split zone.
  3. What is our blitz answer? Because it is an inside zone scheme and we are blocking the backside edge, no pressure can hurt this run scheme so no blitz answer is needed.

Slide1

To study game film on this concept, click on the video below:


Concept #2: Zone with Flat Route (20 personnel)

This is a boundary ‘run fitter’ read attached to split zone. This is a great compliment to the first concept. If the CB is playing a hard inside leverage technique so we can not run inside routes, then we have to counter that with out cutting routes. So we had to ask ourselves the three questions above.

  1. Who is the extra run fitter? With this concept it would be the boundary safety.
  2. Are we protected? Yes we are protected because we are running zone to the field with our HB blocking the backside edge on the split zone.
  3. What is our blitz answer? Because it is an inside zone scheme and we are blocking the backside edge, no pressure can hurt this run scheme so no blitz answer is needed.

Slide2

To study game film on this concept, click on the video below:


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  • IZ Stick/Slant RPO concept.
  • OZ Glance Post RPO concept
  • Power/Deep Out RPO concept
  • Power/Spot RPO concept
  • Fast motion Zone/Bubble RPO concept
  • Power Seam/Curl RPO concept
  • IZ Seam/Slant RPO concept
  • Plus game film on all these concepts

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Conclusion:

The key to making this all work is the systematic approach. We know we have to control the 7th and 8th hats to protect our run game and these questions make that task methodical and almost scientific. Hopefully this approach will help you as you put together your schemes and game plans moving forward. Thanks to X&O Labs for their willingness to let me share on this site.

To read more about Coach Dearmon's RPO catalog, his entire 110 page publication entitled "The Evolution of the RPO," can be accessed via iTunes or iBooks at this link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1252092618

Meet Coach Dearmon: Brent Dearmon just finished his second year as the offensive coordinator at Arkansas Tech, after spending the last two seasons on the staff of Gus Malzahn at Auburn University. In his first year at Arkansas Tech, the Wonder Boys produced the biggest offensive turnaround in college football - including a 360% increase in rushing yards from the previous season. Tech's offense was the second-rated offense in the GAC, racking up 36.5 points and 458.8 yards per game. Along the way, Chris Eastburn and Bryan Allen earned all-region accolades. 

During his time at Auburn, Dearmon spent the 2013 season as a Running Back Analyst and the 2014 season as a Wide Receiver Analyst. His duties included film breakdown and game preparation, providing academic support to the running backs and wideouts, as well as assisting with the recruiting process and camp operations. While Dearmon was at Auburn, the Tigers posted a combined 20-7 record, including an 11-5 mark in SEC play. The 2013 Tigers captured the SEC title en route to an appearance in the BCS Championship Game.

Dearmon brought extensive experience in the high school ranks to Auburn, as he spent three seasons as the offensive coordinator at Vigor High School in Prichard, Alabama before taking the reins of the program at B.C. Rain High School for two seasons. He began his coaching career at his alma mater, Bethel University, in 2007, where he served as a student assistant, coaching the defensive backs as the team posted an 11-2 record.

 

 

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