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By Drew Owens, Offensive Coordinator, Western Connecticut State University

Post AFCA Convention usually transitions into a self-scout period with staffs analyzing game tape of last season to assess what went right and what went wrong. But aside from evaluating proficiency, a progression needs to be establish to determine what direction your offense is heading next fall. Western Connecticut offensive coordinator Drew Owens details his staff’s self scout protocol as it pertains to four main sub-studies: field position study, number of drives study, driver per quarter study and explosive play study. Read the report.


By Drew Owens
Offensive Coordinator
Western Connecticut State University
Twitter: @ballcoachDRO

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With Clemson narrowly defeating Alabama in the NCAA National Championship, the 2016 college football season is officially over. I am sure your season had some highs and lows, along with some good and some bad, but with your season complete…now what? 

Like most college football programs, our focus here at Western Connecticut is on recruiting our next class, but I will also set time aside to work on our self scout. While recruiting, every program begins to explore ideas for their next year, but most of these thoughts, both X’s and O’s and philosophy are created before fully analyzing the just completed season. We have a process here at WCSU that will allow the coach/coordinator not only a better snapshot of their season but will also help a coach better understand how a football game flows. We do not want to have any innovation before fully analyzing our season.

Create Your Cutups

Create your cutups, using HUDL, DV or XO’s create files with your plays. At WCSU we break them down in the following categories and subcategories.

  • Run Game
    • Inside Zone
      • All Inside Zone
        • IZ (No Option)
        • IZ (1st Level 2 Options)
        • IZ (1st Level Triple Options)
        • IZ (2nd Level Options or RPO’s)
    • Outside Zone
      • All Outside Zone
        • OZ (No Option)
        • OZ (1st Level 2 Options)
        • OZ (1st Level Triple Options)
        • OZ (2nd Level Options or RPO’s)
    • Power
      • All Power Runs
        • 1 Back Power
        • 2 Back Power
        • Power RPO’s
        • Power (Inverted Option)
    • Counter
      • All Counter Runs
        • G/Y Counter
        • G/Y Counter RPO’s
        • G/T Counter (No Option)
        • G/T Counter Read (2&3 Options such as zone read- QB pull or Zone read with pull pitch/throw options.
    • Aux
      • Dart
      • Draw
      • Speed Option
    • All RPO’s
    • Aaa Options
    • All Inverted Reads
  • Pass Game
    • Drop Back
      • All your Drop Back Concepts
    • Quick Game              
      • All your Quick Game Concepts
    • Sprint
      • All your Sprint Concepts
    • Naked/Boot
      • All your Boot/Naked Concepts
    • Pocket Play Action
      • All your Pocket Play Action Concepts
  • Field Zones
    • Black Zone (-1 to -19)
    • Drive Zone (-11 to -29)
    • Minus Free Wheeling (-30 to 49)
    • Plus Free Wheeling (50 to 30)
    • Red Zone (29 to 11)
    • Tite Red Zone (10 to 5)
    • GL (4 to 1)
  • Down / Distance
    • 1D
    • P10 (1st play of possession)
    • 2XL (10+)
    • 2L (7-10)
    • 2M (4-6)
    • 2S (1-3)
    • 3XL (10+)
    • 3L (7-10)
    • 3M (4-6)
    • 3S (1-3)
    • 4XL (10+)
    • 4L (7-10)
    • 4M (4-6)
    • 4S (1-3)

Building A Database

These cut ups will allow our staff to pull up any play or situation at any point this offseason and statistically analyze our success (or lack thereof). This will also help with your installation going forward for the spring or next fall. If you want to be a power HUDL user, you can create a new season in a year far ahead (ex 2099) and create a cutup folder that you add your plays to every year, building a multi-year cutup. This is really good when needing to find plays for clinic film or cut ups for players, especially if maybe one year you didn’t run a play as much as you did 2 years before. Everyone knows your players change and play success changes with that.

After our cut ups are created, we will begin to statistically analyze our drives throughout the season (click here to see an example of our Excel file). The first thing we do is print out every play by play for each game.  I will then go drive by drive and insert the play data into the following columns.

  • Game 
  • Drive #
  • Qt       
  • Time (Drive start time)
  • TOP
  • Drive YL
  • Result 
  • No Plays
  • Net
  • 1st Downs
  • Runs +12
  • Runs +20
  • Pass +16
  • Pass +30
  • Total Exp Plays
  • Total Exp Yards

Here is an example of the data collected…


This creates a drive by drive database for our season. After the entire season is copied down, I will then begin to analyze all of the columns through the following studies:

  • Field Position Study
  • Drive # Study
  • Quarter Study
  • Result Study
  • Explosive Play Study

Continue to the full-length version of this report…

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  • How the field position study Coach Owens uses is able to correlate score efficiency.
  • How the drive number study Coach Owens uses allows a play caller to know when to be more cautious or more aggressive in each situation.
  • How the quarter study Coach Owens uses to understand the effectiveness of game planning.
  • How the explosive play study Coach Owens uses to analyze big play results and the metrics that correlates explosive plays to success.
  • Plus downloadable templates, including his run game form and pass game form, that are used for each of these self-scout studies.

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As recruiting dies off, we will begin to meet as an offense 2-3 times per week on offense. The first thing we will do is analyze (as a staff) our drive studies and our cutups. We will then make decision on what to add, subtract or expand on. Once cutups are finished and we have watched the entire season, we will map out our installation schedule for the spring. Not only until everything has be exhausted from viewing and discussing and not until all new topics have been researched, will we schedule our spring installation.

Meet Coach Owens: Drew Owens just completed his fifth season at Western Connecticut State University. Owens is the newly appointed Associate Head Coach as well as the Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach. As the offensive coordinator the past four season, the offense has broken several school records, including most points scored (game/season), most points in a single game, points per game (season), total yards gained (season), passing yards (season) and TD’s score (season/game). The Colonial offense has lead the MASCAC in scoring 2/3 past seasons and continues to produce impressive numbers and performers.  In 2015, WCSU finished as the #8 offense in all of NCAA D3.

In the past two seasons, QB Will Arndt and Connor Falaguerra cemented there legacy in the Colonial record book, breaking records of Yards Passing in single season, TD’s caught in a single game and total TD receptions.  In 2015, they helped catapult an offense which scored 41.2 PPG and averaged 514 YPG (314 Passing / 202 Rushing). In 2013, the offense average over 300 YPG rushing (6th in NCAA), 481 YPG (16th in NCAA) and scored 43.8 PPG (10th in NCAA) with 46 rushing touchdowns (top 5 in NCAA).  Featured Gagliardi trophy finalist, MASCAC player of the year and 1st team all american Octavias McKoy, who rushed for 1,886 yards and 26 TD’s.

Owens came to WCSU after a two year stint at NCAA III Hiram College (Ohio). At Hiram, Owens was the Assistant Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach. Prior to Hiram College, Owens was at Saint Anselm College, NCAA II (N.H.) as the Offensive Line Coach, Recruiting Coordinator. In 2008, Owens’ Offensive Line led the North East 10 conference in rushing, with over 230 yards per game. Owens has also coached a year at the high school level at Westerville Central High School, a Columbus, Ohio area school.



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