By Paul Murphy
Waubonsie Valley High School (IL)
Defending the option, on its most basic level, is all about identifying who has the dive, who has the QB, and who has the pitch back. Conversely, option offenses want to identify who has each of these assignments in order to create their game plan. There are a few ways the defense can try to defend the option, so it is important that the offense has an answer for each wrinkle the defense presents. Here are a few of the most common concepts that defenses have used against our triple option attack:
- The CB is assigned to take the pitch, the OLB takes the QB and the DE and ILB have the dive.
- The two-high safety runs the alley and takes the pitch, the OLB takes the QB, and the DE and ILB take the dive.
- The DE takes the Dive, the inside linebacker scrapes over the top to take the QB, and the OLB handles the pitch responsibility. The safety is then a bonus player. Most 4 – 4 teams use their free safety to run the alley to the QB or pitch.
In order to combat these varying schemes, we use a few different tags for our perimeter blocking. Each of these concepts reveals how we want them to block our option concept. When teams overload to our two-receiver side to stop the option, we will teach our QB how to change the play the opposite way.
The tags for our perimeter blocking can be used with our other option plays as well. We came up with these tags so we could try to account for the players the defense was assigning to take the QB or Pitch back in the option game. Before we break down those tags, I want to briefly review our rules for our base triple option. They are as follows:
X – The receiver to the single receiver side will run a post route and sell the pass play and work to lull the back side corner to sleep. If done correctly, later we will be able to throw the back side post for a TD.
LT – Zone block to the left. He is working by himself so he cannot let the defender cross his face.
LG – Against an even front, he will combo with the center on a one or two-technique or solo block a three-technique. Against an odd front, he must listen for line call and the block either “Zulu” (zone block left) or “Wizard” (wedge block on NG).
Center – Against an even front, he will combo with the left guard on a one or two-technique or zone step left against a three-technique and climb to second level. Against an odd front, he must make line call, and block a Zulu or Wizard concept.
RG – Against an even front, he will combo with the right tackle on the three-technique or zone block solo left against a one or two-technique. Against an odd front, he will listen for the line call and execute a Zulu or Wizard block.
RT – Against a even front, combo with the right guard on three-technique or zone block solo to the left against a one or two-technique and climb to the second level. Against an odd front, he will listen for the line call and execute a Zulu or Wizard block.
Y – The Y must listen for the specific blocking tag call in the huddle. The tag will tell him who to block. Here are his assignments:
ARC means he is assigned block the deep safety to the inside