Gap Scheme RPO Organization and Implementation

May 15, 2017 | Offense, Post-Snap Manipulations, RPO's

By Brian White
Offensive Coordinator
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (IN)
Twitter: @CoachWhite_RHIT


At Rose-Hulman, we have had success running RPO concepts attached to our Inside and Outside Zone runs. During the 2016 season, our personnel dictated that we needed to rely more on our Gap schemes. We still wanted to put opposing defenses in a run-pass conflict with an RPO based offense so needed to find a way to read a defender on our Gap schemes. We researched other successful programs and found that an effective way to tie in a RPO with a Gap scheme is to read a second level defender, namely the overhang LB to the side of the run.

Gap Scheme Runs

The two gap scheme runs we tied into our RPOs are Power and Counter. We like these two runs because most of the teaching is the same for the QB, OL, TE and RB.

Power Rules

Quarterback = Align with toes at 4.5 yards. Secure the snap. Clear the midline by taking a lateral step with your backside foot and a hinge step with your front side foot to get to 90 to get to 90 degrees. If a called run, hand the ball to the RB and carry out naked fake opposite the run. If RPO, read the play side OLB for run or pass as you mesh with the RB. Carry out throw fake if you hand the ball to the RB.

Running Back = Align with toes at 6.5 yards. Take a drop step with the backside foot, secure the handoff, blink the back side LB for cutback then read the A-B-C gaps. Be aware that the QB may pull and throw if RPO. In that case, carry out run fake.

Tight End = Block the play side C gap defender. He will usually align off of the ball with his inside foot just inside of the play side OT.

Play Side Tackle = Block the play side B gap defender. Has a possible double team with play side guard.

Play Side Guard = Block the play side A gap defender. Has a possible double team with play side tackle.

Center = Block the back side A gap defender. Has a possible double team with play side guard.

Back Side Guard = Skip pull for the play side LB.