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Possible Additions to Mark Richt’s Run Game Playbook in 2017

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Counter, buck sweep and pin/pull could be new ways to help Walton go off

Miami v Virginia Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images

Mark Richt has more tricks up his sleeve than we saw in 2016. 2016 was vanilla. The entire season felt like a spring game or fall camp scrimmage. While the Hurricanes were learning the fundamentals and basic reads the playbook stayed stale. But at UGA Coach Richt ran a varied scheme mixing shotgun and under center running game and short passes that will bring Miami back to the future.

You’ll see your beloved “pro style” but with a spice of modernization. Coach Richt took the offense as far as he felt comfortable with. The Offensive Line was behind the 8-ball having been unprepared by the prior staff and Coach Searles did what he could in a short amount of time. 2017 will bring new wrinkles, both because of having a more mobile and agile Quarterback to run them and an offensive line with better coaching and more seasoning.

Mark Walton needs the ball and he needs it in a varied offense. If the run game becomes too predictable the defenders can scream to the ball and Walton will keep running for 4.5 yards a carry. I doubt Coach Brown wants that. Getting Walton up around 6/carry is the key and he’s more than capable physically to do so.

Which lineman would pull best? The staff has to use the spring and summer to figure this out. If you want to pull the center use Gaynor- he has a ton of experience pulling, just check his Hudl film. At guard you need someone agile, so a big body won’t be the guy (Donaldson). I see Donaldson being the base blocker that ensures the front-side dominating his gap.


Pin/Pull

On pin/pull you’re looking to down block an End or Tackle and pull your uncovered guard or tackle. Take a look at the screenshot I stole borrowed from a google images search. The LT is going to down block the 3-tech, the LG is going to skip pull and come around the TE who is going to reach block the DE and attempt to turn him or cut him off from the edge. Pin/Pull is a for of outside zone scheme the Colts loved with our boy Edgerrin James back in the early 2000’s.

  • Above- a toss version of pin/pull
  • Above: Toss pin/pull
  • Above: Stretch pin/pull

Counter

Cam and I were talking topics and one we both jumped out at was the lack of misdirection in the offense. Why would a coach struggle to install a ton of misdirection early on? Possibly a lack of trust in the O-Line to take on the right man, and to “stay” or not pull when there’s a defender in your inside gap (gap towards the play). Again, a heavy focus on basics and getting right what you need to get right. With Linder getting blown off the ball or KC being victim to a weekly false start- basics are key.

As you can see below, Coach Richt had a nice counter using an H-Back/TE and guard at UGA.


Buck Sweep

If you played high school or youth football you probably know what Buck Sweep is. Buck is a classic in the Wing-T, and you’ll see it in the Auburn playbook quite a bit. Coach Richt ran it back at UGA in 2015 with Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Traditionally the OC would draw this up to pull both guards. However, in the UGA version, Coach Richt actually pulls the PSG (play side guard) and Center.


Outside Zone

Outside Zone is a cousin of pin/pull which is a cousin of buck sweep. Here, Coach Richt is using a fan-block method which is to drive the DL to the sideline so the RB can cut underneath the OL’s ass. The OL purposefully turn their back side to be parallel with the LOS (line of scrimmage). The RB attacks the OG’s outside butt cheek and cuts back underneath where he finds space. Terrell Davis made the Hall of Fame on this in the NFL with the Broncos. Below, Chubb and Michel run it quite well.

I’ve borrowed this image as well. It’s an Oregon Ducks (hey, Coach Mark Helfrich was in the building this spring) outside zone run using fan blocking.


Nick Chubb 2015 film:

Sony Michel 2015 film: