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Choose your adventure: Become a B1G Offensive coordinator!

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If you were an OC, what kind of offense would you run?

Outback Bowl - Florida v Iowa Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

We’re going to take a day off of Iowa potlucks with a curveball thrown about by site founder Graham Filler in Slack:

We put a lot of attention on the horrible OC's in the B1G. But life ain't so easy. Do you think you could be an Offensive Coordinator in the Big Ten? What kind of offense would you run?

LPW: I’m a fan of Mike Leach’s offense. First, get five wide receivers involved, and then also spread out the offensive line so the defense has to cover the entire width of the field. Make smart precision passes and do it quickly. That being said, sometimes that doesn’t work. I like it when a team can adapt and then bulldoze the opposing team with powerful running with balanced passing that eats up the clock. Some symbiosis of those two.

Creighton M: If I was an OC, I would scheme some boring old old pro-style. I’ve only ever seen Hayden Fry and Kirk Ferentz call ballgames and it’s all I know. I appreciate the simplicity of being able to get by on execution and not having a gimmick that can be stopped by throwing a stick in the right spoke. It isn’t flashy, and it doesn’t put up a lot of points, but it gets the job done.

My secret fantasy offense, however, is the triple option. There is no offense that is more fun to watch, harder to stop or harder to execute. Watch the Army-Navy game some time if you want to witness true college football perfection.

Townie: I’m a defensive thinker. I played DE in high school. Played on the defense in lacrosse. Hell, even in soccer, I was a DB. I never really got into the whole offensive side.

However, I will say that the first time you see a guard trap play run correctly against an aggressive linebacker...whoa boy. You help him up off the ground and he’s looking out his ear-hole. Ain’t that some shit?

That said, I spent some time reading about and watching videos of Joe Moorhead’s offense. Joe is PSU’s OC. He’s the author of what is derisively called a “YOLO” offense, by some “writers” here.

For the ignorant, it looks like a “close your eyes, hey hold my beer, chuck it long” offense. I’d argue that it’s a little more complicated than that. And it works. Consider that it is entirely new...with a brand new first time starter at quarterback. And it put PSU second behind Ohio State in total offense. That’s pretty good.

I love this offense.

Joe is smart. His approach is thoughtful. Most importantly, he’s a great teacher. He doesn’t make the kids memorize duties. He gets them to understand the concept. That way the quarterback and receivers are making the same reads to get to the same conclusion.

Here’s a Football Game Plan video from his days at Fordham. It’s a simple scissors concept, but you will get the gist of Joe’s thought process. If I were an OC, I’d like to be as smart and thoughtful about it as Joe Moorhead.

Stew: A no-huddle (not necessarily fast) power-running game, and a passing game mostly based on tight ends and play-action passes. Think something like what Bill O’Brien ran at PSU.

MNW: It's hard to pass up the offense that was most formative for my childhood, the Glen Mason "fuck you we're pulling a guard and maybe a center try and stop us" offense OH SHIT HERE COMES GREG ESLINGER. And you bet I'd use that shit on the recruiting trail: "Hey Big Hoss, you spent summers throwing bales on the farm and are a 3* out of Jackson County Central—wanna come truck fools on the reg? Take a look at this footage!" Go ahead. Try and arrest me for showing o-line porn to minors. That's Big Ten football right there.

Now, I couldn't coach like WSR or anyone else here. I would be a disaster. But if I wasn't just running Glen Mason Redux, it'd have to be the Randy Walker spread with a mobile quarterback. What, no offense line to block for you (note: does not include Zach Strief)? Oh well, better run for your life, Brett Basanez/CJ Bacher/Mike Kafka/Dan Persa! If you can't whip it to some scrappy little no-star from Lake Zurich, just run around and see what happens!

I'm only 40% doing that because it guarantees me a winning record against Iowa.

WSR: Since I’ve already ran this in once upon a time in my younger days when I had time to coach, it’s simple: Bringing back the Wing-T, bitches. But not the boring ass Delaware “everybody packed in on the line and pray that the defense gets caught up in the wash” crap. Oh no, we’re going back to early 2000’s when I had time to tinker around with the formation requirements from the HS head coach for the small town in Southern MN I was coaching in by adding in this new wrinkle from watching all the college football I could stay awake for and record: the pistol. The combination was a blast. The offense clicked, the farm boys could block for me, and I was able to use motion and shifts to get the ball to everyone (I EVEN RAN A TE AROUND!!!) frequently and easily. Could it work in the B1G? Sure, why not.

Aaron: I grew up as an NFL fan, so my offense would probably look like something Bill Parcells ran in the late 1980s. There would be lots of traps and sweeps behind the hogmollies followed by some play-action passes to keep the safeties honest. I also like an athletic quarterback, though, so I might throw in some option in case I run into a defense that can overpower my offensive line. Offensive football nowadays is all about adjusting to the defense’s strengths. That’s why Bill Belichick will run the ball down the opponent’s throat one game and throw it 60 times in the next game. I would try to make my unit as versatile as possible. Having an “identity” is overrated.

GF: You guys are all ridiculous.

FIRST: We’re running the Air Raid. I’m going to Illinois, pretty much the least interesting/exciting/successful place to play football right now in the B1G, and we’re going to make football sexy in C-U. We’re recruiting little jackrabbit wide receivers with perfect ACL’s who can run routes up and down the field, and we’re running 90 plays a game, and if you miss a tackle, our little snot-nosed slot receiver is picking up 30 more YAC. We’re instituting shorter practices and wide splits and everyone is getting a picture of Hal Mumme which they are obliged to place in their locker next to a photo of their girl or boy or ma or whatever the kids do these days, and if people don’t put locker photos up anymore, then screensave his deified face and put it as your laptop wallpaper, because basically we’re replaying The Perfect Pass in real life.

SECOND: My quarterback is going to be named Johnny Cannon. It’s a fake name of course, but Eldridge Fullwrinkle [who told Graham what I call my penis?] wouldn’t really play. He’s going to be made of spit, and grit, and spite, and probably be a bit undersized, but damn if he can’t whip the pigskin all over the place. He’s from Armadillo, Texas, born and bred on 7-on-7s. JC (initials like our Savior, coincidence I think not) was passed over by the big boys and flat out rejected by TCU so he’s come to the Big Ten to throw for 3500 yards and pull the Illini out of the desert of horrors they currently reside in.