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New Playbook for Ohio State

with 7 comments

Note to Jim Tressell:

Here is your new playbook for your all-world sophmore QB, Terrell Pryor.  I know you are a throwback, tough football kind of coach, so I have put together a power offense in shotgun formations to utilize the QB as a backfield running threat.

Start with the BASICS:

Zone Read 

Zone Read

This play is run from the trey formation.  We keep a tight end on the line to maintain a strong zone run threat with the extra blocker.  The two receivers split out to the tight end side spread the defensive secondary and shift defensive strength away from the side the QB has the option of running to.  On the snap, the line blocks for standard zone running.  The back either takes a handoff and hits the hole or the QB keeps it and runs around the weak side.  This is the exact play Vince Young beat both Michigan and USC with in the Rose Bowl in consecutive years.

Play Action

Zone Roll

A simple play action off the zone play.  A simple High-Low read for Pryor to make, or he can run.

Zone Roll Quick Post

Another play action pass with Pryor reading the Will linebacker.  The run fake brings the linebackers up hard to stop both the running back and the QB.  A quick post by  the slot receiver over the Will linebacker will get 8-12 yards easily.  Again, a simple read and throw.  Urban Meyer’s Utah team ran this play repeatedly in 2004 on their way to a perfect season and a BCS-busting fiesta bowl win.

Zone Bubble

The final play action pass.  Everyone has this in the playbook.  Fake run, quick pass to a swinging receiver.  This would have crushed USC- no one covered the slot receiver all game.



The power play made for the shotgun.  See the New York Giants’ 2007 championship season for this play.  Spread the field, power the ball.

POWER misdirection


Florida’s 2008 championship season featured this power play with Tim Tebow in the backfield.  Fake zone one way and the QB follows lead blocking through the hole for solid yards.

Basically, let Terrell Pryor run.  Let him get hit.  Make his reads easy and use misdirection and play action to facilitate open looks.  Make your spread package a power package- the reflection of your 2002 National Championship offense.


Written by Jon Ellsworth

September 14, 2009 at 10:42 pm

7 Responses

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  1. Amen Brother.
    I have been saying all along that boneheaded Tressel should adopt the playbook used at Texas for Vince Young. It was simple, variations of 3 or 4 plays. They used it to beat us (OSU) and USC in the national championship game.

    Funny how Michigan is smart enough to establish a spread offense without the best spread offense QB, and OSU has the best spread offense QB in the world and forces him to be a pocket passer.

    Fire Tressel and hire Dungy, Speilman, or Gruden. Tressel hasn’t won a big game since the national championship in 2002 and that was a fluke, 2OT and a late flag won it. He is a dissapointment, fire him now, don’t wait 30 years.


    September 15, 2009 at 12:22 pm

  2. No ofense Jon (pun intended), you only scketch the “playbook” vs. a base 4-3.

    Since VY graduated defenses have been developed to stop this, you must have a wide array of plays/formations to run, and keep them on their toes.

    You also need 2 QB’s who can run this if it is your base “O” (in case of injury), look at Texas before VY’s senior year. I give credit to coach Mack for “puttin all his eggs in one basket” that last year and saying if VY gets hurt “oh well we’re in trouble”.

    Kevin Spurgeon

    September 21, 2009 at 10:00 am

    • It is simplified, I admit. There are a number of things that defenses do to kill the zone read concept, including the “scrape-exchange” and twisting or giving different looks. I’m working on a piece about the 34 and how it is a very good front against spread offenses.

      Still, there are things offenses can expand upon in running the QB- Oregon had a very robust option game with Dennis Dixon and still do/ They accounted for a lot of the adjustments defenses could make. So it continues to be chess.

      With Ohio State, I think the personnel are in place to run TP more- they have a back-up power running group that can use a 2nd-string QB- hold on to the ball, pound it. And then use play action to get over the top. There are some very simple pass plays to give a learning QB as well.

      Generally, I think Tressel is a coach wanting to do it his way and not necessarily utilize personnel in the best way.

      Jon Ellsworth

      September 21, 2009 at 10:06 am

      • This turned out to be a load of bullshit.


        August 28, 2010 at 6:04 am

      • Why is that, Tyler? Look at what Masoli did at Oregon vs. Tressel’s use of the greatest athlete, TP, last year.

        Jon Ellsworth

        August 29, 2010 at 7:57 am

  3. these are great football plays


    October 20, 2010 at 2:56 pm

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