Heavy package with Will Campbell in the backfield

Submitted by oakapple on November 18th, 2010 at 5:00 PM

During the non-conference schedule, I recall a goal-line play where Will Campbell lined up in the backfield as a fullback, and Michigan scored. I do not recall seeing that play again.

Am I right that it was used only once? Does anyone have a theory as to why it hasn’t been seen again? I thought it would be called much more often, given that it worked the first time, and it’s not a trick play that loses its value once the defense has seen it. A fullback Campbell’s size is going to be a force in short-yardage, practically by definition. It ought to work elsewhere on the field, too.


Bird of War

November 18th, 2010 at 5:07 PM ^

Maybe we've been trying to keep it under wraps for the two toughest games of the year?

Sounds like it would be a good package to run out against Wisconsin's beefy D.

O les do it?!


November 18th, 2010 at 5:10 PM ^

we have better lead blockers on our team for that situation. That is more than likely the reason you saw it in our ooc schedule. I also recall a situation where they brought QW in to act in the same role. Yes, they are space eaters, but I recall watching Campbell's h.s. tapes where he was a major force on defense dure to pure size, but from an OL point of view, a definite work in progress. He undeniably stood straight up every snap and seemed lethargic moving forward, and backs were able to run behind him simply because at that age he was such an intimidating presence and the defender would more likely than not opt to get the hell out of the way rather than anything to do with his blocking prowess.

Not the case any longer, and that's is why Dews has had a hell of a time teaching him the defensive position to what his optimum should be. He's having a hell of a time staying low, but if he should ever learn technique - on either side of  the ball- look out.


November 18th, 2010 at 5:21 PM ^

The idea of using an OL in the backfield is not new.  While used infrequently, its been around for many many years.  I don't know what it is, but theres probably a reason why it doesn't happen more often.  Perhaps OL are no more effective at this kind of blocking than FB/TEs.  Perhaps any increased blocking effectiveness is offset by the diminished pass threat.


November 18th, 2010 at 6:37 PM ^

Why it ins't run more often.... probably because you're basically giving a TELL to the defense and they know exactly what your'e going to go.  If you tried going to a passing formation or even an outside run, there would be little chance of success.


November 18th, 2010 at 5:34 PM ^

I know Lewan has concussion like symptoms (or did earlier this week when the last IR came out) but I'd be interested to see what he could do to donkeys with a running start.  Also he seems to have this mean mindset that would send him flying through at a high speed while screaming "Excuse me miss, I just want to dance!"

Blue boy johnson

November 18th, 2010 at 5:47 PM ^

Forget Big Will. After his sweet lateral, no look toss against Illinois, I want to see Gallon throw a forward pass, on some type of gadget play, with you know who on the receiving end. It is sure to be a touchdown for somebody.

Captain Obvious

November 18th, 2010 at 5:56 PM ^

bring in a backup at OG and put Omameh at FB.  He has great burst, size and obviously wrecks LBs in space.  Since this talent (second level blocking) is more or less wasted on the goal line at the Guard position, put him at FB and let him lock on to whoever is stupid enough to show up in that hole.


November 18th, 2010 at 6:45 PM ^

While I agree with those who say the Heavy formation should be used more, I think a large reason why RR has moved away from it as the season has progressed is because, like most coaches, RR doesn't want to monkey around too much with a system that seems to be working.  With a limited number of hours to practice each week, I'm sure he rather focus on perfecting the base offense and some minor variations instead of implementing a batch of new formations and plays that would be used in very specific circumstances.  While I wouldn't mind seeing an lineman step up in the backfield, the offense has been moving the ball so well that I'm not sure it would be needed except in a couple of circumstances, namely those when giving it to Vincent Smith would seem far too obvious.


November 18th, 2010 at 7:10 PM ^


O1 1 G BEEF MACHINE 3 2 0 Goal line Run Iso Hopkins 1
Yeah, let's massively overreact to last year's Illinois debacle. No, seriously. I totally endorse this course of action. Lewan, Washington, and Campbell come in, as does Hopkins, and they bellow in rage as the ball is snapped. The stampede ends a half foot into the endzone. Excelsior!
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-7, 1 min 1st Q.


I recall RR saying in the presser that they had a few other things that they had practiced out of that formation.  Our version of Gator Heavy debuted the next week (I think) with the dual H-Back's and the true BEEF MACHINE package hasn't been seen since.


November 18th, 2010 at 7:26 PM ^

I was more a fan of the trick punt play where Hagerup walked up to play qb to try to draw the defense offsides and Big Will was lined up as the running back. I got so excited thinking that the play was actually going to be run.


November 19th, 2010 at 7:36 AM ^

the heavy formation with koger, webb and hopkins and denard running from the spread. i thought we should have used this in short yardage more recently instead of trying to bounce smith in there.