A Way to get Denard on the Field? MS Paint

Submitted by bdubya on September 22nd, 2009 at 2:11 AM

Ok, so I know that one of the hot topics on the board lately has been about the use of Denard Robinson. With the rise of Tate, many have wondered how we could get the electric Robinson on the field to make use of his talents.

I am in no means an expert, I don't know much about how certain schemes work against certain defenses and whatnot, but I was wondering if Rich has ever run a play like this, or if it could possibly work.

Basically, it's a double option. The slot receiver comes in motion before the snap, and as he is on his way across, the QB calls for the ball. When this happens, the Tate will make a read as though it is a normal zone read (looking at the end), but would be doing this with Denard as the first option. If the end crashes, Tate runs around with the slot receiver being used as the pitch option. If the DE stays at home, Tate gives to Denard who then runs down the line with the RB parallel as the pitch option.




September 22nd, 2009 at 2:51 AM ^

Cool idea and good post. I'm no coach or expert, but looks like a really nice play.
If Tate keeps it and rolls right, he also has the option of hitting Denard or the RB on a screen with the other blocking for him.


September 22nd, 2009 at 5:29 AM ^

I would prefer Denard to get the snap and make the first read for the handoff to the Forcier. Then, if he gives it to Tate we have the better read/react guy pitching the ball. RR is very creative, and they will come up with new wrinkles to confuse the opposition. Someone should email this to the coaches and see what they say. You never know....
Sure beats the hell out of iso right all day, huh? I think UM has run more plays this year than all the plays combined I have ever seen them run. It's also nice to have a staff that goes in and makes offensive and defensive adjustments at halftime. Go Blue!


September 22nd, 2009 at 3:07 AM ^

What you propose has denard only as a run threat and actually gives him less room to improvise than a straight Qb draw. Although he can make a play with his feet there, so can our Rb's.

However, if he comes in motion from across the formation, the plays options open up a lot more. The most obvious way to get him the ball there is a straight handoff, perhaps after a play fake to the Rb. This get him on the edge, where he's most dangerous, and also allows him to pull up and pass if the defense overreacts to him getting the ball. The other would be to run the play you suggest, a triple option, but have denard be the pitch man. If Tate pitches it out, you might get Denard on the edge, or a very open Wr if the secondary comes up to help in run support.

Now, you show this a few times in the first half, maybe 5 or so, and hope you burn them once or twice. Soon the linebackers and safeties see that motion, and start thinking they better take a step towards the side of the field Denard is motioning to. If you can get linebackers and safeties starting to flow one way, and you have Carlos Brown or Brandon Minor running the other, its bad news for the defense.

I believe they showed this type of motion with Denard once against Western, where he lines up at slot and motions across the formation. I expect to see more of that when we get into the B10 schedule and want to mix it up offensively. You will get your wish though, as Denard is far to explosive an athlete to keep off the field, even with tate out there.


September 22nd, 2009 at 3:19 AM ^

i've been thinking about this, too. having two qb's on the field who can both run and pass could certainly open things up. what about denard taking a handoff, passing it back across the field to tate, who goes deep to hemingway? or, after a bit more development, going deep himself. or tate passing back across to denard who takes off at mach 8.


September 22nd, 2009 at 3:27 AM ^

Do you like turnovers? Handing from one QB to another QB who throws it BACK to the first QB is basically begging for something to go horribly wrong.

Honestly while I understand the appeal of coming up with all of this craziness I don't like it from a football standpoint. These are true freshmen and while extremely talented are still young men. They will make mistakes and this year I think opportunities for serious mistakes should be limited. As such ridiculous trick plays and overly complicated options should not be used in favor of a more conventional spread.

Also in reference to the original play there are 6 men in the box compared to 5 blockers and unless the safeties are blind they will close in and be on the ball carrier in the back field.

Six Zero

September 22nd, 2009 at 8:26 AM ^

But have you ever seen film of 'The Mad Magicians?' Crisler's 1947 team was all over this idea with the spinning fullback, etc-- the ball would often change hands 3 to 4 times before leaving the backfield. Definitely innovative for its time... some people say it was this offense that gave birth to the defensive concept of plugging gaps vs. taking the man.


September 22nd, 2009 at 10:41 AM ^

Instead of Carlos though, I would use Koger. Recieving/blocking, I think he would be better. We could also use Nick-DON'T NEG ME!- in place of Tate for the handoff and then he could be a blocker whilst Denard backs up and passes.

I like that formation alot! :)


September 22nd, 2009 at 1:48 PM ^

There's no way the single-wing actually works in todays game. D-Lineman (especially DT's) are much too big and powerful, linebakcers are much larger and faster than when the single-wing was popular, and it's much more difficult to pass out of the single-wing* (as it relies heavily on extra blockers, i.e. bigger and slower players, and several running backs).


The only single-wing-esque formations I want to see are either already in our playbook (see: the semi-wishbone QB & a RB on either side, etc.) and the wildcat (which may be in our playbook but just isn't shown yet). The straight-up single wing (look at the forst formation in the wikipedia article) isn't versitile enough for today's game, and it allows defenses to stack for the run with very few reprocussions.
* Note: it's not impossible, but without dedicated WR's, it's much more difficult for recievers to get open.


September 22nd, 2009 at 1:22 PM ^

I believe Rich Rodriguez will undoubtedly bust out some new stuff when these guys become more familiar and consistent with their current playbook. If you watch old WVU videos on YouTube, there are so many crazy formations that we haven't seen Michigan run yet. I believe there was one where Pat White lined up in the pistol, with two backs slightly behind him on each side. We haven't seen this kind of stuff yet.
I'm excited to see what stuff RR comes up with to utilize our weapons.