We can do this

Did anyone watch the Jenn Brown game South Florida v. Pittsburgh game last night? I had it on and would glance over from time to time whilst doing other things. Early in the third quarter, I watched as Pitt drove quickly down the field. After a nice catch and run, the Panthers were set up inside the South Florida fifteen and ran this play:

Pitt first lines up in what looks like I-formation with one wide out to the right. There’s a tight end over the left tackle and an extra tackle over the right tackle. At the shift (which completely fools a South Florida player into jumping), the fullback slides out wide left and the running back to the right. The extra tackle on the right also shifts to a receiver position and the tight end on the left slips into the slot. Pitt has just gone from a Jumbo I-formation look to an empty set five-wide receiver shotgun formation with one shift. But that’s not all: it’s a tackle eligible trick play and the “left tackle” is actually a tight end, who waltzes uncovered through the middle of the South Florida defense and makes an easy catch for the touchdown.

Now, I’m not necessarily all that interested in the trick part of that play, although it was pretty slick. I’m much more interested in the actual formation shift. Because we happen to have the right sort of personnel to pull that off with legitimate threats lined up wide in tight ends Aron White and Orson Charles as well as fullback/tight end Bruce Figgins. Plus, all of our running backs have shown a propensity for catching the ball. And I think we run the ball pretty dang well with that set of personnel on the field, too. Just sayin’.

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