Playbook: Wisconsin's 'Power O' scheme

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Let’s talk some college football today and focus on the off-tackle running game in the Wisconsin playbook. Bring Tank personnel (1WR-2TE-2RB) on the field and use the “Power O” scheme to create vertical lanes for RB Montee Ball.

Two TD runs vs. the Penn State defense that highlight the Badgers’ ability to win up front, work to the second level of the defense and run the ball with production.

Before we get to the replays and some coaching points, here are some quick breakdowns to check out:

-Video of Power O scheme at the NFL level
-Base NFL running schemes
-NFL Offensive Personnel Groupings

Personnel: Tank (1WR-2TE-2RB)
Formation: Tite

- The base action you will see in the Power O scheme includes the FB (F) and the open (weak) side guard. The FB will kick out to the closed (strong) side of the formation with the guard pulling around to block to the first opposite color jersey. You will see it consistently on Sundays in the NFL and with college offenses that lean on the running game.

- Look at the interior of the line of scrimmage. There is no penetration from Penn State. This allows Ball to hit the hole and work to the second level of the defense without hesitation.

- What you can’t coach here is the “jump-cut” from Ball once he gets through the hole and squares his pads. Both the SS and the FS from Penn State are unblocked on this play and Ball makes them miss in the open field. Yes, this is a poor angle (along with poor tackling technique) from the SS. However, the ability to change direction at the point of attack is a big reason we saw Ball put up enormous numbers in 2011.

Personnel: Tank (1WR-2TE-2RB)
Formation: Big Wing

-Penn State essentially has 10 defenders in the run front with “solo” coverage to the open side on the Z receiver. Walk the safeties up in their pre-snap movement and load the box. This should be a negative play for the Badgers when you stop the tape before the ball is snapped.

-More Tank personnel with a “Big Wing” formation to the closed side of the formation. Run Power O into the boundary (sideline) and once again we see the O-Line win up front, creating just enough room for Ball to get up the field.

-Track the FB on the replay. This is clinic tape right here. Get through the hole, find the second level defender, keep your hands inside and finish the block. The Badgers FB drives the defender back and I love seeing a blocker in a power scheme finish the play by dumping a safety or LB on the ground.

-We aren’t looking at complex football or some mis-direction scheme out of the spread offense. No tricks or gimmicks. When you line up to play Bret Bielema’s football team, this is what you get: power football. Win up front, move the D-Line and create running lanes for one of the most productive backs in the nation. That sells and is a reason Wisconsin has played in two straight Rose Bowls.

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