Dana Holgorsen came to West Virginia to install his own brand of the Airraid offense, which was invented and developed by Hal Mumme and Mike Leach. Their offense had been somewhat inconsistent all year, but 70 points — in the Orange Bowl — is pretty much how you draw it up. Below are some links giving a primer to an offense — and a coach, and a system – I’ve long been studying.
- I explained in detail the history, evolution, and development of Holgorsen’s own unique brand of the Airraid — with added emphasis on the run game and play-action — over at Grantland earlier this season.
- Holgorsen often says that the key to the offense is less about the schemes than how they practice. As explained here, he says his offense can be explained in three days (with obviously some refinement later on).
- Further, see here for a primer on how Texas Tech set up their practices under Mike Leach. Holgorsen used this same framework at West Virginia.
- Make sure to read about the core Airraid plays. Note that Holgorsen doesn’t use “mesh,” one of the old Airraid staples. He does this because he moves players around differently than Leach did (he moves “H” and “Y” rather than “H” and “Z”).
- Like all Airraid teams, the screen game is imperative to Holgorsen’s offense. See here for information on the Airraid screen game and blocking drills.
- One of the big changes Holgorsen has made to his offense from the one run by Leach is to use multiple backs in the backfield — sometimes as many as three — in what he calls his “Diamond formation.” This link explains the theory and practice of that set.
- Even older than Mumme and Leach, some of the roots of the West Virginia offense go back to the old one-back offense. Also, check out that link for discussion of the “one-back clinic,” which Dana and other spread offense aficonados go to every year.