Get your option on: Air Force triple-option clips

A day without some option is not a day I want to have:

  • Chris Lindsay

    Watching the triple option is almost like watching a magician do sleight-of-hand tricks.

  • Yellow Jacket

    Chris, might you do some more in-depth analysis of the triple option at some point? I’d be interested to read your take, as there’s a lot of noise out there on how this offense type is overrated and can no longer consistently work well for fbs schools.

  • Anonymous

    I wrote extensively about it in the past:

    http://smartfootball.com/tag/flexbone

    http://smartfootball.blogspot.com/2009/06/why-you-cant-just-play-assignment.html

    But may revisit it this offseason. I was a triple-option quarterback myself for a time, way back in the day.

  • Jgordon0508

    I read in a blog the other day that everytime a team runs midline, God kills a kitten

  • Dford

    First play is double option. Pitching off the handoff key. The right guard circles to get to the second level. The fullback was clean to the LB (if it were triple, it was a definite give) and to some this would be considered wide veer triple option. But this particular play is simple pitch play off of the doulble option

  • CW

    I like Air Force’s take on the option more than Navy/Ga Tech – same plays but just a lot more variety, especially in formations. Like the video shows, they run the offense from just about every formation, from Shotgun to stacked I. Just makes the other option teams seem a little vanilla.

  • Dford

    The last play is, also, not triple. It is predetermined fullback give and the fullback cuts back when the B gap closes. You can tell this because the Right tackle blocks straight ahead instead of down which would  solidify the B gap (for triple). The center pushes the MLB past the hole and it really opens. This play is a key part of the triple series and really simplifies things for the QB.

  • JK

    If you revisit it, can you talk a little about the ballhandling of the QB-FB/QB-Bback mesh?

  • Jason from Nashville

    Mr. Smart Football was an option QB? There’s some stories I’d like to hear.

  • yellowric

    Big fan of Air Force. I am a UW fan. In the mid-late 90’s Air Force came over to play and I went to the game with my step-dad. I was a teenager. That was the first time I was exposed to the option as more than just a single play. Air Force whipped UW; the stadium would be cheering because the QB was stopped for loss, but the B would be halfway up the field with nobody around him. I’ve been a huge option fan ever since. I miss those Air Force option days, but thankfully Paul Johnson continues the flexbone crusade.  Nice video, thanks.

  • yellowric

    Oh my goodness, I forgot! Air Force went back to it and I didn’t catch any Air Force games this year!

  • yellowric

    That clip was this year! HA! Funny.

  • yellowric

    Wait, wait, wait, wait. I have been going out of my mind or what? At some point didn’t Air Force stop running the triple option when Calhoun came in? Wow, I guess I am out of my mind.

  • Terry Luschen

    I agree that as soon as the DE/’5′ technique went inside the offensive tackle that the QB decided to pull the ball, but this still is triple option.   If the defense had run a different stunt the QB would have needed to read the ‘5’ technique.    The defense did not execute their stunt well.  The DE/’5′ took ‘B’ gap, which is fine, but he got washed down too far.   The playside LB is filling ‘C’ gap, which should make him QB responsible.   He should not get cut by a pulling guard and needs to use his hands better.   The outside LB who ended up taking the QB is ‘D’ gap responsible and should have been taking the pitch back.    If the OLB is going to take the QB, then he has ‘C’ gap and the inside LB should have ‘D’ gap.  That means the LB should be flying to the alley to get the pitch man and would never get caught by the pulling guard.    If your inside LB can run down the pitch back in the alley this will really hurt this fold blocking scheme.  Finally I do not know why the safety to the field is rolled up so far.  It is a balanced formation so maybe they are just playing towards a tendancy to run option to the field.  If the safety feels the crack block from the WR he must get over the top of that block.  Also the corner must come right off the WRs back to make the alley as small as possible.   The blocker for the corner is coming all the way from behind the center so the corner back should be able to close this alley window.   I love option football.   There are so many details on each side of the ball that can make it succeed or fail.   I appreciate all the details on this smartfootball site.

  • Terry Luschen

    I agree that as soon as the DE/’5′ technique went inside the offensive tackle that the QB decided to pull the ball, but this still is triple option.   If the defense had run a different stunt the QB would have needed to read the ‘5’ technique.    The defense did not execute their stunt well.  The DE/’5′ took ‘B’ gap, which is fine, but he got washed down too far.   The playside LB is filling ‘C’ gap, which should make him QB responsible.   He should not get cut by a pulling guard and needs to use his hands better.   The outside LB who ended up taking the QB is ‘D’ gap responsible and should have been taking the pitch back.    If the OLB is going to take the QB, then he has ‘C’ gap and the inside LB should have ‘D’ gap.  That means the LB should be flying to the alley to get the pitch man and would never get caught by the pulling guard.    If your inside LB can run down the pitch back in the alley this will really hurt this fold blocking scheme.  Finally I do not know why the safety to the field is rolled up so far.  It is a balanced formation so maybe they are just playing towards a tendancy to run option to the field.  If the safety feels the crack block from the WR he must get over the top of that block.  Also the corner must come right off the WRs back to make the alley as small as possible.   The blocker for the corner is coming all the way from behind the center so the corner back should be able to close this alley window.   I love option football.   There are so many details on each side of the ball that can make it succeed or fail.   I appreciate all the details on this smartfootball site.

  • John Phamlore

    Whether the choice of an option offense at the FCS level of college football is viable for most programs would appear to me to be a question of whether an option offense can be practiced by players unsupervised by the coaching staff in 7-on-7 drills in the offseason outside of spring or fall training.  Are there such effective protocols that also involve the defense in a manner that doesn’t waste their time?

    Note that the Service Academies are an obvious exception to this question because their players in the offseason cannot afford to waste their time on football–they’re undergoing a different training, preparing to be leaders in combat.