Monday, August 1, 2011

Breaking Down Boise's Offense

About a year ago, posted a very intriguing article about Boise's offense. It wasn't just a diagram of some of their plays, but what their overall philosophy and approach to calling plays is. They site many assistant coaches and the man who runs the site, Chris Brown, has a pretty deep understanding of X's and O's. Given that Kellen Moore and Chris Petersen are still at the helm, I though the information presented will still be pretty accurate, and since we play these guys in just over a month, I found it to be very topical.

Anyway, I will give you the "cliffnotes"version here but note the link in the first sentence for those who want to read the entire original article (I highly suggest it if you are interested in X's and O's like I am).

The article first points out 3 main philosophies or "ideas" that defines Boise's offense:

  1. Pre-Snap Leverage -- This means they use a combination of pre-snap shifting/motion and "big" tight ends to gain an advantage in the numbers game. This puts defenses in a situation where they are vulnerable (lacks players in a certain area of the field and/or puts defensive players out of position before the snap; not enough players to cover each gaps, etc.)
  2. Post-Snap Misdirection -- Boise always has at least two plays called when they address the line of scrimmage. This allows them to take advantage of certain defensive players who are put in awkward situations. The example presented is an outside linebacker who tries to cover a receiver on a bubble screen). However, if the linebacker is playing where he should be, they will still use the bubble screen route as a decoy, and run an option play to the opposite side (diagram below):
  3. Bold, Calculated Risks -- This just points out Chris Petersen's ability to use "trick plays" or unlikely risky plays at just the right time (a la the hook and ladder against Oklahoma or a fake punt against TCU in the Fiesta Bowl.)
There then is a section on "How to Stop Boise" in which the writer details three ways defenses can best stop the Broncos:
  1. Pressure Moore -- Notes that TCU has been the only team of note that has put burdening pressure on Moore. This kind of goes without saying.
  2. Come up with Simple adjustments to their motion package -- This points out that if you try to get complicated on defense, you will end up confusing your players and will likely give up big plays. Find easy ways to account for their pre-snap shifts.
  3. Die Slowly -- Basically this just says to tread water for as long as possible; no big plays, no broken tackles, etc. 
Like I said earlier, I highly suggest reading the entire article (which is linked in the opening sentence). It really gives a lot of insight into arguably the best offense in the country in recent years (not to scare you or anything.)


  1. Oh my God. This ought to be retitled: A Jumpstart To A Vomit.

    Grantham better earn his paycheck.

  2. Simply put, this game is about JTIII and the difference in the S&C program... punch them in the mouth on the opening kickoff and don't stop until the final whistle. Win or Lose, BSU should walk off the field feeling like they got man handled for four quarters...