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View Full Version : will there ever be a great running team again?



slorch
07-13-2006, 07:56 AM
Remember when UHouston wowed the football world with the Run-N-Shoot? That prolific passing game was so different from anything being played at that time, and UH has not had the success they had at that time, since then.
I have wondered, will we ever have a dominant running game again since everyone is pass happy now? Is it sexy, no. Is it effective? can be.

Just as the Air Raid offense helps Tech stay competitive, the wishbone made teams like Nebraska and Oklahoma juggernauts in the 70s and 80s. It made teams with lesser talent stay competitive like USAF Academy.
With the size of linemen, it seems as if the running game wouldn't be that hard, but the increasing speed of defensive line and LBs i believe has made a consistent running game so much more difficult.

What do you think will be the offense of the future, and will the running game ever be dominant again?

Favpack
07-13-2006, 08:14 AM
I tend to agree - the great RB are seeming to be a thing of the past. You need a solid, good rb, not not great one. This is strictly at the pro level, and maybe D1 college level, however. Still can be done at college or below - more separation of talent.

KT2000
07-13-2006, 08:16 AM
I think running schemes can still be very effective. On the high school level, I think Trinity proved that last year with their impressive run to state on the legs of a 3,000+ yard rusher in Dmitri Nance and another 1,500+ rusher in LaDerrick Handy.

As popular as the spread is, most of those schemes are based on a run. The primary base play in the Carroll system is a run. The QB-RB zone read.

Steve Spurrier's base play at Florida was also a run. A key part of his passing tree branched off a lead draw play out of the one back designed to keep teams honest.

I think teams will always need to be able to both run and pass, and don't seen one really overtaking the other. Balance is essential in my opinion, and you have to keep defenses off-balance and guessing.

I think being able to physically dominate someone at the line of scrimmage is the most demoralizing thing an offense can do to a defense aside from putting up points at will. In my opinion, I think there's still plenty of room for primarily running teams to be successful if they do the little things consistently well execution wise and take care of the football.

I'm always amazed at how good teams can become if they are consistently efficient in their execution regardless of whether they are passing or running. Programs like Judson, Carroll, Permian, Plano and Katy have been able to sustain success in large part because they're models of efficiency. I think that's one of the true keys that gets lost in the shuffle sometimes when people get overly concerned with the effects of run-pass ratios.

At the college level, you don't have to look any further back than last year at Texas' undefeated season. The Horns averaged better than 300 yards per game on the ground. Vince Young's don't come along often for sure, but I think the dominance of the Texas OL was an obvious key to the whole thing. In college, I think a dominant run team can still be successful. It all comes down to recruiting the right parts, and having a coach who can get them to play efficient and effective football.

slorch
07-13-2006, 08:47 AM
UT's line is the perfect example. They were as good a unit as anyone has had in quite some time, yet i didn't hear much talk putting them up there with dominating lines like Nebraska in '83 or the SC lines of the 70's.
Scary for this year, 3 starters return...

RocklandDragon
07-13-2006, 08:49 AM
A great running game can establish a well balanced game plan. Tre Newton is a huge asset to the Dragons. He keeps other opponents from totally covering the secondary.

Permian looks like they may have a great running game again. Robert Murry has great cutback ability and is able to break through whenever a glimpse of daylight can be seen through the line of scrimmage. I can't remember the other running backs that they have off the bat, but one of them has good speed but looked like a power runner and would be hard to bring down.

Still, the passing attack has infiltrated HS football with many succesful stories. But I'll tell you what has stayed around for a long time and is more important than a pass attack.

A good defense.

:D

pack0808
07-13-2006, 10:34 AM
If you look up the facts since 2000 running teams in running formations have won more state championships in Texas highschool football at the 5a level then spread teams. Now in college it is becoming a different story. College used to be heavy run but now is more balanced with many teams adapting the spread, pro set, and west coast offenses. You rarely see the wishbone type OU teams unless you watch a military school. There are still many very good teams that have great running teams in college. It does not matter the offense.


In the NFL it is a very balanced attack with most teams. You do not see the spread offense in the NFL because of the speed. The Steelers ran the ball more in the last 2 years then any team has since the 70's and look what they have done in the last 2 years. There is your answer right there. It has been done at the highest level last year and they just won a super bowl!! And they run mostly running formations out of I sets besides on 3rd down and 2 or more or in the hurry up when they go to the shotgun.

Firebird
07-13-2006, 01:03 PM
Do I think that there will be any more 3 clouds and a yard of dust teams dominating on the pro or the NCAA level? No.

Do I think that the running game will always play a key role in the success of MOST great teams, on all levels? Yes.

The key I see at the high school level is flexibilty (I'll talk HS since this is a HS site). While it is important to have a system established (athletes shouldn't have to learn a new playbook every year), coaches are always going to have to work with what they have (and with what the other team has.)

HS coaches don't get to go out and recruit players to fit their offense. In the years I have watched high school football, I have seen many coaches run a team that has potential into the ground when they refused to adapt their offense to the players they have. Some years you will be gifted with big bruisers up front--- why not pound the ball all day long? Some years you will have a kid who can throw on a rope and a squad of fleet footed recievers-- why waste that talent by trying to force a running game that isn't there?

In short, on a high school level, I think that HS coaches are always going to need a running formation in their back pocket, if nothing else. And, they will always need to adjust their play calling in the system they run to suit what they have on the field.

dada
07-13-2006, 01:16 PM
Remember when UHouston wowed the football world with the Run-N-Shoot? That prolific passing game was so different from anything being played at that time, and UH has not had the success they had at that time, since then.
I have wondered, will we ever have a dominant running game again since everyone is pass happy now? Is it sexy, no. Is it effective? can be.

Just as the Air Raid offense helps Tech stay competitive, the wishbone made teams like Nebraska and Oklahoma juggernauts in the 70s and 80s. It made teams with lesser talent stay competitive like USAF Academy.
With the size of linemen, it seems as if the running game wouldn't be that hard, but the increasing speed of defensive line and LBs i believe has made a consistent running game so much more difficult.

What do you think will be the offense of the future, and will the running game ever be dominant again?
Before I read any of the other posts, I'm gonna add my opinions. First I think todays defenses would have trouble with option teams. Just like in basketball, the way the rest of the world has caught up with the US. They beat us with simplicity, the funamentals like the pick and roll and jump shots....In football, since the offense has evolved, so has the defenese....for the worse....defense is all about speed now.....do you think todays cornerbacks can size up with a Tom Rathman like RB? Are they physical enough?? I would love to see how a defense reacted to seeing 4 rb's in the backfield. I for one don't know if we would see it again..but think it could shake things up if you had all the right tools.

Firebird
07-13-2006, 01:22 PM
Before I read any of the other posts, I'm gonna add my opinions. First I think todays defenses would have trouble with option teams. Just like in basketball, the way the rest of the world has caught up with the US. They beat us with simplicity, the funamentals like the pick and roll and jump shots....In football, since the offense has evolved, so has the defenese....for the worse....defense is all about speed now.....do you think todays cornerbacks can size up with a Tom Rathman like RB? Are they physical enough?? I would love to see how a defense reacted to seeing 4 rb's in the backfield. I for one don't know if we would see it again..but think it could shake things up if you had all the right tools.


I am with you on this one Dada. I even mentioned it last season as I was watching Harlingen (we had a fast qb and several talented Rbs).


I think, if nothing else, it would do no harm for HS coaches to teach a few basic plays out of the wishbone. Today's HS defenses wouldn't know what hit them.

BTW, I am a big believer in HS teams having multiple formations. Harlingen has done run multiple formations for several years now. While it hasn't yet gotten us the big W against upstate teams yet, it has saved our tail several times against valley comp. when the base formation just ain't working.

dada
07-13-2006, 01:30 PM
I am with you on this one Dada. I even mentioned it last season as I was watching Harlingen (we had a fast qb and several talented Rbs).


I think, if nothing else, it would do no harm for HS coaches to teach a few basic plays out of the wishbone. Today's HS defenses wouldn't know what hit them.

BTW, I am a big believer in HS teams having multiple formations. Harlingen has done run multiple formations for several years now. While it hasn't yet gotten us the big W against upstate teams yet, it has saved our tail several times against valley comp. when the base formation just ain't working.
Their reaction to seeing the multiple Rb's would be the same as when guys first saw 4 or 5 wideouts......looking over at the sideline with their arms out "what do we do coach??"

BAMF cowboy
07-13-2006, 02:35 PM
im a believer in history tending to repeat itself, so i say yes. with the evolution of the passing game in hs football, we are seeing more spread offensives, and more nickel and dime defenses. soon enough a solid running team will just be able to tear through these defenses, and in sports "monkey see monkey do". if teams are having success running the ball they will soon follow.

but i agree with rockland, it doesnt matter what offense you run, a good defense is most important

pack0808
07-13-2006, 03:19 PM
I am with you on this one Dada. I even mentioned it last season as I was watching Harlingen (we had a fast qb and several talented Rbs).


I think, if nothing else, it would do no harm for HS coaches to teach a few basic plays out of the wishbone. Today's HS defenses wouldn't know what hit them.

BTW, I am a big believer in HS teams having multiple formations. Harlingen has done run multiple formations for several years now. While it hasn't yet gotten us the big W against upstate teams yet, it has saved our tail several times against valley comp. when the base formation just ain't working.


Spring Westfield and Clearlake have run the wishbone with a lot of success recently. Even Buda Hays ran it last year but they ran all kinds of formations. They threw Lufkin off for a while when they went to the true wishbone. That offense was fun to watch. You never knew what they were going to do.

LoneRocket
07-13-2006, 03:30 PM
Spring Westfield and Clearlake have run the wishbone with a lot of success recently. Even Buda Hays ran it last year but they ran all kinds of formations. They threw Lufkin off for a while when they went to the true wishbone. That offense was fun to watch. You never knew what they were going to do.
During the last two Judson games with Spring Westfield even though they had a great running game, they were not in a bone formation.

jtk1519
07-13-2006, 03:37 PM
The great running teams have never left... they have just evolved. Last year, there were six Div. 1-A teams with over 3,000 yards rushing (Navy, Texas, Minnesota, West Virginia, Memphis and USC) and two of those teams (Texas and West Virginia) run a version of the spread as their base offense.

If you don't think the "power" backs exist any more, you should look at LenDale White, Michael Bush, Laurence Maroney, etc. They are still alive and kicking. The power backs are still there, it's just the offensive schemes that have changed.

Football used to be a very simple game... the old KISS style of football. Now days though, the game has evolved to the point where offenses like that just don't work. So, the running game has adapted and become more complex. First came the option run out of the wishbone or wing T style of offense. Now days we still have a lot of option teams, but now they are running the zone read or triple option spread. More balance has been added as passing games have advanced, but that has only served to open up even more things for the running game.

pack0808
07-13-2006, 03:45 PM
During the last two Judson games with Spring Westfield even though they had a great running game, they were not in a bone formation.


I thought they ran the wishbone? What type of formation was it. I am sure it is a running formation? I know for a fact clearlake ran the wishbone when they went to the state semis a few years back.

I have seen the wing-t used by several teams recently. Buda Hays (million offensive sets) Garland, Klein, Klein Collins, Dallas Carter, Pflugerville etc etc

dada
07-13-2006, 03:48 PM
I thought they ran the wishbone? What type of formation was it. I am sure it is a running formation? I know for a fact clearlake ran the wishbone when they went to the state semis a few years back.

I have seen the wing-t used by several teams recently. Buda Hays (million offensive sets) Garland, Klein, Klein Collins, Dallas Carter, Pflugerville etc etc
I think that was when they had Webster Patrick.

jtk1519
07-13-2006, 03:51 PM
Lubbock Monterey has been running a version of the wishbone recently (the broken bone or something like that). I'm assuming they still do, but I'm not sure. When they are on, it's a very good offense.

LoneRocket
07-13-2006, 03:55 PM
I thought they ran the wishbone? What type of formation was it. I am sure it is a running formation? I know for a fact clearlake ran the wishbone when they went to the state semis a few years back.

I have seen the wing-t used by several teams recently. Buda Hays (million offensive sets) Garland, Klein, Klein Collins, Dallas Carter, Pflugerville etc etc
I can not remember, I know they ran the option a lot (could have been the
I-formation). Coach Shelton at Hays has been there since the 1960's. Marshall in SA used to run the bone as well as Aldine back in the late 80's they had a powerful bone team.

LoneRocket
07-13-2006, 03:56 PM
Warren HS has a power running game, when the head coach was at Roosevelt he used it to win state.

pack0808
07-14-2006, 10:22 AM
I do not know how the Buda Hays coach teaches all of those offensive sets. That was amazing to watch and you would think it would be too much for 1 team to handle. They did them all very well also. I am talking wing-t, wishbone, spread, spread shotgun, Iformation, pro set etc Thank God they had no defense to stop Lufkin or the pack would have been in trouble because all of those offensive looks were confusing the hell out of the very fast Lufkin defense. That is how you control a fast defense.catch them out of positiion and make them over pursue and Confuse the hell out of them. ;)

dragonsdaddy
07-14-2006, 10:50 AM
confusion is the greatest of equalizers in any sport. when a db is faster than a wr, and he's confused, he's simply running himself out of a play faster than he would if he were slower. multiple sets can be very discombobulating, esp the first time a defense sees them. there is a limit to the rearrangement beyond which the offense is also confused due to lack of practice time. and if the confusion is ever cleared up, the better team takes over.

pack0808
07-14-2006, 11:02 AM
confusion is the greatest of equalizers in any sport. when a db is faster than a wr, and he's confused, he's simply running himself out of a play faster than he would if he were slower. multiple sets can be very discombobulating, esp the first time a defense sees them. there is a limit to the rearrangement beyond which the offense is also confused due to lack of practice time. and if the confusion is ever cleared up, the better team takes over.


The Lufkin defense has been confused by the SLC offense several times over the years. I have seen our defense looking around and looking at the coaches even after the ball was already snapped.

dragonsdaddy
07-14-2006, 11:15 AM
some of that may be due to the dc being late getting defenses called. lots of dc's try to wait til the last instant to call blitzes or coverages. the delay sets the defenders up if the offense rushes the play or starts before the defenses have time to establish the calls. since slc very rarely does anything new(only 3-4 trick plays in dodge's mtenure), confusion can only come from tardiness or poor preparation. i'm betting on the former, in lp's case.

pack0808
07-14-2006, 11:19 AM
some of that may be due to the dc being late getting defenses called. lots of dc's try to wait til the last instant to call blitzes or coverages. the delay sets the defenders up if the offense rushes the play or starts before the defenses have time to establish the calls. since slc very rarely does anything new(only 3-4 trick plays in dodge's mtenure), confusion can only come from tardiness or poor preparation. i'm betting on the former, in lp's case.


Well yall definitely got Lufkin with a trick play last year! ;) That play was key to getting the momentum back for SLC. Game completely changed after that trick play. Lufkin was very high until that dagger. The Lufkin coaches usually have the players very very prepared for a game and sometimes it is simply the kids that get confused in the heat of the battle.

dragonsdaddy
07-14-2006, 11:45 AM
i have always thought we should run more trick plays. i mean how often do you have the future off poy at wr? the 02 team had 4 kids with great arms in the backfield, besides cwasson. and chase w was a converted wr and rb from the year before. if nothing else, showing a propensity to drop a tp on you makes the dc have to respect it at least a little.

Firebird
07-14-2006, 03:00 PM
confusion is the greatest of equalizers in any sport. when a db is faster than a wr, and he's confused, he's simply running himself out of a play faster than he would if he were slower. multiple sets can be very discombobulating, esp the first time a defense sees them. there is a limit to the rearrangement beyond which the offense is also confused due to lack of practice time. and if the confusion is ever cleared up, the better team takes over.

I completley agree with this. In addition, I would add the limit of rearrangement for HS players is much higher than the many coaches and fans realize.

Multiple sets CAN lead to a victory for a lesser team, but only if the more talented team is less disciplend and coached.

It is not surprising that Lufkin, with a coach like Outlaw, was able to adjust and take the game over.

Matthew 2000 Eagle
07-16-2006, 12:47 AM
I saw Mansfield Summit run the flexbone and double wing out of the shotgun last year.:eek: That was confusing.

oppmojo
07-16-2006, 11:51 AM
I do not know how the Buda Hays coach teaches all of those offensive sets. That was amazing to watch and you would think it would be too much for 1 team to handle. They did them all very well also. I am talking wing-t, wishbone, spread, spread shotgun, Iformation, pro set etc Thank God they had no defense to stop Lufkin or the pack would have been in trouble because all of those offensive looks were confusing the hell out of the very fast Lufkin defense. That is how you control a fast defense.catch them out of positiion and make them over pursue and Confuse the hell out of them. ;)
pack0808..My pop warner team could run Wing-t, Wishbone, I-form. and pro set and the off. line flip floped depending if we were running strong right or strong left. It's not that difficult, as long as you keep the number system the same. Each back is assigned their own # and each hole is assigned a #. Keeping practice fun and running alot of reps helps also. In 12 years we lost 10 games.

SFARocketGrad
07-16-2006, 02:58 PM
well whenever your program is establised every player is able to play that style of football. My senior year we had one of the biggest lines at Judson (with me being the smallest at 5'7" with cleats on). Its not about power all the time its about technique and heart. Until this past year Judson has had plenty of success with running the ball down peoples throats. We went 14-1 with it winning state. In 04 Judson went 13-1 losing a good battle to Westfield. This year they started trying to run a read and react offense but when they realized it wasnt working they went back to the good ole stuff we know. Making it to state playing Judson ball. Just wait until I take over an offense and see who can stop it!!!!

slorch
07-16-2006, 03:46 PM
SFA,
I would agree that there are still some high school teams that depend on the run and use it well. The point of my question is more towards the college game that was once dominated by the running game as lately as the mid 90's, whether it would figure prominantly with future dominant teams.

pack0808
07-16-2006, 11:22 PM
pack0808..My pop warner team could run Wing-t, Wishbone, I-form. and pro set and the off. line flip floped depending if we were running strong right or strong left. It's not that difficult, as long as you keep the number system the same. Each back is assigned their own # and each hole is assigned a #. Keeping practice fun and running alot of reps helps also. In 12 years we lost 10 games.


Well I stand corrected. I figured it was tough enough to perfect one type of offense!

farmerfan
07-17-2006, 12:46 AM
Remember when UHouston wowed the football world with the Run-N-Shoot? That prolific passing game was so different from anything being played at that time, and UH has not had the success they had at that time, since then.
I have wondered, will we ever have a dominant running game again since everyone is pass happy now? Is it sexy, no. Is it effective? can be.

Just as the Air Raid offense helps Tech stay competitive, the wishbone made teams like Nebraska and Oklahoma juggernauts in the 70s and 80s. It made teams with lesser talent stay competitive like USAF Academy.
With the size of linemen, it seems as if the running game wouldn't be that hard, but the increasing speed of defensive line and LBs i believe has made a consistent running game so much more difficult.

What do you think will be the offense of the future, and will the running game ever be dominant again?

Navy has been competitive lately and I believe they run out of a version of the wishbone. I can't recall if they won their bowl game last year or two years ago but I know I enjoyed watching them line up and run the triple option. Their FB Adam Ballard grew up 4 houses down the street from me and it was a joy watching him have a great bowl game. I just can't recall against who and what bowl.

drgnbkr
07-17-2006, 08:21 AM
Navy has been competitive lately and I believe they run out of a version of the wishbone. I can't recall if they won their bowl game last year or two years ago but I know I enjoyed watching them line up and run the triple option. Their FB Adam Ballard grew up 4 houses down the street from me and it was a joy watching him have a great bowl game. I just can't recall against who and what bowl.

It'll only get worse as you get older FF!

pack0808
07-17-2006, 08:32 AM
It'll only get worse as you get older FF!


LMAO :)

farmerfan
07-17-2006, 01:46 PM
It'll only get worse as you get older FF!

that might not be such a bad thing considering some of the things I have said and done in my lifetime :D :eek:

pack0808
07-17-2006, 02:12 PM
that might not be such a bad thing considering some of the things I have said and done in my lifetime :D :eek:


Double Amen! I know what you mean brother

Warbird
07-17-2006, 06:14 PM
AHS runs a pretty balanced offense, but does have a wishbone set for those 3&2 situations. Pretty effective at gaining the yards.

Or, *winks at JTK* running your fullback around the entire defense.:D

lonny23
07-17-2006, 07:12 PM
SFA,
I would agree that there are still some high school teams that depend on the run and use it well. The point of my question is more towards the college game that was once dominated by the running game as lately as the mid 90's, whether it would figure prominantly with future dominant teams.
I really think the Miami's and FSU's of the college world is what changed football forever. Once teams started putting more of their skilled players on defense vs. offense and you had speed players on the D Line and LB's, not just DB's, you saw a change in running attacks not being as effective. Gone are the days that the RB's will outrun the D Line and LB's and run over the DB's.

I've always been a Cougar fan and loved the Run and Shoot days of Ware, Klingler, and Weatherspoon, but the Miami Hurricanes flat-out took it to the Cougs in 1991. That offense was always predicated on short passing routes and breaking tackles at the point of attack for long gains. Miami was too fast and tackled too well for the Cougs to get anything going. Even when I went to the game in 2004, Miami was too fast for them.

Air Force runs a version of the Wishbone called Fishbone, but they don't have it like they used to. Every year, they'd win a bunch of games in the WAC and early on in the MWC, but they would always struggle against teams like Notre Dame that got good recruits. That unstoppable running attack would always meet it's kryptonite when somebody fast was on the other side of the line.

Balance is the key in today's NCAA and NFL. You can't be all of one and win big.

lonny23
07-17-2006, 07:14 PM
Navy played New Mexico in 2004. They also played bowl games in 2003 and 2005. Boy, I hate having those guys win the Commander in Chief's Trophy every year now.:(

dragonsdaddy
07-17-2006, 07:17 PM
it'll turn around after someone hires the navy coach away.

lonny23
07-17-2006, 09:00 PM
it'll turn around after someone hires the navy coach away.
Army and Navy finally got smart. Air Force has had Fisher DeBerry for more than 20 years now and Ken Hatfield was the coach before him. Fisher never left and the other 2 never had a coach as good and that's why they would get beat every year. Army paid good money to get Bobby Ross and Navy threw down a chunk of change, too. Paying more to get good coaches is what has put them past AF in recent years.

The Falcons have never been the same since 1998 when the D Coordinator left to coach VMI. They've won bowl games since then, but haven't been nearly as dominant and now they have losing records.

AZTiger
07-20-2006, 07:29 PM
I tell ya, watchin Navy in their bowl game this past year was just simply brilliant. It was awesome to watch.

slorch
07-20-2006, 07:31 PM
I tell ya, watchin Navy in their bowl game this past year was just simply brilliant. It was awesome to watch.
I especially enjoyed the one before that, with Red Raiders involved

AZTiger
07-20-2006, 07:32 PM
hey try sending that PM again slorch