Option a good option for Army

David Pevoto takes the snap and breaks to the outside, faking a pitch, before darting through a hole created by the offensive line. He breaks one tackle, then another. Touchdown! Isn't the option a wonderful thing?

Army fans expect to see more of the scheme this fall as third-year head coach Bobby Ross seemingly has the best qualified personnel to run it. Don't expect Ross to run it every play, he's already established a smash mouth running game, but enough to keep opposing defenses honest.

The option has helped Air Force to six bowl game wins in the past 20 years and helped Navy to three consecutive Commander-in-Chief trophies and consecutive bowl wins. Again, we stress, Ross and Army will make its living on a traditional running game, but even in small doses the option can wreak havoc.

Why?

Several reasons:

Few teams ever see the option, so preparing for it in just a week of practice is nearly impossible.

The option makes the defense play assignment football. It reduces the All-American defensive end to closing in on the fullback. It doesn't give (the defensive end) a chance to showcase his rushing ability.

Service academies usually don't get the biggest linemen. But they can compete with their tougher, smarter, faster and more disciplined athletes who are perfect for the option. The option is assignment football, playing angles, beating bigger opponents to holes, using technique blocking to compensate for lack of size.

It is not fancy. It is relentless.

The option has its drawbacks:

If you like the passing game, the option is not for you. Coming back from a two or three-touchdown deficit with a run-oriented offense and little time on the clock is difficult. But most teams in the country have a tough time coming back from three touchdowns down.

Ross tried getting some option in during his first two years, but it was difficult with quarterback Zac Dahman, who lacks mobility. He may not be Michael Vick, but Pevoto has better feet.

Now, Pevoto has to go out and execute. Just like he did at the beginning of this story.


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