Passing Route Concepts

In an effort to provide you with the most detailed analysis and coverage of college football and the Gators, we want to bring you a weekly "Ask the Coach" segment. The "Ask the Coach" segment will focus of the on-field aspects of the game. We want you to ask our resident expert Mike Stoeber about schemes, techniques, trends and rules that you want to know more about.

As mentioned before, Mike Stoeber is a long time friend of mine and as qualified of a person as you will find in teaching football to the general public. As a matter of fact, Mr. Stoeber used to teach football as a course at the University of Florida. He was the Director of Football Operations under Ron Zook and before that Stoeber really sank his teeth into game planning and learning tendencies of Gator opponents as the Game Analysis Coordinator under Steve Spurrier and his staff. He worked for many years on the staff with current Gator defensive coordinator Charlie Strong.

Stoeber was my boss throughout my years on the staff at Florida and is currently still working in the field of analyzing plays and dissecting coaches video. He works for a large company that works with teams in analyzing opponents and developing game plans. His current client list includes more than 50 NFL and collegiate teams. Both teams that met in the Super Bowl last year are current client's of Stoeber and he also does work for seven SEC teams.

I guarantee when reading this you will learn something new and will not find a more qualified person to share his knowledge on the game of football on the Internet.

We will ask for Mike's questions on Sunday and Monday with the answers to your questions posted on Wednesday. As we did not get a chance to be open for questions this week, I asked Mike to prepare a guide of how to look at a passing game attack.


When Arkansas's offense is on the field this weekend, odds are they will be throwing the ball a lot. After 4 games, Arkansas is first in the league in pass attempts per game (37.3) and last in the league in rushing attempts per game (28.5).

Arkansas --- 37.3Vanderbilt --- 43.8
South Carolina --- 34.6Auburn --- 41.2
Kentucky --- 34.3Alabama --- 41.0
Mississippi St. --- 33.6Kentucky --- 37.5
Tennessee --- 31.8Mississippi --- 36.0
Georgia --- 31.2LSU --- 35.8
Auburn --- 29.6South Carolina --- 34.8
LSU --- 29.0Tennessee --- 34.8
Florida --- 26.3Florida --- 34.8
Mississippi --- 25.4Mississippi St. --- 33.6
Alabama --- 23.4Georgia --- 31.6
Vanderbilt --- 14.3Arkansas --- 28.5

As such, I thought I would discuss general pass route concepts. The following pass concept groupings is one method I teach to defensive staffs around the country to help analyze the opponent's offensive attack. This method allows you to make 12 groupings of all of the pass plays to look for specific tendencies. We would then compare these values with other factors, such as down/distance, field position, offensive personnel and/or offensive alignment, to attempt to determine the offensive coordinator's tendencies.

You will hear me say that for every offensive play, there is a good defensive call that can stop it. The key for a defensive coach is to "get a feel" for the play calling of their opponent to best put their players in position to win. See if you can tell what pass concepts Arkansas is running during the game and see if you see any tendencies in their calls. Let's talk again after the game and compare what we see.

1. Vertical – Route combination designed to attack deep areas of the field

2. Crosser – Route combinations involving at least 1 deep over route

3. Inside Stack – Any combination between numbers with stacked routes (underneath route with a deep one over it)

4. Outside Stack – Any combination outside numbers with stacked routes (underneath route with a deep one over it)

5. Horizontals – Underneath route combinations designed to "hi-lo" an underneath defender

6. Individuals - Underneath route combinations that do not intersect

7. Drives – Route combination involving 2 crossers, 1 shallow, originating from same side of ball

8. Levels – Route combination involving 2 crossers, 1 shallow, originating from opposite side of ball

9. Bunch – Route combinations originating from a bunched formation

10. Goalline – Route combination out of GL formations

11. Quicks – Routes involving a 3 step quarterback drop

12. Movement – Route involving full boot or full sprint action by the quarterback

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