Campus Insider

Resurrecting ancient offense Snyder's fail-safe plan

The single wing hasn't reared its ugly head in more than four decades.

That could change Saturday.

With just two quarterbacks on scholarship — Jeff Schwinn and Dylan Meier — Snyder said the worst case scenario would be to resurrect a play from football antiquity.

"When you get right down to it, that's part of what we do on our offense," Snyder said. "We haven't implemented spinners just yet, at least not on the game field."

The single wing uses no quarterback, instead snapping directly to a fullback with an extra blocker in the backfield. As the fullback gets the snap he "spins" around and hands off to either the running back or a flanker running in opposite directions. The idea is that the defense doesn't know, of the three, who still has the ball.

The single wing ran its course in the late 1960s, but the it was once the preferred style of offense, run by such coaches as Amos Alonzo Stagg and Pop Warner. Snyder himself ran the single wing in high school, and the William Jewell teams he was a defensive back for from 1959-62 ran some form of the offense.

The single wing still throws the ball, but much less than modern offensive schemes. If worse comes to worse, Snyder said, he thought the Wildcats could pull it off.

When running back Darren Sproles, who would likely be taking the snaps, was told of Snyder's plan, he simply laughed. "I think I threw a couple times in high school," Sproles said. "I know I had a touchdown."

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