Spread Principles - Part 2: More Formations

GoBlueWolverine's Josh Turel takes an in-depth look at Rich Rodriguez's system. In part two of the series, Turel takes a look at more of the basic formations in the new offense, how they're utilized, and the theory behind why they work.

For those that missed part one, click here.

Here are some of the two back formations we saw Rodriguez use at West Virginia as well as his formations involving the tight end. It is hard to predict how much of the two back offense will see, obviously if Rodriguez can find the right type of player to fit the fullback role or what he calls the “max back” then it will transition nicely. The max back is really asked to do it all, and Owen Schmitt was a perfect fit for that role. First they must be a great blocker, as they are the lead or kick out man on most runs but they must also be a good receiver. The max back is used to stretch coverage’s in the flats and in some of the concepts, the max back is almost always wide open on play action passes. Michigan has a couple versatile players coming in. A guy like Christian Wilson is a particularly good fit for this role. It is always a huge benefit if the max back can be an extra runner as well. Having that element of versatility opens up other plays and keeps the defense honest. As you saw against Oklahoma, offensive coordinator Calvin Magee isn’t afraid to give the ball to the max back if needed.

As far as a goaline offense, you will either see the regular spread offense or a two tight end formation. Rodriguez’s offense can also use the I formation at any point in the game but you will see it more in the red zone.

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