Is the Spread Option an Option? subject logo: COLSPORTS
Posted by: badanov

This is an interesting story about the spread offensive formation/scheme and its use by Texas, specifically Vince Young.

We have to admit we watched Texas on TV several times last season and we saw the spead in action and our immediate conclusion was Texas was running a basic option play.

According to the article we were wrong.

The option is essentially an end run, a keeper play by the quarterback who has option to pitch the ball laterally if he gets in trouble with penetrations by defensive players.

You gotta admit though, the old option play run from the "I" formation was an easy play to spoof defenses when doing end runs or option plays, and the wishbone triple option, perfected by retired Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer was very effective.

But the option is rarely an option for teams and we think it is because of the size of offensive lineman and the speed of defensive players, more specifically linebackers. You are are more likely to see off tackle and line bucks than ends runs because the likelyhood of a more effective block by offensive lineman is higher.

The advantage to the spread formation is that, since it starts from a shotgun formation, the quarterback has several steps already from snap and can quickly decide what to do: run or pass.

Usually when you see a college team in the spread that means pass, but Texas ran an option and it gave Texas a big advantage over teams, since Vince Young is so quick.

Is the spread option an abberation, that we will rarely see it run by any other team in the future? The answer is that unless another 235 lb. quarterback with the speed of a defensive back comes along, the spread option will rarely be seen in college play.

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