Over at Football Study Hall I broke down some of Baylor's single-wing offense they used to bludgeon the Tar Heels with in their bowl game.
As good a strategy as this was for Briles the response from Gene Chizik was equally bad. In particular, he emphasized a strategy that required much greater safety play than his team could offer.
The importance of good safety play is increasing regularly in today's game as a dominant safety tandem in a cover 4 scheme can really spell the end for even the most brilliant and balanced spread offenses. The great challenge will come when more teams adopt the Kansas State style of single wing spread football.
When the QB is a good, sturdy inside runner and an effective passer there are no easy answers.
If you watched Westlake this year, who featured Texas QB commit Sam Ehlinger at QB, you saw a team that went all the way to the 6A state title, even beating Allen on the way, based on an offense that fused the single wing with the Air Raid. The Galena Park North Shore team that finally took them down had to do so by playing a lot of what basically amounted to press-zero coverage with everyone in the box or jamming a Westlake WR.
Fortunately for them, they had the athletes to play press coverage and survive against Westlake's Air Raid while always having enough numbers in the box to limit Ehlinger's runs. Had Westlake's best WR been healthy it probably would have been a different story.
This style of football is coming back to the main stage, it's only a matter of time. We'll see glimpses of it in the playoff final when Clemson will undoubtedly give Watson 20 carries or more against Bama.