Friday, February 26, 2016

Penn State is all-in on the Spread-RPO revolution

By hiring Fordham's Joe Moorhead, Penn State is embracing the same kind of single-back/RPO offense that is starting to gain traction in the NFL and with nominally "pro-style" programs like Alabama.

They ran something similar to this last year when they gashed Michigan State on the ground and now they're all in on simplifying their offense to be an up-tempo spread. You can read about it, complete with a few quotes from Moorhead himself collected by Steven Godfrey, right here.

A few keys to this offense:

1) It's balanced, so long as it features a TE, and maintains balance between being able to gash opponents with explosive quick passing plays, flooding zones with receivers, running the ball, or using play-action.

2) It helps the offense cycle through the OODA loop faster.

This is US military theorist Col. John Boyd's explanation for the process that allows people to Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act in a competitive environment. If one side of a battle is able to complete this process more quickly than the other, or to disrupt the opponent's ability to do so, they are at a major advantage.

With these up-tempo systems, the offense can get to the line, force a response from the defense, and then have the OC signal in a new play to run. With that ability to be flexible combined with the forced simplicity of pace, the offense can really do some damage.

3) It's murder for over-aggressive teams like Michigan State. So long Spartan hegemony.

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