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Inside the Clemson Offense: Power

We've covered the Power O and Power G plays before here, so an extensive breakdown isn't necessary again. The playside of the OL down-blocks (towards the C) while the backside Guard pulls out and into a playside gap. Morris likes it in short yardage and in the red zone especially, and it was prominently favored in the Spring game. To be a power running team, you need to run simple gap scheme plays like the Power O/G effectively.

What Morris does a little differently:

  • We run it tight every time. The backside Guard gets into the playside B-gap, and the RB's aiming point is the Center's foot playside. The idea is for him to follow all the possible double-team blocks.
  • Morris runs it from all formations, but its effectiveness is best within a stack formation when the ball is snapped.
  • 2backrightstack_medium

  • Nearly always it'll be run with the Tailback, or 3-man, taking the ball, but it is also run with the 2-back and QB.
  • It is a prominent feature when we go Wildcat.
  • Can be run to either side of the defensive line.
  • There is no zone read motion or pitch on the Power.

The reason it is first taught and drilled within a stack formation is that the stack sets are basically just shotgun I-formation football. On the Power, the BSG pulls playside, but a FB is going to kick out a defensive player. Being in stack lets him get a good angle on the DE/LB pretty quickly. All he has to do is take a step and turn. On this play his assignment is not a player, but an area. It is usually the DE who could be unblocked, but if the DE is not there (i.e., if he stunts inside), then he can work to the LB behind. 

Power run from an Opposite Stack to the side of the NG. H would be the 5, Z is 2, X is 9, and the TE is the 4.

The play is not complicated and there is no requirement to use a lead blocker at all. It can be run from any formation. Clemson has run this blocking scheme for this play forever and so does everyone else.  The trick to it that is added is the occasional option motion and then the inverted veer, that we've all seen before.



In the above play I've drawn it in a 2-back Rt Stack formation and run the play to the side of the 3-technique. The playside is veer blocking, and running it to the side of the 3 lets the Center have an easier job reaching the NG. The playside tackle and guard combo the 3 and move him out of the way, then one of them will peel off to take out the backside LB. It can be the guard or the tackle that does so, in general. The 4-back kicks out the DE to seal the edge off, and the RB takes it up the A-gap.

An extra wrinkle is the motion of the 2-back towards the backfield so that when the QB hands off, he can open up and follow the 2 as if he still had the ball to pitch out. However, there is no read on this play and its called from the sidelines, so there really is no option on a Power -- the 3 always gets the ball. The motion is just for effect.

In the Wheel Power, we have similar motion as the Wheel Counter play and run from a regular formation. The 3-back comes in wheel motion into the backfield, stutter steps, and then takes it up the A-gap. The 2-back cannot be in motion at the same time when the ball is snapped, so that is left out. 


Below we have diagrams of a few other ways this play can be run. Recall that this offense is Gun nearly always, but in the red zone Morris will get the QB under center.