Quarterbacks running

Someone asked why Franks was doing so many designated runs yesterday, to little success, and someone answered maybe Briles was depending upon the element of surprise. I don’t know what the strategy was, and Franks has run very successfully this season at times, albeit more QB draw up the middle stuff than wide stuff. But whatever, the poster’s answer reminded me of an old “Get Smart” episode. The Native Americans have decided to declare war on the USA. They show Maxwell Smart their weapon, a single large arrow missile to be launched vertically by a large bow. Smart says “That will never work. Are you crazy? The USA has massive forces and nuclear weapons”. And the Indian Chief responds “Yes, but we are depending heavily on the element of surprise.”

More seriously, I do have a question about QBs running, and running backs too for that matter. Used to be QBs lined up all the time under center, and the RBs right behind them, and a QB sneak or RB dive on 3rd or 4th and inches was almost impossible to stop. Now most are in the shotgun, even in those situations, and a running play starts so far in the backfield even a loss is a possibility. Seems like a weakness of a shotgun offense to me. What’s the solution? I don’t think just putting a QB used to the shotgun under center for special situations is the answer. They are not used to that. Nor is the center. The switch is not so easy. Just ask Bo Nix.

If the QB is not capable of running, the defense has one less man to count. For instance, the Ark defense had to leave a man out of coverage to spy Corral. If you do play man in the secondary, it’s an invitation for the QB to run out off pass plays. Most SEC teams play almost all man so your QB can run.

I get that. But what about 3rd or 4th and short?

I believe asking a QB and center that no longer practice the center snap with QB under center is asking for trouble. I do not think that’s easy as just saying run QB sneak.

Good point. How much time are you going to spend in practice on a formation and a play you might run twice a game, if that? And then expect the center-QB exchange to go flawlessly without much practice? That’s asking for fumbled exchanges.

Seems like in the Bielema era we had a QB who had never taken a snap under center in his life (Ty Storey maybe?) and he had to learn how to do that before he could even think about competing for playing time at UA. It’s just not something you can do automatically without practice. Linemen can step on your feet for one thing (remember the Stoerner Stumble).

Yea, we all saw what happened when Nix just had to spike the football and fumbled the snap.

Several of his keepers looked like busted plays to me. the offense just looks off. almost like they have a new HC, new OC, and didn’t have spring practice.

I really hope that this bye week helps the O and ST get some things straightened out, along with getting healthy.


Petrino hated QB sneak. He said it was a good way to get a twisted knee or ankle. Then when he had 6-7 Ryan Mallett, he called a few QB sneaks.

The thing I don’t get (and I’ve seen it all year) is running plays from the shotgun on the 1-inch line. I understand that they don’t practice under center much, if at all, but I wonder if it’s worth preparing, some, just for just that situation.

It sure seems like the new breed of offenses really struggle in short-yardage, goal line situations and a lot of times I see them getting blown up 5 yards deep as they go through a series of reads/fakes etc.


All interesting. All of this confirms to me the weakness of the shotgun is 3rd and 4th and short. The only advantage I see in that situation is that although the formation does not as readily allow a quick run up the middle, it more readily allows a quick pass since the QB does not have to drop back to pass, and so the defense has to contend with the possibility of a quick pass as well as a somewhat more slowly developing run.

That is the key: it does allow for a quick pass. And, on the goal line, it has to be quick. I hate the bootleg on the goal line because your QB is going to get killed at least a few times a season on the goal line with that play. Ask any QB. He makes the fake and turns into a charging blitzer coming off the edge. Yes, the TE might be open in the flat, if the QB can get it off.

Anyone have a clue about the type of boot or brace worn by Franks on his (formerly) injured ankle? I would bet it is substantial, thus restricting the capacity to cut. He does not look as fast this year as his highlight film from UF.

There was a scramble to the pressbox side where Franks pulled up short before the first down marker (past the 40 yl), then got mad at himself. I think he thought he was past the marker.

He has had the “happy feet” coached out of him, by and large. To a fault - he now holds the ball too long. Note, too, that we had quite a few 2- and 3-man routes, or so it appeared. They kept an extra guy in to help with protection. You know defenses are going to key on wrapping and rolling Franks hoping to stress the ankle.

Red zone production improves a lot of Kern hauls in the TD pass. Red zone production improves if Knox pulls in the 2-point conversion vs Auburn. Success begats success.

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If the concern here is the QB- Center exchange when switching from shotgun to under Center, then why couldn’t you have another Center and “QB”, practice that exclusively for short and 1 plays. Just switch out both players and run the short yardage package/ QB sneak?? I realize it would be a huge telegraph as to what is coming, but if it is near impossible to stop, then what does it matter?

I thought about that for a solution. But then I remembered how successful we have been subbing QBs near the goal line.

I was critical on the running plays with Franks, not solely because of the play call, but because it seemed he was tentative in his decision making and pretty easy to tackle. I understand why he would want to protect himself, and this would not be a selfish decision, because the team needs him. Actually as a friend pointed out when I mentioned his tentative running, his last run when we were running out the clock, he ran hard (probably would have been an awful time for him to get hurt). I suspect making observations on his play can come off as being down on him, when actually most of us(certainly me) think we are darn fortunate to have his ability and leadership.

Sam talked about Franks a little on SEC This Morning. Said he has given Sam a platform to build the team around as an experienced SEC QB. And yes we do need him.

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Very happy to have him.

Hornsby couldn’t outrun the Auburn DLine…that’s our problem. We’d fair better trying the quick passes.

Amen to what the notorious pig said.