September 22, 2006

The Football Professor: The Zone Read

Spread offenses have seen a rise in popularity over the last decade or so at the collegiate and high school level. Various philosophies have risen within the spread concept itself. Teams like Texas Tech use the spread to throw the football anywhere from 60-70 percent of the time. Other teams like BYU use the spread to create open space for their skill position players, utilizing the running game and short passing game to move the ball downfield nearly equally. Still other teams like Oregon and Utah incorporate option principles into the spread running attack to make opposing defenses play assignment football and always account for the quarterback every play.

The basic concept of the spread offense is to use three, four, or five receivers to spread the defense out horizontally, creating space between defenders and room for the skill players to utilize their athletic talents in one-on-one matchups. Texas Tech and BYU take this concept further, spacing out the offensive linemen wider then what is considered normal, creating additional space between the defensive linemen.

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