FanPost

South Carolina has great success with the power running game

Stacy Revere

We all know that Spurrier likes to "pitch" it all over the park, but occasionally he turns to the run game.

Our run game is pretty basic - Inside Zone, a little Outside Zone, and variations of the Draw play have been successful for us over the past few years. However, when the situation has become dire, or we needed to run the clock out, we've primarily turned to one play to impose our will on the opposing defense. The play is traditionally just called the "Power" play, or "Power O" by some.

I don't think we run the power enough, considering how successful we've been when we have run it. We ran it often with Patrick DiMarco at fullback a few years ago. Lattimore had a great run off it down to the 2 a few years ago against Georgia. We turned to it in the second half against Kentucky last year, and Mike Davis busted a 75 yard TD run against UNC in the first game this year. And today, it constituted almost our entire offense in the second half against UCF with all of Mike Davis's touchdowns coming off it.

The Power play is a physical, downhill run play designed to attack off-tackle, or what is also known as the C gap between the offensive tackle and the tight end, if there is a tight end on the field. The goal of the blocking scheme is to guarantee a double team on the down D-lineman at the point of attack while walling off the defense to the inside. Meanwhile, the fullback or tight end will kick out the defensive end on the playside while the backside guard pulls around and leads the tailback into the hole. The back should be looking to cut off the guard's block, but if things get messy, the guard can just hit the first player that crosses his face and the runner can bounce it outside. It should look something like this:

Often, it is A.J. Cann pulling around to blast the hapless defender, but Ronald Patrick showed he is more than capable today. We've traditionally run this play out of the I Formation, but occasionally have run it out of a one back set as we did on the aforementioned Lattimore run against Georgia. We also hit a key play-action pass to Jerrell Adams late against UCF game off this run action.


The most prominent example is at 3:50 (the aforementioned run), but see if you notice a couple other times we run the play here.


In the Kentucky game last year, we ran it repeatedly in the second half to regain control of the game starting at 1:57. Lattimore makes some great cuts against the grain when the defense overreacts to the pulling lineman.


In the UNC game this year, this is 3 wide I formation with no tight end, so it essentially becomes an outside run. This is an example where the defense muddies things up. Cann hits the first player that crosses his face and kicks him out instead of leading up on the linebacker. Davis does a great job up cutting inside off his block, then bouncing it to the perimeter and outrunning everyone to the endzone.

If you watched the game today, his 53 yarder below should look familiar:


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