Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Inside Zone BASH Concept

 I'm putting this piece together very quickly, so I apologize that it's not super in depth. I just don't have a whole lot of time.

I was inspired by a tweet from Stephen Osentoski, who does a good job of making football videos for YouTube/Twitter on Michigan football. I'm not trying to call him out here, but I wanted to clarify something based on a recent tweet from him:

Hit the jump for more.

I don't really agree with him that this is just a pure sweep to the left. This is "Inside Zone BASH." The B-A-S of "BASH" means "Back Away Sweep" or, essentially, putting the back to the opposite side to make him the outside run threat on an option run.

The key here is that the quarterback needs to read the defensive end ("E") to the left. If the defensive end widens with the tailback, then the quarterback is supposed to run inside zone to the right. If the defensive end crashes on the quarterback, the QB hands off to the tailback.

I've never seen Michigan's coaches talk about this play, but considering Josh Gattis's Penn State roots, I feel comfortable guessing that he uses some of the same coaching points/terminology as the PSU coaches I saw present on this in Winter 2019 at the Detroit Glazier clinic.

The QB should get his eyes on the defensive end (which Milton is slow to do here), and the tailback is taught to Circle The Field (CTF). Basically, if there's a handoff, running back Blake Corum wants to get to the sideline, just like we saw Saquon Barkley do really well for the Nittany Lions.

This is a great run concept, because it's basically two plays in one:

  1. Jet sweep to the left
  2. Inside zone to the right

With the way the Wisconsin DE went upfield to chase Corum, I believe Milton should have kept the ball to run inside zone to the right. Unfortunately, center Andrew Vastardis gets tossed by Wisconsin's nose tackle, so maybe the play wouldn't have worked, anyway. But I do think Milton made the incorrect read.

It's important to note that you see left tackle Karsen Barnhart arc releasing outside the DE in order to make that DE widen, opening up inside zone for the QB. Barnhart is trying to get to the linebacker, but taking the long way to mess with the DE.


  1. Vastardis seems to really be struggling and not able to hold up against Big Ten level DTs. Do you think we might see them run Carpenter out there at some point soon?

    1. I would not be surprised, but I haven't seen much of Carpenter at this level. Vastardis's problem (going back to high school) has always been a lack of mobility. He's strong and tough, but he doesn't have the quickness/athleticism he needs to be successful, especially on a team that likes to run zone schemes.

  2. So, who could be the next Michigan head coach? The head coach at Iowa St sounds interesting to me.

    1. I don't really like to get into that kind of speculation unless/until something happens to the current coach. I think it just feeds into the frenzy.

      Also, the head coach at Iowa State has not done anything to make me think he's a better coach than Jim Harbaugh. Sure, he took Iowa State and made them pretty good. Harbaugh took Stanford and the 49ers and made them pretty good. Campbell also really likes to use tight ends, which we're already seeing at Michigan and it's a big frustration.

      Don't get me wrong. I think Campbell is a good coach. I just don't see why people are fascinated with him.