3 Option Go-To Play

By David Machuca,

Every coach has that go-to play in crunch time. As an offensive coordinator, I want our quarterback and offensive unit to feel confident and comfortable in those pressure situations. I believe I have found “that play”, at least for the present time. After much research and film study of colleges across the country, I have come up with what I call our base concept.

 In the diagram included you will see a 3 by 1 formation with the running back strong and also a triangle around the Mike linebacker who is known as the ‘Dive Key.’ The first read in this concept is the single receiver. If the corner is off more than 7 yards, the quarterback simply turns and throws a quick 5-yard hitch, which we call the “gimmie”. You can see this diagramed in the top box.

In the middle diagram the “gimmie” is taken away. In this read, the quarterback simply opens up to the running back and reads the Dive Key. As the Mike makes his run read, the quarterback then pulls and throws to what we call our replace route.

If the Dive Key chooses to drop to his zone, then as you see in the bottom box, the quarterback simply hands off to the running back as the offense now has the numbers advantage in the box with only 5 defenders. 

The third option in this play is if the Sam backer decides to run with the #2 receiver ( the replace route). After the quarterback has pulled, he will simply throw the bubble as the #1 receiver is running a “Go”, or what we call a must outside release. This  clears out the flats in cover 3 coverage. If the defense decides to play cover 2, the quarterback then throws the “Go” into the void, which is roughly 15 to 20 yards down the sideline. 

Base Concept off Inside Zone

I hope this was helpful and you have as much success with this concept as we have had over the past two seasons.