Author: Adam Wesoloski
Originally Published: June 12, 2006

Special thanks to Jim Barg for the materials and Guy Savoie for the text conversion.

Athletic Journal — 1939

This year in the annual study of football offense in the colleges in this article and in the secondary schools in the article that follows, touchdown plays are presented. Since the purpose of the article is merely to keep the readers of this publication informed on the trend of offense, it has not been considered advisable to designate the institutions using the plays diagrammed in this issue. However, as has been the case in previous years, we shall be glad to pass on to the schools any communications regarding the plays described in these articles.

The East

A weak-side reverse which has been used a great deal this fall is shown in Diagram 1. Back 3 receives the ball from center, spins and gives it to 4 who runs wide. One starts to the right and then comes back and receives the ball from 4. One, after receiving the ball, runs wide around the defensive right end. Three completes his spin and blocks the weak-side line-backer. Five blocks the defensive right tackle momentarily and then blocks the defensive right halfback. Six and 8 pull out of the line and run to the right, 8 blocking the defensive left end and 6 blocking either the strong-side linebacker or the left defensive halfback. The center blocks the defensive right guard; 9 blocks the defensive left guard, and 11 blocks the defensive left tackle. Ten goes through and blocks the safety.

Diagram 2 shows a fake plunge ending up with a lateral pass to 4 who runs wide. Three receives the ball from the center and starts forward as if to make a line plunge. Just as he reaches the line, he turns and tosses the ball to 4 who runs wide around the defensive left end. Five, 6, 9 and the center break down the field few steps and then go to the right to get in front of the ball-carrier. Eight blocks the defensive right guard; 10 blocks the defensive left guard; 11 and 1 block the defensive left tackle and 2 blocks the strong-side line-backer.

Diagram 3 shows a fullback plunge inside the defensive left tackle, ending up with a lateral pass. Three receives the ball from the center, plunges forward and pretends to give it to 2 and then drives inside the defensive left tackle. If he gets by the line of scrimmage, he may lateral to 4. The left end 5 blocks the safety; 6 blocks the defensive right tackle, the center and 9 block the defensive right guard; 10 blocks the defensive left guard and 11 blocks the strong-side line-backer. The right guard 8 pulls out and blocks the defensive left tackle out. Two fakes a lateral to 4. The wing-back 1 runs wide and blocks the defensive left half.

Diagram 4 shows a reverse inside the weak-side defensive end. The ball is passed back to 3 who fakes giving it to 4 and then gives it to 1. Five blocks the defensive right tackle in; 6 helps the center block the defensive right guard; 9 blocks the defensive left guard and 11 blocks the defensive left tackle out and then goes down the field in the path of the ball-carrier. Eight pulls out to block the defensive right end out, and 2 and 10 lead 1 with the ball as indicated.

The type of plays shown in Diagram 5 works on a defensive end that likes to follow a play around. The ball is snapped back to 3 who spins and gives it to 4. Four carries the ball as if he were going around the strong side but gives it to 1 who fakes right and then swings wide around the defensive right end alone. Five blocks the defensive right tackle and then goes down the field; the center blocks the defensive right guard and then blocks the weak-side line-backer; 9 goes down the field for the secondary; 10 blocks the defensive left guard; 11 blocks the defensive left tackle out and 2 blocks the defensive left end. Six and 8 pull out of the line and run toward the right.

Diagram 6 is a trap inside the defensive left guard. The ball is snapped to the fullback 3 who spins and fakes going inside the defensive left tackle but changes his course and drives inside the defensive left guard. Five goes inside the defensive right tackle and blocks the defensive right halfback; the center blocks the defensive right tackle out; 8 and 9 block the defensive right guard; 10 blocks the weak-side line-backer; 11 blocks the strong-side linebacker; 2 blocks the defensive left tackle and 1 blocks the defensive left end and then goes down for the defensive left halfback. Six pulls out of the line and traps the defensive left guard.

Diagram 7 is a fake buck, ending up with a lateral pass. The ball is snapped back to 3 who drives straight ahead and gives it to 2 who in turn laterals back to 4. This play differs from others of similar nature in that 4 goes around the defensive right end alone, depending entirely on catching the defensive end and secondary napping.

Diagram 8 shows a naked reverse to the strong side which has been used a great deal in the East. The ball is snapped back to the fullback 3 who gives it to 1 who starts as though on a reverse. The tailback 4 takes two steps to his left, at which position he takes the ball from 1 and then swings back deep around the defensive left end. The lineman 9 delays two counts and then swings out to his right and leads the play.

Diagram 9 shows the famous end-around play used by an Eastern University. The ball is snapped back to the fullback 3 who bucks straight ahead. Lineman 9 turns and takes the ball from 3 and laterals back to the end 5 who swings wide around the defensive left end. The blocks are indicated in the diagram.

Part 2 in this series will explore the The Middle West. Part 3 will explores the Rocky Mountain Region.