Oklahoma’s Counter Swing RPO
Run Pass Options are the newest trend in football these days and Oklahoma uses another one off the Counter Trey. Not exactly how Joe Gibbs and the Redskins envisioned the counter trey evolving but definitely an effective concept. You are pairing a smash mouth football play, the counter trey, with an option of getting the ball in space with a numbers advantage to a skilled athlete on a swing pass. The read for the QB is easy as he catches the snap and reads the defensive end to see if he will peel with the swing pass or follow the pulling tackle. If the defense end follows the pulling tackle the QB flips it out to his back where he has numbers in front of him. If the defense end peels with the RB, then the Qb runs the counter trey the opposite way with the guard kicking out the defensive end and the tackle pulling through for the backside linebacker.
In this first clip, Oklahoma lines up in a tight end trips look with a wing. The #1 WR to the field blocks the corner, the #2 WR to the field blocks the OLB/SS inside of him, the Wing/H-Back arcs for the inside LB and the QB reads the defensive end. The defensive end follows the pulling tackle so the QB throws the swing because it’s 4 on 3. It’s now the RB vs that deep safety in space, assuming the perimeter players make the block. As you can see the line is blocking counter trey in case the QB doesn’t throw the swing.
The second time they run it, the QB notices that the defensive end peels with the RB on the swing so now it’s 4 on 4 and almost impossible to throw the swing with the defensive end chasing the RB. That’s the great thing about this play, is their is still an option for positive yards with the counter trey going the other way. The QB reads this correctly and ends up with a nice gain.
This is a great play because it stresses the defense to the field and to the boundary in the same play which really makes the defense play vanilla. The other great thing is the line can continue to work on getting great at counter trey and doesn’t have to worry about the swing or tags going on in the backfield, and we all know that’s where games are won, upfront in the trenches.
Here is a diagram below: