Slide #1 – The Classic Spread Offense
The basic objective of Fedora’s scheme is no secret. In slide #1, four wideouts (and no tight ends) are on the field with the intent of “spreading” out the defense to create man-to-man coverage. The general idea is that UNC’s talented offensive players will consistently win these one-on-one situations — like tight end Eric Ebron. Below, Renner hits Ebron for 10 yards with a quick slant that is nearly impossible to defend.
Slide #2 – Using the Spread Offense to set up the run
Here’s where the spread play in slide #1 creates more opportunities. It’s third down, and the defense — wary of the quick slant to Ebron again, or any of the other four wideouts — is spread across the field and generally outside of the box. Renner simply hands off to Khris Francis for an easy three yards up the middle for the first down. (You’ll notice one MTSU linebacker is even making a move towards the line to stop the run, but ultimately his attention is on the three wideouts at the bottom of the screen.)
Slide #3 – The Full Spread with motion
With a totally empty backfield and five wideouts, the defense is as spread out as it’s ever going to be. Ryan Switzer will go in motion — receiving a pass from Renner in the flat — and use his quickness to pick up an easy eight yards.
Slide #4 – The Full Spread (no motion) sets up a run
Renner (while certainly athletic) is no running QB to say the least. But again, note how spread out the defense is with five wideouts on the field — when the play breaks down Renner easily scrambles for six yards on the ground.
Slide #5 – Variable sets – Running QB
Fedora has already brought a record-breaking offense to Chapel Hill without even fully recruiting players for his system yet — which anchors on a dual-threat quarterback. In slide #5, we see how dangerous that could be (Marquise Williams is on the field for Renner). There are FOUR players in the backfield that can all run the football (keeping the defense guessing), and two players who can throw the ball (Williams and AJ Blue). The defense has no idea what’s coming and the result is an eight yard run for Blue.
Slide #6 (animated below) – Two passing/running threats in the spread
Here we see some trickeration that again involves players that can run and pass — the key to Fedora’s future success at UNC. Blue goes in motion and Williams throws to him out in the flat. Blue then reverses the field and throws it back to Williams for a 23 yard gain. (Animated below.)
Slide #7 – EXECUTION?!
The play above is perfectly set up. Blue throws a fantastic spiral and Williams (after making a clean catch) starts heading up field with no less than FOUR Tar Heel linemen ready to block for their quarterback.
Of course, were it not for #60 Russell Bodine and #78 Landon Turner tripping over each other’s feet (below), this play would have likely resulted in six points instead of 23 yards.
In a sense, this play is a microcosm of UNC’s issues this year. All the talent and play calling is there; now they just have to execute.