It is no secret that college football is a copycat league. When someone does something that works, someone else is sure to replicate it. The Baylor Bears have been offensive trend setters ever since Art Briles’ arrival in 2008. While their offense is simplistic, it’s efficient. The majority of their plays have multiple options to where the ball can go. Both their base plays and philosophies have been copied through all forms of football. Today we will look at one of their best plays: the iso post.
The iso post is exactly what it sounds like. Iso refers to a run play where the fullback has an isolated block on the strong-side linebacker. Post refers to a route run by the main receiver, where he runs 10-15 yards and breaks to the inside at a 45 degree angle. While these two separate plays have been run for decades, Baylor was one of the first to combine the two.
In the iso-post the quarterback has an option to either hand the ball off or throw to the post depending on how the defense lines up. There’s also an option to throw to the receiver(s) on the other side, depending on the route combination in use. His main read is the strong-side safety, dubbed the “goat” in Baylor terminology. If the goat stays where he is, the quarterback hands the ball off; but if the goat either enters the box or blitzes at the snap, the quarterback aborts the handoff and throws to the receiver as shown above. In Baylor’s offense, one-on-one coverage is considered an advantage as they believe their receivers can beat man coverage.
Several Big 12 offenses have incorporated their version of the play into their own playbook. It’s particularly a favorite in red zone situations since the receiver is more than likely to be against a favorable coverage. In this past week alone TCU and West Virginia both used it to score.
TCU used it against Stephen F. Austin while in the redzone. You’ll notice that the safety entered the box before the snap, leaving Jaelan Austin one-on-one in the end zone. The Horned Frogs will take that all day.
West Virginia also ran their version of it against Liberty, but with a wham blocking scheme. Meaning the line slams in one direction, leaving the skill player to pick up the unblocked defensive end. Just like in the last example, the safety enters the box before the snap. Jovon Durante is left in single-man coverage, and he beats his man to the inside on the post for an easy score.
As said before, the spread offense is popular because it is efficient. Its philosophy of tagging routes on run plays makes it difficult for the defense to completely shut down any play. The iso post is one of many examples of said philosophy, and the first of many that we will dissect this season!