BYU X's and O's: Touchdown to Checkdown

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PROVO -- As Jake Heaps continues to improve as the season progresses, Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall and quarterback Coach Brandon Doman discuss how a quarterback is able to go through the progressions.

For an effective play to be made, the quarterback has to understand the defense and recognize his options before the ball has been snapped. It is ultimately the quarterback's responsibility to decide who gets the ball.

Doman says that BYU has an unusual offensive strategy to help their quarterbacks make the best plays, especially for younger quarterbacks:

"On every play, the quarterback has a key defender and we try to narrow his vision as much as we can. Not to an area of the field, but right down to one particular defender. I think with this type of offense we're able to have so much success."

BYU attempts to narrow down the options of the quarterback by isolating the defender instead of spreading the play out to several areas of the field. The key to success in this type of approach comes by recognizing the defender's coverage prior to the snap.

To help isolate the defense and make it easier on the quarterback, BYU lines up a tight end and a receiver on one side where they run a double post. This isolates the safety on a two and one read. If the safety jumps to the tight end route, the quarterback is able to pass it to the receiver. If the safety jumps to the receiver, the tight end should be isolated and the ball is able to get to him.

On the other side of the play, to isolate the backside safety, which keeps him away from the tight end, BYU runs a backside tight end corner.

If the defensive coverage indicates a blitz, the safety will cover the receiver, with the tight end covering the blitz. In this situation, the quarterback has to deliver the ball quickly and on time.

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Josh Furlong


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