Add Some Bunch to Your Playbook One of the interesting aspects about college and high school football is the wide spectrum of offensive attacksemerging at both levels. Ideas, concepts and offensive systems have trickled down from college football to the highschool level thanks to clinics, networking, and publications such as Gridiron Strategies, that cater to coaches at alllevels. High school teams are throwing the ball now more than ever. One of the formations that has served us wellover the years is the popular bunch formation.In the simplest term, bunch means aligning three receivers in close proximity to each other. The bunch formationprovides several advantages for the offense. First, it quickly deploys multiple receivers into a given area of thedefense. Flooding a zone quickly can cause confusion for the secondary. Second, it creates mismatches if defensesbanjo coverage and switch assignments. Also, by using compressed formations like bunch, the offense expands thefield and thus creates additional space for the defense to cover. Perhaps the most well known advantage of thebunch set is the natural rubs or picks that are created. However, we have discovered that while the rubs aresometimes effective in goal line situations, coaches have gotten very good at minimizing the effectiveness of rubsand picks.Being a spread offense, based out of multiple one back sets, we have added several bunch concepts to our playbook. One of the most popular bunch plays is the toss (See Diagram 1). In this alignment, our bunch is tighter to the out tackle, allowing the point man in the bunch to block down. We give our receivers simple rules for blocking the toss. Our A receiver, who is on the point of the bunch, blocks down. This may require him to block adefensive end, or an outside linebacker. Our X receiver blocks the #2 perimeter defender. Usually this is a safety or a linebacker adjusted out. Our Z receiver blocks the #1 perimeter defender. This is usually a cornerback, and this isusually a kick out block, with the back cutting it inside the block. Teams give us a variety of looks against thebunch, so these simple rules allow us to handle multiple looks. We also pull the play side guard to pick up any forceplayer running the alley or an overhang defender that appears late.
Diagram 1: Bunch Toss
After some initial success with the toss, teams began to fly up hard on the perimeter to defend the play, forcing usto find an answer with play action. The play action combination off of the toss fake originated from Coach AndrewCoverdale. We simply used one of his combinations and added the play action element, calling the play Temple(See Diagram 2).