Tom Herman's Coaching Clinic Part IV: The Quarterback Run Game (Sweeps)

By Ross Fulton on June 10, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Last week we analyzed Tom Herman's coaching clinic discussion of lead run plays for the quarterback. Today we examine the final section of Herman's clinic – read plays where the quarterback's aiming point is between the tackles combined with a halfback running a jet sweep.

The two quarterback-driven concepts are not mutually exclusive. As discussed last week, the Buckeyes can run QB counter trey with a jet sweep read. 

QB Counter

Here's video:

Next up are two base concepts that embody the inside-outside concept: Power Read and Bash.

Power Read

Power Read, also known as inverted veer, is one of Ohio State's most frequently utilized concepts. Power Read deploys power blocking (hence the name) with a hammer call. Power is a gap scheme. The frontside offensive line blocks black, while the backside guard pulls and leads through the hole.

As with QB counter trey, the beauty of Power Read is that, by using the same blocking scheme, the Buckeye offense uses its practice time repping the same concept while presenting the defense a very different look. 

The hammer tag lets the tight end know that, rather then kick out the end defender as with normal power blocking, he will leave the end unblocked and fan block the alley player.

The front side end is accounted for with the read. If the end widens with the sweep the QB will keep and follow the backside guard. If the end takes the QB, the QB will hand off to the running back with the sweep.

power read

In action:

Power read


Bash is a tight zone play for the quarterback. The offensive line blocks tight zone towards the quarterback, while the halfback runs a jet sweep away from the offensive line movement. The tight end initially blocks inside zone but then releases to lead block the alley for the jet sweep.


As with tight zone, the quarterback reads the back side end. If the end sits the quarterback keeps.

Bash keep

But if the end crashes on the quarterback, the quarterback gives to the sweeping halfback. An Iowa end doing exactly that led to one of Carlos Hyde's most famous runs.

Bash give

In effect, Bash is a constraint to tight zone. The blocking scheme slow plays the inside linebackers, allowing the back to get outside. The play also exploits a defense overly focused on the quarterback – a key weapon for an offense with Braxton Miller. 

More practically, both Power Read and Bash function as methods to get the football to the tailback and/or H-back outside the tackle box. This will be increasingly important this season, with players such as Dontre Wilson and Ezekiel Elliot filling increased roles. 

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