A curious reader sent me an e-mail question asking if I knew how many times USC ran their version of the “Wildcat” play during the 2010 and asked how successful was the play. Here is a breakout of the 30 plays from the season and how they worked for the Trojans. In general the USC version of the Wildcat offense was pretty basic with only a few variations off the play. Most of the time it was an designed inside zone run play off the fake to the WR on the sweep across motion. A few plays were outside zone runs and a couple of times the WR did run the ball on the sweep. Only a couple passes were attempted out of the formation with the Baxter TD pass versus UCLA ranking as the most memorable. If I had to guess there will be more use of the formation in 2010 with a mix of both Baxter and Tyler lined up to receive the snap. Baxter adds the threat of throwing the ball more effectively and runs outside well. Tyler is a stronger running between the tackles. I think I have some video of how Kansas State ran their version in 2010 and it was a lot more varied. However I don’t know if it averaged any better than the 6.0 yard per play that USC attained on the play. I’ll see if I can get those clips up for comparison in terms of style and difference.
Video of the 2010 USC Wildcat Plays
Here are the stats on the plays on a game by game basis over the season.
Combined by type I come up with this grouping down below. The inside zone runs probably were several different specific types in detail but without the end zone view angle I can’t tell for sure. For certain there were different blocking schemes employed on these due to the different fronts they were run against. Sometimes the fullback / H-back player blocked front end or play side LB, sometimes he blocked the backside DE. For simplicity I just put them in one group. The fly sweep out of the same play type was run three times and had a couple of good plays. Outside zone runs out of the formation also were run three times. Four passes were attempted but one was negated by a pass interference call on the defense. Marc Tyler just overthrew a wide open Stanley Havili versus Stanford of there would have been more impressive passing yards accumulated. One time USC ran what looked like a true zone option read play but Havili was stripped of the ball / fumbled and that play never say the light of day again.
In terms of effectiveness the play looked pretty balanced. Two bigger runs of +20 yards were generated. Otherwise it was a pretty consistent gainer of a few yards. Only a couple of negative yardage run plays.