One of the biggest problems for a Triple Option team is facing a 4-3 defense with a true Mike linebacker right over the ball.
If you don’t have a plan for this defense, then you’re going to be in for a long night because that Mike linebacker is hard to account for when he can go either side.
So, what’s your plan?
Today, we’ll take inspiration from Kelley Lee’s Ground Strike Offense and how he attacks the 4-3 defense.
So, here are two run concepts he uses:
Running the normal Zone Dive is another way to defeat the 4-3.
The Mike is usually backed up and playing over the top to chase. So, the Zone Dive finds that soft spot and makes him come downhill to make a tackle. The goal is to get four or five yards and move the chains. This play is an automatic give, so it forces the defense to respect the option as well.
Another great thing about the Zone Dive is when you see 3-2 exchanges. This play will kill the exchange because now the linebacker is running the pitch and also running himself out of the play. Now, the play side running back does not have to worry about blocking him and can go get the Mike.
At that point, the fullback will be one on one with the safety and we have already gotten the four yards, so we are happy with that matchup.
We like to play against the 4-3 with a tight end using the Belly G play.
The play works well especially if the defense want to bring the outside linebacker down on the line to the tight end side. That gives the linemen plenty of good angles.
The line blocks down on the play side and the guard kicks out the linebacker. That gives the play side running back a really good angle on the Mike linebacker.