Inside the Gameplan: An historically unique offense

Sam Ehlinger (Will Gallagher/IT)
Sam Ehlinger (Will Gallagher/IT)

The 2019 Texas Longhorn offense is likely to be historically unique. The 2018 offense was fairly unique in its own right, they essentially ran a 21 personnel spread a year ago with Andrew Beck serving as a part-time fullback and occasional flex tight end while Lil’Jordan Humphrey was a nearly full-time flex tight end. Those two players defined the offense with their hybrid utilizations.

The 2019 Longhorns also figure to be a unique, two-back spread team but the two inside positions (H-back and Y-back) couldn’t look any more different. The 2018 H-back Humphrey was at his best using agility, smarts, and length to break open in coverage and the offense had several formations and concepts designed to help Sam Ehlinger find him for key pick-ups in the passing game.

Beck was a sturdy blocker in the box from a variety of alignments with decent hands and the knowhow to run routes from all over the field. It didn’t matter that he wasn’t exceptional at getting open on those routes or bringing the ball in, his job was to hold the attention of at least one coverage defender and then they’d move him around to create problems for the defense based on which defender they chose . What he did well was block at a level that forced defenses to keep bigger personnel on the field to avoid getting run over, setting up Texas to move Humphrey around and find matchups on clumsier linebacker or to feature Ehlinger in the short-yardage package.

It’s possible that neither of those two positions are going to be manned by players similar to Humphrey or Beck in 2019.

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