This sweep play is out of the I formation. This sweep play features a two tight-end set, with a wingback to the right side. Having a wing back will allow you to work different blocking angles, while putting the defense in some serious alignment conflicts.
The I formation offense is a great ground and pound offense. The power I formation will allow your team to create an identity. The great thing about the I formation is that it will allow you to easily double team defensive linemen. When you have those strong and tough defensive linemen, you can get a double team on them and have the fullback lead up through the hole. Once you get the power going it will set up the play-action passing game that will absolutely kill the defense. Here is an excellent article on the power O football play from Coach Ross, who is the varsity offensive coordinator at my local high school.
Tight-ends: The play-side tight-end will pull and look to kick out the cornerback. We want our tight-ends to aggressively attack the corner, but at the same time be under control. You want the running back to be behind the tight-end when he is pulling. You do not want to the tight-end to block too early. The back-side tight-end will look to get to the middle safety, or to cut off defenders pursuing to the football.
Tackles: Depends on your teams’s blocking scheme and defensive alignment. Here we will go big on big (tackle on defensive tackle). What we do is have the tackles cut down any head up defensive tackles.
Guards: Blocking depends on your team’s blocking rules. If they do not have a defender in their inside gap or head up over them, then they get to the second level and cut off defenders pursuing to the football.
Center: Cut block any head up defender. If there is no defender in backside A-gap and there is no head up nose guard, then the center must get to second level.
QB: The quarterback’s job is first to secure the snap. Second, will be to get off a good pitch right to the numbers of the running back. The RB should get the pitch right in stride. Have the QB open up the opposite way, then pitch the football. This will allow the running back to get further outside. Another quick tip, make sure your QB is square to his pitching target. You do not want the QB to pitch around his body. It will alter the projection of the pitch.
Fullback: The fullback will fake a dive to between the center and left guard. The FB must execute a good fake. On this youth football I formation sweep play executing a good fake is vital. A good fake will hold the linebackers.
Wingback: The wingback will block down on the defensive end. You can have the WB crack block a linebacker as well. If you are able to reach block the defensive-end with your tight-end, or even have the fullback (off-set) take the DE, you can use the WB to crack the outside linebacker. Having a wingback gives you a ton of flexibility.
Tailback: The tailback must explode once the ball is snapped and catch the pitch outside. It is vital that the running back concentrates on catching and securing the pitch.
Offset I Formation
This I formation sweep play can be used with an offset I-formation as well. Having the fullback offset will allow him to lead block for the running back on the sweep play. The good thing about the I formation is that you can move your fullback offset to the right or left.
The blocking is the same for this offset I formation sweep play as it is for the basic I formation sweep. The only difference is that the fullback is offset and will lead block, looking to block the first defender outside the crack block of the wing back.
Want to run the ball down the defense’s throat?
Check out our I Formation Playbook for Youth Football.