Trips Into Boundary (TIP) was mentioned in the Texas-ISU preview this week. It’s as simple as placing 3 receivers into the short side of the field, the boundary. I like it against ISU’s defense because they appear (in review) to strictly adhere to 2-high safety (split-field) coverage structure. If you note the safety to the field, he remains outside the field hash mark. Also note the box alignment, 6 defenders and the linebackers behind and inside the ends.
The 6-man box represents a plus-1 against the run for the defense. If the offense is to run, more than likely, they’ll read a box defender with the quarterback.
I like TIB for the following reasons.
– Distortion: either the 2-high structure bends to the TIB or it doesn’t. Both are wins for the offense.
– X-Iso: a receiver like Collin Johnson is literally a big threat. Placing him alone, wide, to the field forces either linebacker or safety help. If not, the defense takes a HUGE risk.
– Option: this allows for multiple option calls against the ends, linebackers, or safeties via quarterback read-option, run-pass option, or double-pass packaged play.
– Pass: whether 2-high or safety rotation to 1-high, stress is placed on both deep, down the seams or sidelines, while 2-man routes can be run underneath.
To simplify the above points, ‘optionality’ is built in to the formation allowing the offense to win the initiative.
Take the first example, post-snap, the back swings to the flat (can’t see), the field linebacker follows. You also see the boundary backer turn to add +1 to the boundary.
The single receiver out of view ran a curl or comeback route, the boundary safety covered high. Akron completes a fairly easy pass against +1 coverage to both sides, what? My perspective is that the quarterback had a RAM (read away from Mike) read on the boundary linebacker, that turned his attention to the field and the single receiver with plenty of space. If you’re Texas, you like CJ working against the field corner.
The next example shows you TIB with an inside ‘stack’, short yardage. This signals possible motion or a screen. Note again, the 2-high structure. For ISU to be +1 to the boundary, the backer must also cover to that side.
What happens? The numbers to the screen look good, but in short yardage, Akron blocks 5 and lets the back carry through the hole to meet the boundary backer. If you’re Texas, you like C-Dub one on one with the linebacker.
In the last example, you see the field safety ‘kicked over between the hashes, changed structure. Also, the field corner is ‘off’, creating space for the quick pass. Let’s see what happens.
This is very similar to the first example and you’d expect the call to be a quick inside-breaking route to the field (single receiver).
Instead, the quarterback sees pressure in his face. You have to note the wide open route to the boundary as well. Again, plenty of options and importantly, if you lose blocks up front quickly, the quarterback will be in trouble and the play will bust. If you’re Texas, you need good protection up front. Keep an eye on the tackle positions early and often.
You may or may not see TIB tomorrow. If it were me, I’d definitely work it into the game plan, especially against ISU’s typically strict 2-high safety structure. The beauty, even if the Cyclones drop a safety down or rotate to 1-high, there are plenty of options to attack man-covarage or a 3-deep zone. Also, it allows for simple read-option runs against a fairly static front. Texas can also motion a receiver from 2X2 to the boundary to get into similar looks. My hope is that more creativity comes out of ‘Heck’ tomorrow. It’s needed.