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BSD Film Room: Return of the Fullback

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BSD Film Room

This post is sponsored by mid-1990s British R&B/funk artist Mark Morrison. For a few weeks of world history, no one, anywhere on planet Earth, electrified a dingy frat house basement party quite like Mark Morrison did.

Like “the Mack”, the fullback once ruled the gridiron. He was not half-, nor quarter- (back) sized, but rather full-sized. He smashed, plowed, and bludgeoned. Set free into a defensive secondary, the fullback leveled tiny cornerbacks, turning them into a fine red mist upon impact.

Sadly, those days, and the bloodied fields of honored dead the fullback left in his wake, are long gone, of course. But as new offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca scans his 2020 PSU roster, he’ll likely notice a dearth of proven wide receivers, and an abundance of ball carriers, one of whom is both full sized and brings a load. How might Kirk maximize his strengths whilst minimizing his weakness? Let’s take a quick look.

Kill The Lights

First and foremost, we are required by blogging law to create and prominently display animated gifs of traditional fullbacks at work, in their natural habitats, whenever the word fullback hath been blogged. Even if that wasn’t the law, we’d want to share these gifs.

Below is Brian Milne murdering a Northwestern safety.

In the gif below, Jon Witman launches Michigan’s Charles Woodson.

Now then - back to modern times. Penn State’s Noah Cain shall never be confused for a traditional, old school fullback. However, as shown in the gif below, Noah brings a load upon impact, maintains leg drive, and in this particular situation, converts a critical 3rd and 3 at Iowa, to secure victory. In short, new OC Kirk Ciarrocca has a powerback (with nifty feet) on his roster.

For ideas to incorporate two backs into a spread, we turn the pages of history way back to the mid 2000s, where none other than Rich Rodriguez used QB Pat White, HB Steve Slaton, and FB Owen Schmitt in a 2-back spread. In the gif below, Schmitt carries off tackle, with Slaton as lead back, and White threatening the opposite side via boot action.

The play below provides an easy to consume end zone view of what is effectively a fullback dive as option one, in front of the now-ever-present zone read as option two. (And while this gif doesn’t show it, you wouldn’t need to be a genius to tag a pass off of the alley defender’s reaction, for a triple option).

Hit The Lights

Two back spread, with one full-(back)-sized RB in the backfield makes good sense, particularly when you have a loaded backfield, and a less-proven set of wide receivers. That’s Film Room’s 2020 party platform.