In a previous post I went over some run concepts that did not work well in NCAA 06 (Run Concepts to Avoid). One of those concepts was the Counter play.
After intensive but further testing. I have found out that the Counter does work but only from certain sets.
In most sets with the Counter, the pulling Guard is slow to get off the ball to pull and block (as it is shown in the link above).
However, in the Strong Formations, the Counter play works perfectly!
It works because the pulling guard does what he is supposed to do which is to get off the ball as soon as it is snapped.
Counter Weak and Counter Lead
There are two types of Counter plays in 06: Counter Weak and Counter Lead.
The only difference is with the Weak, the FB is designed to go off-tackle to block while with the Lead the FB hits the B Gap (the hole between the Guard and Tackle).
Both concepts work well as long as you let your blocks develop.
In my testing, both plays work best if your FB is on the opposite side of the run direction because the timing just works better.
So if you need to run to the other side, simply flip the run and motion the FB to the other side.
Recruiting for the Counter
The most important players in this scheme is obviously the HB, FB, and your Guards. You can easily flip the direction of both concepts so having multiple but talented Guards help.
Both concepts are essentially meant for the HB to attack the outside so speed at HB helps.
Speed at FB helps to so you don’t outrun him.
The trick making these plays work is your Guards.
You would think having the fastest Guards is best but I can tell that this is false. More often than not, there will be one hole or two open for defenders to break through with Counter plays so it is actually best to have a slow but strong guards who can block these leaking defenders, let your FB handle the outside blocks.
Yes it is sweet to see two blockers in front of you plowing over defenders on the outside but if a defender breaks through the hole the pulling Guard left than why bother?
I’ve even tested this by moving fast TEs to guard and I still have less success because there was no one there to block any possible “leaked defenders”.
Besides, it is nigh impossible torecruit fast guards.
So from my experience, it is best to have speed at HB and FB but big, strong, and slow Guards to plug up inside holes. Thankfully there is an abundance of the types of guards.
When you compliment these concepts with HB Slam, you can really give opposing defenses headaches. Add in the more than competent PA plays from the Strong sets and you have a complete offense.
I love the Counter so much that I have recently reverted to running more of a Pro Style Offense which is harder to execute than most offenses in 06 but definitely more rewarding.