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The Wing-T Buck Pass Concept

Posted by Gavin Southworth on

Coach David Weathersby, offensive coordinator at Triton High School (NC) for the last 5 years,  has been dominating North Carolina defenses for over a decade with his traditional Wing-T offense.  

During his tenure, he’s created an offensive culture that has set the bar for offensive production at his school amongst their competitors. Today, we’re taking a look at a schematic wrinkle that incorporates a passing concept into the mix. 

This is taken directly from Coach Weathersby's incredible presentation on the Traditional Wing-T 101.

Watch the video below or scroll down to learn more about the installation process.

Buck Pass

Buck pass has become one of coach Weathersby’s favorite passing concepts over the years because it’s something that not everybody runs, making it somewhat unique to their Wing-T offense

Additionally, coach Weathersby has found that he can call this play as a tendency breaker not only to add a wrinkle on top of buck sweep, but as a change-up passing combination in regards to their waggle play. Buck pass looks initially like their waggle concept, so the defense tends to react with their waggle rules to try and stop the play. 

This gets the defense out of position because unlike waggle, now this play is heading towards the play action side of the formation. Most defenses aren’t ready for this, and it puts the play action side cornerback in a predicament because he has to quickly decide if he’s supposed to cover or fit into the run game to defend buck.

The responsibilities of this play are pretty straight forward.

Buck Pass - QB & Offensive Line

First and foremost, the quarterback is going to take the snap from under center and execute a play fake to the full back running downhill to the backside of the play action at 45 degrees, while also faking the give to the dive back coming around from the left side.

These quick play action fakes draw in the defense pretty aggressively, so the responsibility of these two players quickly becomes to insert into the pass protection scheme and pick up the most immediate threat to the QB. 

The offensive line is blocking this play like it were buck sweep, with the obvious mindset of not getting too far downfield to avoid a penalty marker being thrown against the offense. 

This has its pros and cons as it makes the defense more aggressively confident that they are being keyed into defending buck, but it also makes them that much more susceptible to giving up a downfield pass.

This will oftentime make the rush feel more prominent for the QB, but also make his throwing window much larger.

Buck Pass - Receivers Routes 

As for the pass catchers, the primary receiver is the wing back who runs a deep 15 yard out into the sideline. 

Just inside of the wing back, the tight end releases off the line of scrimmage and sits down about 10 yards downfield turning back inside to the QB on a curl route

The X receiver on the backside of the play has a simple fade release downfield.

If the pass protection on the interior holds up, the fullback can release through the line of scrimmage off of his play fake and run into the play side flat for a checkdown option in the event that the wing back doesn’t separate from his defender. 

Buck Pass Film

Wing-T Buck Pass 1

By taking a look at this frozen image of game film, you can see how this play works so well. In this instance, the offensive line does a poor job blocking the pass rushers, so the quarterback has pressure in his face.

The key though is the play side CB. Notice how aggressively he stepped upfield to get to his run fit, leaving A TON of grass behind him for the receivers in the passing concept to get behind him.

This creates a situation where all the QB has to do is lob the ball up into relative space in order for his receiver to come down with the football on this play. 

Imagine if the offensive line had done their job better, and the QB had more time to step into his throw and deliver the ball to his target with more precision… 

Even with the heavy pressure applied on this particular rep, the QB is able to get the ball in close enough range of his receiver that they are able to catch the ball 15+ yards downfield and use their legs to get the ball inside the 5 yard line for a goal to go situation. If not for the hustle of the defense, this play would have resulted in an easy touchdown. 

This play has homerun potential and as such, has been a staple of the Triton offense during coach Weathersby’s tenure.

Wing-T Buck Pass 2

This image is another example of the offense running buck pass, this time with better protection, but conversely the defensive secondary does a better job defending the pass.

The QB is able to set his feet in the pocket due to the extra time given to him by the offensive line, and deliver a clean football to the right wing on the 15 yard out.

The play results in a completion and first down for Triton.

Want More?

Watch more clips from Coach Weathersby's incredible presentation on The Traditional Wing-T 101 HERE.