Buffalo Power Series – Triple B Offense

This article was originally published on Direct Snap Football.  

I would like to thank Adam for asking me to write another article for Direct Snap. This is the second article I have written for this great website and I consider it an honor to be allowed to express my thoughts and ideas to all the great coaches that read this website. Adam asked me to write about the BUFFALO power series that I use in my offense which is a variation of the modern double wing. I added a direct snap component to my offense a few seasons ago and I am glad I did because of some scheduling and injury issues we had it saved us and allowed us to be competitive against several very tough opponents through out the years. I have developed this direct snap series in the Triple B a bit more because I feel the deep set TB allows us to utilize the direct snap more effectively then the traditional double wing does. 

The BUFFALO series is a direct snap series that is based on the BISON indirect snap series that I use in my Triple B Offense. The offense is based on the modern double wing philosophy that Coach Don Markham brilliantly created. The Triple B is really my twist on this great offense and one of my favorite series in the offense has been the BISON series. The reason I really like running this formation and the power series out of it is that it is so radically different from the classic double wing double tight formation and it causes some real problems for the defense right at the snap of the ball because the phone booth just got smaller and often young defenses really struggle playing in that phone both and often they are more used to defending teams that want to get wide and run sweeps.

BBB-Formations

In BISON the wingback position himself on the opposite side of the blocking back so that the formation is now symmetrical. This means the wingback now becomes a second blocking back on the opposite side of the blocking back. This also means that the quarterback has the ability to get the ball quickly to the blocking back, wingback, and tailback. This creates a real issue for the defense when you add the misdirection component which is why I believe the BISON power series has been so successful for us.

My decision to add the direct snap variation of the BISON series was to have the ability to get the ball to my ball carriers quickly and to account for a missing quarterback if I needed to. In the BUFFALO formation variation the wingback actually stays in place and the quarterback is now on the opposite side of the blocking back. Remember in the original BISON series the wingback was the back mirroring the blocking back. The reason I decided to move the quarterback instead of the wingback is it reduced the length of time to teach the formation due to two position adjustments vice one. All that movement didn’t make sense to me when I account for teaching time and mastering of the plays with the limited amount of practice time we have.

What I also liked about this is the SHIFT component that it added to the offense while still keeping the basic series techniques intact. Two examples of this are below:

NOTE: We always go on DOWN (called by the center) and then GO. The only sound we ever go on is GO. That means if we say HIT fifty times we will not move because the only sound that the offense moves on is GO. Any shifting is on DOWN.

In my playbook the 2nd Edition of the Triple B I give the example of shifting out of BISON which is a pretty common formation for us. In that example that play is simply called SHIFT BUFFALO SEAL RIGHT. That means the offense sets up in the BISON formation and on DOWN they shift to BUFFALO. Which means the wingback goes back to his normal position and the quarterback moves back to mirror the blocking back and the tailback calls GO.

Another example if you don’t use the BISON formation that much is to simply shift out of BEAR into BUFFALO and the play is still called SHIFT BUFFALO SEAL RIGHT now your base formation for the shift is simply the BEAR. The reason that this is often a better solution is the BEAR is one of the two core formations and more often then not the defense is going to see a lot of BEAR formation. In this case the shift is a lot faster as well as only the quarterback moves and he simply slides back to mirror the blocking back….one second later the tailback calls “GO”. Now the defense must react to a quarterback shifting and still account for the basic power series while also accounting for the twist in the formation structure that includes a spinning back. I like this variation a lot more then the BISON to BUFFALO shift because in the overall scheme of the offense it causes more adjustment issues due to the BEAR being a more common formation seen and the faster shift that happens from BEAR to BUFFALO then the BISON to BUFFALO.

Below is the Triple B Power Series within the BUFFALO Formation. The power series forms the base of the entire playbook and any formation I add to the playbook must be able to utilize the core plays of the power series. The BUFFALO is set up to the right side but you could easily move the WB to the left and tag it BUFFALO LEFT or something like that. I usually only run the BUFFALO to one side but I have never used it solely as a stand alone offense. I have placed the play to the opposite side (wingback on the other side) in parenthesis.

BUFFALO Seal Right (BUFFALO Seal Left)

Buffalo-01

Offensive Line:

PSTE to Center: TKO WALL
BSG and BST: Pull and seal
BSTE: Cut Off to center’s near hip

Backfield:

WB: Seal first backer inside
BB: Cross over step and kick out first defender to cross your face
QB: Cross over step and scrape paint off the PSTE’s and seal the first defender on the second level.

TB: Secure snap, slide step to play side, and attack down field at the inside hip of the AT MAN (PSTE). Explode into the hole!

NOTE: Notice that the QB is no longer having to execute a under center handoff, full spin, and a toss while moving down the LOS to execute his seal block. He simply cross over steps and gets to the hole and makes his block. This reduces the teaching time of your backfield and eliminates some of the backside pulling issues that you might have as well.

The Seal play or TB Seal play is the base of our power series (the core). It is the one play we must run well and be able to run anywhere on the field against any type of defense.

BUFFALO QB Seal Right (BUFFALO BB Seal Left)

Buffalo-02

Offensive Line:

PSTE to Center: TKO WALL
BSG and BST: Pull and seal
BSTE: Cut Off to center’s near hip

Backfield:

WB: Seal first backer inside
BB: Cross over step and kick out first defender to cross your face
QB: Secure direct snap and cross over step and scrape paint off the PSTE’s outside hop and attack up field.

TB: Slide step to backside and roll your arms as if securing the ball. Then carry out a great run fake off the BSDE’s inside shoulder.

NOTE: The key to this play is getting the snap to the QB’s inside knee and the TB carrying out a great run fake to the backside. This fake should freeze and make the defense flow to backside while we punch a hole into the play side for the QB.

The QB Seal play is another pure power play that utilizes the tailback as a decoy. This is great play to run in short yardage situations because it hits fast and it has an element of misdirection that can freeze/false flow defenders.

BUFFALO BB Kick Left (BUFFALO QB Kick Right)

Buffalo-03

Offensive Line:

PSTE to Center: TKO WALL
BSG: Pull and kick out the first defender to cross your face
BST: Pull and seal
BSTE: Cut Off to center’s near hip

Backfield:

WB: Outside release, peek inside to fake seal, run corner route
BB: Jab step to backside link outside hip with near hip of BST and get into the hole off the PSTE’s hip.
QB: Quick cross over step with outside foot aimed at far foot of center then spin away from the LOS with inside foot and get by the PSDE (wide). Roll arms as you step and spin and carry out a run fake to pull the outside perimeter with you to widen the hole for the BB.

TB: Slide step to backside and roll your arms as if securing the ball. Then carry out a great run fake off the BSDE’s inside shoulder.

NOTE: This play utilizes a QB spinning wide to add width to the hole by forcing the play side outside perimeter defenders to flow with him (CB, OLB, DE) and on the backside the TB fakes power at the inside shoulder of the BSDE and the WB fakes a pass route that should cause the back side defenders to initially miss the pursuit of the BB as they clamp down on the TB and the WB. This play is a split flow play built into the power series due to the spin, seal fake, and pass fake.

Tags we can add to the play:

QB SPIN – If the Defense is overplaying the kick on the perimeter this tag tells the center to direct snap it to the QB as the BB carries out the BB KICK fake along with the full blocking. This is nothing more then a naked sweep but if the outside perimeter defenders are crashing in on the C gap to stop the off tackle power and misdirection this can be a home run play.

QB Option – BB can option to QB past the LOS and the FORCE man is pitch key. This is a great tag to add against a tough CB or LB. Often by putting the BB and QB into pitch relationship the BB can make a quick read on the defender and make a pitch. This tag takes a bit of practice to get the pitch relationship and timing down.

BUFFALO Lead WB Kick Left (BUFFALO Lead WB Kick Right)

Buffalo-04

Offensive Line:

PSTE to Center: TKO WALL
BSG: Pull and kick out the first defender to cross your face
BST: Pull and seal
BSTE: Cut Off to center’s near hip

Backfield:

WB: Drop step and get flat until the TB pitches you the ball. Then accelerate and get into the hole off the PSTE’s hip.
BB: Jab step to backside link outside hip with near hip of BST and get into the hole and seal first defender to show on the second level.
QB: Quick cross over step with outside foot aimed at far foot of center then spin away from the LOS with inside foot and get by the PSDE (wide). Roll arms as you step and spin and carry out a run fake to pull the outside perimeter with you to widen the hole for the BB.

TB: Secure the direct snap and slide step to backside and take one step at the BSDE’s inside shoulder then soft pitch the ball in front of the WB from the belt buckle aimed at the hip level of the WB. Then carry out a great run fake off the BSDE’s inside shoulder.

NOTE: This play utilizes a QB spinning wide to add width to the hole by forcing the play side outside perimeter defenders to flow with him (CB, OLB, DE) and on the backside the TB fakes power at the inside shoulder of the BSDE. This is always a better misdirection play for us due to the increase power with the lead block of the BB.

Tags we can add to the play:

QB SPIN – If the Defense is overplaying the kick on the perimeter this tag tells the center to direct snap it to the QB as the WB carries out the WB KICK fake along with the full blocking. This is nothing more then a naked sweep but if the outside perimeter defenders are crashing in on the C gap to stop the off tackle power and misdirection this can be a home run play.

QB Option – WB can option to QB past the LOS and the FORCE man is the pitch key. This is a great tag to add against a tough CB or LB. Often by putting the BB and QB into pitch relationship the BB can make a quick read on the defender and make a pitch. This tag takes a bit of practice to get the pitch relationship and timing down.

BUFFALO BB Wedge Right (BUFFALO QB Wedge Left)

Buffalo-05

Offensive Line:

TE to TE – Wedge block

Backfield:

WB: Outside release, peek inside to fake seal and run a corner route.

BB: Secure the direct snap and Jab step to the strong side then aim for the center’s back and take the ball off the near hip of the QB. Stay in the wedge until it starts to break up. If the play is hitting slow then have the BB take hit the hole as he secures the direct snap vice jab stepping.

QB: Quick cross over step with outside foot aimed at far foot of center then spin away from the LOS with inside foot and get by the PSDE (wide). Roll arms as you step and spin and carry out a run fake to pull the outside perimeter with you to soften the interior line for the BB.

TB: Slide step to backside and roll your arms as if securing the ball. Then carry out a great run fake off the BSDE’s inside shoulder.

NOTE: This is a simple split flow play that uses the spin on one side and the power/pass to pull the perimeters defenders away from the interior while we attack the middle with the wedge.

Tags we can add to the play:

TB KEEP – WB reaches EMLOS and up to second level and TB gets a direct snap attacks outside. Great play if defense is collapsing on the wedge leaving the perimeter isolated on the strong side.

QB SPIN – If the Defense is overplaying the kick on the perimeter this tag tells the center to direct snap it to the QB as the WB carries out the WB KICK fake along with the full blocking. This is nothing more then a naked sweep but if the outside perimeter defenders are crashing in on the C gap to stop the off tackle power and misdirection this can be a home run play.

BUFFALO Side Right (BUFFALO Side Left)

Buffalo-06

Offensive Line:

PSTE – INFLUENCE BLOCK (GAP-ON-EDGE)
PST – INFLUENCE BLOCK (GAP-ON-EDGE)
PSG – TKO TRACK
CENTER – TKO TRACK
BSG – TKO TRACK
BST – TKO TRACK
BSTE – TKO BASE

Backfield:

WB: Outside release, peek inside to fake seal and run a corner route.

BB: Jab step to the backside then step with the play side foot then hit the hole on the edge of the AT MAN’s outside hip if any defender crosses the LOS kick him out; if not get up field and seal first defender to cross your face on the second level.

QB: Quick cross over step with outside foot aimed at far foot of center then spin away from the LOS with inside foot and get by the PSDE (wide). Roll arms as you step and spin and carry out a run fake to pull the outside perimeter with you to widen the hole for the TB.

TB: Secure direct snap and slide step to strong side while keeping hips square to LOS. Attack at the SST inside hip landmark and as the BB crosses your face cut back to the weak side and attack the inside hip of the AT MAN. If you see the INFLUENCE BLOCK of the WSTE seal the defender inside then bounce it off the outside hip of the WSTE.

NOTE: This play utilizes a QB spinning wide to add width to the hole by forcing the play side outside perimeter to widen. This really has helped the Side play as it really helps the influence blocks as the rest of the defense gets caught in the flow to the back side.

Tags we can add to the play:

QB SPIN – If the Defense is overplaying the kick on the perimeter this tag tells the center to direct snap it to the QB as the WB carries out the WB KICK fake along with the full blocking. This is nothing more then a naked sweep but if the outside perimeter defenders are crashing in on the C gap to stop the off tackle power and misdirection this can be a home run play.

QB Option – TB can option to QB past the LOS and the FORCE man is the pitch key. This is a great tag to add against a tough CB or LB. Often by putting the TB and QB into pitch relationship the TB can make a quick read on the defender and make a pitch. This tag takes a bit of practice to get the pitch relationship and timing down.
Gap-On-Edge: This is one of the few rules that I use in this entire offense. It allows us to influence the play side by having the play side PSTE and PST take a slide step inside as if to cut off/ slide letting the defenders that are ON or at the EDGE penetrate to the outside edge then the PSTE/PST simply drops their outside foot (much like TURN protection) and seal the defender outside.

GAP = If a defender is in the GAP then TKO.
ON or EDGE = then influence block the defender.

BUFFALO Pin Right (BUFFALO Pin Left)

Buffalo-07

Offensive Line:

PSTE – PIN
PST – PIN
PSG – PIN
CENTER – PIN
BSG – PIN UP TO 2nd LVL
BST – PIN UP TO 2nd LVL
BSTE – PIN UP TO 2nd LVL

Backfield:

WB: Reads the first outside defender. If the defender is in tight and can be pinned he executes a pin block. If the defender is wide he seals the defender out. He is the AT MAN. He takes three lateral steps starting with a lead step if the force is wide otherwise he simply executes a pin block on the near defender.

BB: At the snap of the ball he flows laterally after a cross over step and reads the WB’s block. If it is a pin he hits off the outside hip and SEAL blocks the first defender that attempts to cross his face. If it is a kick out he hits off the inside hip and SEAL blocks as above.

QB: Quick cross over step with outside foot aimed at far foot of center then spin away from the LOS with inside foot and get by the PSDE (wide). Roll arms as you step and spin and carry out a run fake to pull the outside perimeter with you to widen the hole for the TB.

TB: Secure direct snap and steps off laterally for three steps and he reads the WB’s block and attacks the hole as explosively as he can for daylight. Runner flows laterally long enough to read the WB’s block and then attacks the correct hip explosively and sprints for daylight (get vertical quick).

NOTE: This play utilizes a QB spinning wide to cut the back side pursuit as the play side is sealed off at the LOS and second level.

Tags we can add to the play:

QB SPIN – If the Defense is overplaying the kick on the perimeter this tag tells the center to direct snap it to the QB as the WB carries out the WB KICK fake along with the full blocking. This is nothing more then a naked sweep but if the outside perimeter defenders are crashing in on the C gap to stop the off tackle power and misdirection this can be a home run play.

BB/QB FORCE – this tells the BB or QB to block a wide force defender the same way the WB does. The WB then seals the next defender’s outside shoulder inside (often this becomes a quasi-double team with PSTE).

PIN: This is a scheme for the student body play and it allows use to eliminate the reach block and use a more aggressive lateral-vertical scheme.

All line men pin the next defender to the play side. They aim for the play side arm pit and step with the near foot at the far arm pit as the head and near shoulder work through the defender’s play side shoulder.

This scheme is excellent against defenses that are collapsing inside to stop the off tackle and wedge game or squatting on the LOS and squeezing the power running game.

Final Thoughts

This is the entire power running game out of the BUFFALO series and it represents a very powerful direct snap running game with a very good element of misdirection and an a element of split flow to force defense to defend both perimeters or suffer the consequence of big play on the edge. One note is that we always have the blocking back and quarterback align their inside foot to the near hip of the center and one yard deep. This gives our center a constant landmark (near knee) to snap to when he direct snaps to the blocking back or quarterback.

The more I utilize direct snap variations of the double wing the more I realize that it is a very powerful tool that allows you to speed up the pace of the individual plays and forces the defense to respond or freeze as they try to figure out what is occurring in front of them. Combined with the BUFFALO passing game it gives us a very powerful tool in the Triple B Offense. For more information on the Triple B Offense or the BUFFALO series you can check out my website at www.gregorydoublewing.com

Submitted by Jack Gregory

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