The Hokies Pistol Veer

Many of you have asked how the Hokie version of the pistol works. Here is a breakdown of one of their basic plays, the Trap Veer.


Tight end lines up on the line of scrimmage, and flexes back to the wing back. When the tight end sets, the flanker (right side) flexes up to a set position. Once the flanker is set, the Z back (slot receiver) rocket motion (curved motion with the aiming point being 2 yards behind where the tailback lines up. The quarterback gets the snap when the Z hits the hash mark in his motion.


SE: Option Stalk/Go Route
Z: Rocket Sweep Fake/Flat-Go
FL: Option Stalk/Backside Post Route
TE "Y": Pulls playside. If the option man goes inside, he goes outside and attempts to hook with playside linebacker. If the option man (playside defensive end) goes upfield, the Y turns inside him and kicks out the weakside backer.

LT: Combo with left guard on playside DT, roll off to middle backer
LG: Combo with left tackle on playside DT. Get head to the play side (most important block on the play).
C: Depending on line call, can pull and lead up inside the DE to the playside, or scoop the backside linebacker.
RG: Scoop the backside defensive tackle.
RT: Scoop the backside defensive end.

RB: Takes a belly step left, then dives inside of the option man (play side defensive end.)
QB: Reads the option man (DE.) If the end crashes inside, QB keeps and goes outside. If the DE stays wide and moves upfield, QB gives to the TB.

This is a magnificently simple play that you can build a wide variety of counters to. Without changing any of the pre- or post-snap motion, you can trap the defensive end and use the running back as a lead blocker to make it a power lead play. You can have the center pull and get outside the end to turn the play into a quarterback sweep. It can become an easy play action pass by having the tight end pull but instead of blocking, leak out to the flat, just like the Hokies did on the first team offense's first play on Saturday. You can run play action and max protect by having the Y seal the defensive end and running go and backside post routes from your set receivers. And, you have the option of a rocket or jet sweep off the action.

What Nevada's running above isn't an exact match to what I expect the Hokies to run, but the fundamentals are similar. Nevada uses their slot man as the pulling blocker. When the playside defensive end dives inside, both the blocker and the quarterback read it. The receiver, now lead blocker goes outside the end and turns upfield, and the quarterback fakes the dive and runs outside the end.

We saw more of the counter options, and off tackle runs from this formation/pre-snap action on Saturday. However, once Logan Thomas starts with live contact against Georgia Tech, I would imagine that this will be a bread and butter play for the big quarterback.


Please note, we have drawn this up against a very basic 4-3 look. Georgia Tech runs a 3-4, so these plays will look somewhat different against the Yellow Jackets.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

i'll have a special place in my heart for inverted veer ran against Miami FTW last year with LT being the inside run and Wilson the outside run threat.

I do too. I think we will see it, but none of the tailbacks really fit the David Wilson mold for making that sweep/fake effective to create space for Logan. I could see them running more to the tailback side, which the tailback pretty much serving as a lead blocker after the fake handoff. The pistol allows you to do that to both sides as well.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

How do you feel about our offensive philosophy in general?

It seems to me you are more a fan of an I formation man blocking power offense than spread type offenses. Are you starting to become a fan of the spread a lil more nowadays?

I had the conversation the other day with TKP that this trend of spread offenses has already resulted in defenses recruiting to speed and using hybird guys in 3-3-5 and nickel as base looks. Defenses will get smaller and faster. When that happens, somebody in a non-SEC power conference (most likely a team that has access to good recruiting and resources, but has underperformed) will get a head coach that knows how to run a power based offense like Stanford. If that coach can get buy-in, with top notch talent that Stanford (outside of Luck) couldn't recruit, they will be a dominant team and that formula will start being copycated. As we all know, football is cyclical. The spread is just 1930's single wing and 1970's veer played from a spread formation.

Now, do I like the spread? Well, if I were a coach, I'd prefer running a grind it out smash mouth pro-I with a little veer mixed in. However, I am a firm believer that with precision, player buy-in, and talent, any offensive philosophy can be successful. The single wing, the T, the wishbone, the power I, the split back veer, the pro-I, the run and shoot, and the spread all are sound offensive philosophys. That is why they work.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

The other side of the line

On the flip side, to be a good defense and to win a NC you have to handle any of thoses offenses, not only the ones in your own conference, but any potential match-up in a playoff. To win games requires excellence in all aspects of the game.

#Let's Go - Hokies

i just love the idea of the veer because it worked so well for matthew mcconahey (or however its spelled) and Marshall in We Are Marshall. its fun to re-enact his role regarding the veer

Lifelong Hokie. Football enthusiast. Hoo Hater.

this excites

me, more than it should for numerous reasons.