How to Run the Ball vs the 3-3 Stack (Chalk Talk & Diagrams)

Today we're talking about some of the best ways to attack a 3-3 stack defense. This video actually came about because some of our members were asking for some ideas on how to run the ball against an odd stack look, so I wanted to put this together for them and share it with all of you.

Click below to watch the video, or scroll down to keep reading.

This is all about attacking the 3-3 stack or the odd stack, however you want to call it, which I think is a great defensive scheme.

Let's talk about a couple of ways to throw curveballs at the defense.

Two Back Power vs 3-3 Stack

So let's start on the playside of the power scheme.

To begin, the right guard and the center are going to double the nose tackle and travel all the way back to the Will linebacker stacked over the top of our left tackle.

Two Back Power vs 3-3 Stack

Then we're going to make an "On" call with the tight end and right tackle and we're going to base block the five and the nine technique.

Finally we'll take the H-Back and Iso block the Sam linebacker and the backside guard will pull for the Mike.

I think that's a very tough fit for the defense. If we do this right, we'll gash the front and it will part like the Red Sea. We've covered all their linebackers and we've made one heck of an insertion point where we harm that defense.

This is a very simple but practical answer to running the ball against a 3-3-5. It's an Iso-style of power play, so instead of that kick out on the five technique, who's kind of a moving target, just base him and make the H-Back kick out on the Sam linebacker.

It really clears things up for your offensive line and their responsibilities, and at the end of the day that's all the 3-3 stack is trying to do. They want to distort how you view the run fits and make things more difficult for your O-Line.

We go into more details on how to run power vs the 4-4 and 4-3 HERE.

Zone Duo vs 3-3 Stack

If you're more of a zone guy, Duo is a really good answer as well.

We would call this formation "Stone Right Camel Left" in Surface to Air System terminology. That means we're unbalanced to the right, but we have our fullback offset the other direction.

This is going to screw up the rules for the defense pretty badly, and most likely, they would have to do something which we call "Cowboy Over". They're gonna have to get that second strong safety over, and they'll have some real issues, because things don't fit correctly for them.

Unbalanced Zone Duo vs 3-3 Stack

So here we can call the same bubble screen RPO from the last play, and we can run inside zone, or Duo, however you want to classify it. We're getting combos to the Mike and the Will.

Here's where we throw a curveball in, we would have a duo style with our backside tackle stepping into the B Gap and our tight end step into the C and combo that guy up to the Sam's stacked alignment. And then we'll have the H-Back come across and we'll split zone their nine technique.

Now you look at the the running lanes for the ball carrier and they're phenomenal.

Principles for Attacking the 3-3 Stack

I think these are two great answers for the 3-3 stack. We could talk for hours about all the options you have to destroy odd stack but these are two really, really phenomenal answers. 

I think that a big part of harming the 3-3 stack two big points you can take away from this just make it a really simple encapsulated answer.

1. Pound the C-gaps

Hurt them with C-gaps. Make your offense create extra C-gaps. Give them an extra gap to defend because the 3-3 stack is a big 10 personnel killer.

2. Use Unbalanced Sets

This sort of builds off of point number one, but if you go unbalanced they're going to have a tough time fitting that and structurally handling that, so hopefully if you're seeing three three stack these give you a couple really solid answers that you can utilize.

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