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Master The Pistol - Full House Formation 
Posted on July 16, 2013 at 12:14 AM.
The Pistol - Full House Formation

Now my last post was on another play the F Lead Read Option or the Lead Read Option; as a result, thoughts rushed to my head to make a post about a WHOLE formation. What formation is better to post about than the Pistol - Full House Formation -- NONE.

History of The Full House Formation

The history of the Full House Formation dates back into the earlier days of football for Goaline formations. The Full House Formation originally and still is a Power-Run-First set but you can pass out of it. You see teams like Stanford using the original Full House formation under center, burning clock, and power football. Although, that's a wonderful and very successful strategy; I believe the Pistol - Full House is better. Now the Pistol - Full House formation

Pistol - Full House Formation


Pistol - Full House Formation Personnel (1FB|2HB|2WR)


Pistol - Full House Formation


has not been around that long. The first time I witnessed it was when Oklahoma State pulled it out when Dana Holgorsen was their OC. Now why would an Air Raid team use a Pistol Power Formation? This formation has symmetry, it's basically a wishbone, and it has many options with a 3-Back back field. See Dana Holgorsen knew the strength and ethics of the Pistol Offense; but, He didn't incorporate the whole offense. There's one thing to run the Pistol Offense and another to run a play out of the Pistol. This formation is a staple of mine and I'm going to explain why.

The Pros of the Full House Formation:
  • 3-Back Backfield
  • Plenty of pitch options and Read Options
  • Run-First look
  • Can set up GREAT PA plays
  • Good for running or pocket QB
  • Can be great pass protection
  • Monster PA's
  • Deceptive running (through any camera angle)

The Cons of the Full House Formation:
  • Lack of passing threat
  • Defense can crowd the box
  • Motions can make plays predictable
  • Could have weak Running Core
  • All backs aren't receiving threats

Despite all of these set backs I am still able to run the Full House Formation efficiently online and offline!

Down to the Basics

I use only few basic plays out the Pistol - Full House Formation as staples for the formation. I also use the formation in my SPRAID Offense. I am going to, as usual, diagram, breakdown and compare these plays to their real life counterparts i.e. College and NFL.


Play I: Pistol - Full House - HB Counter



THIS play appears as a simple Counter ( a pulling guard and the RB fakes one direction and runs the other way); but this play is really a POWER run. I never understood the logic, but NCAA Football 12-14 run this play as a power run. The play can be used in nearly any situation. My recommendation is 1-5 yard(s) situations. You can hurry to the line and call this play to nearly throw your opponent off (Tip: turn your O-Line blocking assignment to the opposite direction of this play). This is also good against a 4-3 or maybe even 5-2 front. Always check the opponent's D before snapping the ball

Look at the execution of Oklahoma using this play back in 2010 against Oklahoma State











Here's the full video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=Dn9RKGNa7vo(Play starts @ 08:29)

Play II: Pistol - Full House - HB Zone



This play is a very simple Outside Zone play. This is NOT an Outside Zone Read. Now this play was featured on NCAA Football 12-13, but the play's artwork and execution was different. The RB on the playside didn't give such a kick out block and run up-field for so long. NCAA Football 14 has obviously improved the play's schematics and made it even deadlier with the revamped Spread and Pistol runs. My recommendation is to do this play in any situation. This formation provides deception and the play is a dagger. Except against a Goal line look from the Defense (6+ men on the line).

Look at the execution of this play in real life by Oklahoma State against Tulsa in 2011.









Here's the full video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=FmSK6F3DN0E (Full play starts @ 00:08)

Play III: Pistol - Full House - PA WR Slant



This play is one of the new additions to the Full House formation in NCAA Football 14. It is the only new PA play in the formation! The play is very powerful. It is slant with a PA added. Now why is this play so special? The play is special for it's route, the original routes (which means no Hot Routes to a slant, and the PA. You can pull this play out in nearly any situation. I recommend setting this play up after a few HB Zone's or even Lead Options; and I recommend running this play on 1st & 10 only after a run picks up the immediate down before. The opponent might creep up the defense and you'll have a wide open WR that's beaten the Man Coverage. The slant isn't a regular slant; it's almost a deep post, but slightly lowered to give a power slant look. This is a Zone Beater and Man Beater. Remember to always check your opponent's coverage before calling Hut.

Now here's the play with some magic added. Oklahoma State does the same PA but instead of simple fake-the-run hand off they do a Flea Flicker-like pitch back by the RB. Oklahoma uses this play after an underneath pass not a run. Notice how the WR continues his route across the defense and how much presence is made on the Fly or Vertical route. Notice the coverage the defense is in also.





The Flea-Flicker element or pitch back to the QB from the RB






Some of the things I noticed were:
  • The soft coverage
  • Run support (because of all the short passes and quick runs before this play (that's setting up))
  • the soft coverage Post-Snap
  • the continued route running by the WR
  • the great catch

Now these are only a few plays I use out of the Pistol - Full House Formation. The complete list is under this conclusion. I hope you enjoyed this info and strategy I implicate from the Pistol - Full House formation. Stay Reading.

The plays I use from the Pistol - Full House formation in my Spraid Offense Playbook (staple's are in BOLD):
  • HB Counter
  • HB Zone
  • PA Slant(New Addition)
  • PA Flood Comeback
  • PA Flood FB Slip
  • Tr Op HB Switch
  • Slants
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