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4-Down Territory: RIVALRY WEEK & Archaeology Discovers True Origins of the Run/Pass Option

Black Friday? Who cares? It is rivalry weekend and a big tip of the hat to the ACC and SEC for playing just eight conference games and opening up the last weekend of the year for non-conference in-state rivalry games. That means Louisville-Kentucky, Florida-Florida State, Georgia-Georgia Tech and Clemson-South Carolina games. Perhaps the Big Ten and Big 12 could see their way to going back to eight conference games and restoring Penn State-Pitt, Texas-Texas A&M and Nebraska-Oklahoma…….

1st Down: Division Title Games: ACC Coastal Friday Special Virginia Tech at Virginia: George W Bush was in the White House the last time UVA beat Virginia Tech although it seems like it may have been George HW Bush. Everyone at UVA knows they need to get it done. Virginia Tech has been hot of late including a 28-0 stomping of Pitt last week. The winner gets Clemson in the ACC title game……Big Ten West #12 Wisconsin at #8 Minnesota: The Gophers are on the cusp of history and ESPN’s College Gameday is coming to the party. Gopher QB Tanner Morgan will have to consistently get the ball to his big-time WRs. Wisconsin will need their play-action pass game to keep RB Jonathan Taylor and the ground game strong. The Badgers’ mantra must be protect the football. In their two losses they had five turnovers while Minnesota’s defense has feasted on them as a driving force to their 10-1 record.

2nd Down: The Top of The Charts: Texas A&M at #2 LSU: LSU is the SEC West Champion and Texas A&M plays the AP Poll’s #1 Team for an unprecedented third time in a season. If LSU, Alabama and Clemson all make the College Football playoff A&M coach Jimbo Fisher will most certainly be in demand for his commentary come playoff time. The Aggies may be 7-4 but their losses came at Clemson, at Georgia, and against Alabama and Auburn. This team is a tough out that is much better than their record.....#3 Clemson at South Carolina: Can the Gamecocks pull off another stunner like they did against Georgia? To do it they will have to get some early turnovers to slow Clemson’s fast-starting offense. If they lose contact with Clemson by two or more scores early the uphill climb may be too much.

3rd Down: The Big Rivalries: The Iron Bowl #5 Alabama at #15 Auburn: With Mac Jones starting at QB the Tide may lean more heavily on their running game and Najee Harris. If they can force Auburn to play run-first that simplifies pass game reads and gets more one on ones with Alabama’s exceptional WRs. Alabama must not internalize pressure to win big to impress the playoff selection committee.……Bedlam #7 Oklahoma at #21 Oklahoma State: Oklahoma has had a lot of close calls with five of the last six games being decided by one score or less. LSU’s Joe Burrow is the Heisman front-runner but OU QB Jalen Hurts has amassed insane numbers--3,184 yards passing, 1,156 yards rushing and 47 total TDs. But before you hand this game to the Sooners, consider Oklahoma State's balanced attack averaging 229 yards passing and 246 rushing per game. RB Chuba Hubbard (1832 yards and 20 TDs rushing) possesses the speed and talent to give OU’s defense fits. Oklahoma State’s problems stem from turnovers. They've given up 11 INTs and 7 fumbles. If they avoid that, they could pull the upset in Stillwater.

4th Down: Michigan’s Must-Win: #2 Ohio State at #13 Michigan: Michigan is 2-16 against the Buckeyes since OSU's Jim Tressel made his promise after getting hired in 2001. And they are 0-7 since 2012. While the Big Ten Title will elude Michigan again a win over the Buckeyes would be an important step forward for the program. How could this newly confident Michigan team get it done? First help the tackles block OSU DE Chase Young in pass protection. He had a field day in passing situations when blocked one on one against Penn State. Second run the QB. Third create turnovers. Fourth make OSU play patient offensive football. If they can get that done or steal a big kicking play they can win.

College Football 150 Relic: For The Alabama-Auburn Game we look back to the 1960 Book "Building A Championship Football Team" written by Alabama's Coach Paul Bryant. This book contains one of archaeology's first written origins of the Run/Pass Option.....Check the Gallery to see more of Coach Bryant's insights and plays.

Picture 1: Early Origins of the Run/Pass Option Discovered

Picture 2: Early Field Zone Terminology--before it was called the Red Zone

Picture 3: Some 1960 Pass Routes

Picture 4: 1960 Double A-Gap Blitz

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