The Playbook: Boise State’s Smash Concept

In this version of the video breakdown series I would like to talk about a pass concept that does not get enough credit and is very popular and that is the smash concept.

What is the Smash Concept?

The smash concept is another hi/lo concept like the shallow cross concept we talked about in an earlier post.  The basic premise of the concept is to isolate the corner back by sending a 5 yard hitch route at him with the #1(outside receiver) and sending a corner route right behind the defender.  Essentially the QB has one read.

He reads to the corner back if he bails into coverage, the hitch is wide open and if the defender jumps the hitch, the corner route is wide open.  This concept is great versus most coverage’s.  Its very good versus cover 2 and cover 3.

Below are a few illustrations how the Smash concept can be run versus cover 2 and cover 3.  Note the illustrations are in a 2X2 formation (2 receivers on each side), versus Hawaii Boise State ran the smash concept in a different formation which we will cover later in the breakdown.

Below is the smash concept run versus a cover 2 defense.  If you notice the corner back which is the QB’s primary read is playing the flat while the 2 safeties over the top have a half of the field.

This concept is good versus cover 2 because if the corner is disciplined then he should sit on the hitch leaving the corner route wide open.  With cover 2, the receiver and the QB need to realize that the corner route needs to be a little flatter to gain separation between the receiver and the safety.  If you notice on the backside, their are a few variations of route concepts the QB has a secondary reads.  This is what I have used before but backside complementary routes change from place to place.

Smash cover 2


In the diagram below, we have the smash concept versus cover 3.  Versus this coverage if the corner back is disciplined enough the hitch route should open up nicely.  If you notice in the diagram the strong safety comes down late to cover flat and the free safety roles the coverage to the middle of the field.  Again, the QB is reading the corner back.

Corner backs in cover 3 are taught to read the #2 receiver to the #1 receiver (inside out).  If he does his job correctly, he should see the #2 receiver running the corner route and should keep in his backpedal leaving the hitch route to be covered by the flat player the strong Safety.  However, in most instances it is difficult for a flat defender such as a safety or a linebacker to cover the flat.

Smash cover 3

In the video and diagram below, we see Boise State has lined up in 21 personnel (2 running backs and 1 Tight End).  They have what is called a near formation meaning the Full back is on the same side as the tight end.  If the formation was called far, the Tight end would be on the other side of the QB away from the Tight End.  At the bottom the receivers are in a slot configuration.  Every has variations of formation names but to most people this would be called Near Right Slot (Tight end on the right).

Boise State is running this play out of this formation so they can max protect the QB by keeping two backs in and releasing the tight end making it a 7 man protection.  As you will see on the film, Hawaii is running a cover 2 which is a great defense to defend against underneath routes and perimeter runs.  The weakness is the 2 safeties have a lot of ground to cover and Boise State makes a nice play exploiting that weakness on this play here.Capture1

That was another addition to this weeks weekly film breakdown.  Hope you enjoyed it.  See you next week.


About Aaron Rodney

Aaron Rodney will be entering his first year on the Corner Canyon coaching staff. Coach Rodney comes to Corner Canyon from Mountain Home High School in Mountain Home, ID where he served as the head football coach for three seasons. Prior to his arrival in Mountain Home, Rodney served as an assistant football coach in various capacities at the NCAA Division II and the NAIA level for 8 years. Some of Coach Rodney's stops include small colleges in Oklahoma, Missouri, and South Dakota. A native of Mountain Home Idaho, Rodney is a 1994 graduate of Mountain Home High School. After high school, Coach Rodney attended Boise State University and Ricks college as a football player and later the University of Utah as a student where he graduated with a degree in Political Science. Coach Rodney also holds a Masters degree in Organizational Management from Concordia University in Saint Paul Minnesota. Coach Rodney has taught social studies and business education at the high school level and is married to the former Sarah Larsen who is a graduate of Brighton High School. Coach Rodney and his wife Sarah are proud parents of two children Chance (11) and Marley (8). In his spare time Coach Rodney enjoys being a husband, father and spending his down time with his family. The Rodney’s are very excited about being part of the Charger football family.

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