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Bearcats Breakdown: Offensive Personnel Groupings and Formations vs Toledo

One of the biggest questions coming into the season was how the Bearcats offense would look. The main question being would Eddie Gran revert to the roots he displayed last year when the Bearcats unsuccessfully tried to meld an offense that was part one back spread, part power. After one game the answer is a pretty emphatic no.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Gunner Kiel:

Personnel Pistol Shotgun Under-Center
00 - 4 -
10 - 33 -
11 23 5 -
31 - - 1

Gunner Kiel spent the majority (33) of his snaps in the gun with one running back beside him. Hosey Williams (17) and Tion Green (14) were the usual backfield partners of Kiel. Rod Moore, who had three snaps overall, had two in ten personnel sets.

Let's take a lot at some of the formations that the offense went to last week while Gunner Kiel was the Quarterback.

2x3 Shotgun, 00 Personnel:

2x3_sg__00_personnel_medium

3x2 Shotgun, 00 Personnel:

3x2sg__00_personnel_medium

2x2 Shotgun, 10 Personnel:

2x2_shotgun__10_personnel__mmo_td__medium

While in this formation, Kiel hooked up with Alex Chisum, Nate Cole and Max Morrison for touchdowns. Tion Green also ran for is lone score of the day in this set.

1x3 Shotgun, 10 Personnel:

1x3_shotgun__10_personnel__cmo_td__medium

In the picture above, Kiel found Chris Moore in the endzone pushing the lead to 26 points.

3x1 Shotgun, 10 Personnel:

3x1_shotgun__10_personnel__tgreen_short_gain__medium

0x3 Shotgun, 11 Personnel:

0x3_sg_kiel_medium

3x0 Shotgun, 11 Personnel:

3x0_sg_kiel_medium

1x2 Shotgun, 11 Personnel:

1x2_sg_kiel_medium

2x1 Shotgun, 11 Personnel:

2x1_sg_kiel_medium

1x2 Pistol, 11 Personnel:

1x3_pistol__11_personnel__mmc_td__medium

Kiel had success in this formation as well. Mekale McKay and Shaq Washington were on the receiving end of touchdowns in this look.

2x1 Pistol, 11 Personnel:

Kiel_2x1_pistol_medium

1x0 Under Center, 31 Personnel:

1x0_under-center_set_31_personnel_medium

As you can see, the personnel for this set is a bit unusual. 193-pound WR Nate Cole is lined up as the tight end on the right, while Ralph David Abernathy IV and Johnny Holton are lined up as wing backs. Alex Chisum, who is not seen above, is out-wide to the left. The reason for awkwardness is because the play prior to this was a long gain by Johnny Holton, who fumbled. The Bearcats rushed to the line to avoid a review. Despite scurrying to the line, Rod Moore was able to find his way to the endzone on this play for a two-yard score.

Munchie Legaux:

Personnel Pistol Shotgun Under-Center
00 - - -
10 - 6 -
11 - - -
31 - - -

When Munchie Legaux got his first action since his gruesome knee injury, the Bearcats put him in the Shotgun. In the six snaps that he received before the half, Legaux ran the offense in a 3x1 shotgun with 10 personnel and a 2x2 shotgun with 10 personnel.

Jarred Evans:

Personnel Pistol Shotgun Under-Center
00 - - -
10 - 2 -
11 - - -
31 - - -

The Bearcats also had two different looks when Jarred Evans entered the game. Evans ran the offense in the gun with a 2x2 and 1x3 set. In both plays, Evans took the snap for designed QB runs.

Skill Positions:

Lets take a look at where the offensive skill players lined up during Cincinnati's 58-34 win in the first game of the year.

Name HB WB-L WB-R LWR SLWR SLoWR SLiWR LTE RTE SRiWR SRoWR SRWR RWR
Ralph David Abernathy IV - 1 - - 8 - 1 - - 1 1 5 -
Alex Chisum - - - 18 1 - - - - - - - 1
Nate Cole - - - - - - - - 1 - - 3 -
D.J. Dowdy - - - - - - - 10 8 - - - -
Casey Gladney - - - - 3 - - - - 2 - 1 -
Jake Golic - - - - - - - 3 7 - 1 - -
Tion Green 26 - - - - - - - - - - - -
Johnny Holton - - 1 - - - - - - - - - 24
Mekale McKay - - - 54 - - - - - - 1 - -
Chris Moore - - - - - 2 - - - - - 1 44
Rod Moore 3 - - - - - - - - - - - -
Max Morrison - - - 1 15 3 1 - - 1 6 8 -
Shaq Washington - - - - 22 2 5 - - 8 3 20 1
Hosey Williams 41 - - - - - - - - - - - -

Taking a look at the numbers in the chart above and a few things stand out.

  • Not a surprise, but Shaq Washington (61), Mekale McKay (55), Chris Moore (47) and Max Morrison (35) were the receivers with the most snaps. They all participated in the initial snap of the game.
  • Shaq Washington, Max Morrison and Ralph David Abernathy IV are the most versatile players on the offense. The three lined up all over the field at receiver. RDA4 was also shifted into the backfield on a few occasions.
  • Casey Gladney will not be red-shirted and will play a role in the offense. He took six offensive snaps in the victory. Gladney also took the second most snaps as the inside slot man on trips right situations, behind Washington.
  • D.J. Dowdy is the starter at tight end and had 18 snaps but Jake Golic also got his fair share of reps with 11. Golic was also used on one instance as the outside slot receiver in the bunch formation in which Chris Moore scored.
  • Johnny Holton seems to be the next man up for UC as the outside receiver on the left side. Him and Chris Moore alternated series' throughout the game at the spot. Holton had 24 snaps on the outside compared to Moore's 44.
  • As expected, McKay and Moore are the outside guys and they don't often go elsewhere on the field. Of Moore's 47 snaps, he only played in the slot twice. McKay went to the outside slot on the right once and he took a pass 46 yards, setting up a Tion Green touchdown run.