Let’s break down Blake Corum’s 51 yard TD run in the 3rd quarter versus Northern Illinois.
First, I love this formation. The Wolverines line up with trips to the wide side of the field. In this case the receivers are in a trips diamond alignment but they also could have used a stack (all in a row). We’ll look for both of these options as the season progresses.
Why do I live this formation? Well, the trips formation gives the offense numerous options and warps the defense to match the offense. With proper blocking the offense can play 3-on-3 or as in case effectively take 3 defenders out of the play.
Pre-snap, the first thing to notice is how how room to run the trips open up on the left side of the field.
Michigan snaps the ball, the trips execute their patterns, but the key on Saturday was what happened on the other side of the formation.
Michigan QB Cade McNamara hands off the RB Blake Corum and fakes a pass to one of the the retreating receivers from the trips formation. #99 Pierce Oppong for Northern Illinois is unblocked, and despite being untouched is no match the speed and agility of Blake Corum. #77 Trevor Keegan bounces the defensive tackle and seals the linebacker while #86 Luke Schoonmaker engages and the Northern Illinois corner back #12 Eric Rogers and blocks him off the field.
With the playside defenders blocked, Blake Corum only needs to contend with the safety who can’t make the tackle. Corum streaks to a 51 yard touch run.
Meanwhile across the field the two of the trips receivers have tangled with the Northern Illinois defenders, showing that the Wolverines had other options for positive yardage from this formation.