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NCAA Football Buffalo Bulls look at the Pistol

UB Athletics

Jeff Quinn made one big mistake when he came to Buffalo to beging his first stint as a head coach. He tried to make UB play the Cincinnati offense. The problem for him was that UB lacked the personnel to run such a scheme.

We are not talking the talent level difference of the depth you might see when comparing a then AQ team to a mid major. Buffalo was build on Turner Gills vision of offense, that vision differed from Quinn and the new coaches attempted to put a square peg in a round hole ended very badly.

Quinn had offensive linemen losing weight because they were not athletic enough. He drew up plays ill suited to his quarterbacks, and tried gimmicks like the "Wild Bull" or running a sweep on 3rd and inches when those failed.

He learned quickly, and with much suffering, that sometimes you have to play the players you have in the best way possible. So after year one out went Greg Forrest, the offensive coordinator Quinn brought from the Bearcats and in came Alex Wood a wide receivers coach to run the offense.

In three years UB went from no fullbacks on the roster to a full back in more often than not. UB went from a split end every now and again to two tight ends every now and again.

I'm not a fan of coaches dabbling in other offenses but occasional the personnel on the field demands it. And this season with Oliver, Campbell, Potts, and deep stable in the backfield Quinn is going to shake things up again. He's looking at playing some pistol.

The pistol is characterized by a Quarterback in a half shotgun with a back behind them. The pistol offense can effectively use draw plays, counters, and options with different receiver/tight end sets combined with a fullback for pass protection.

In a pistol formation, hand-offs occur 2-3 yards closer to the line of scrimmage than in the shotgun. In the traditional shotgun, run plays are most effectively run to the side opposite the running back, without a cutback to the other side. In the pistol, run's can effectively be executed to both sides of the QB, opening up more options for the offense

My concern for this "pistol" talk is that the offense almost demands a dual threat Quarterback and UB does not have that. Joe Licata has an arm and Zordic has legs. Neither Quarterback really excels in both capacities.