While many coaches will choose to play cover zero against Empty (3x2) formations, MSU offers two zone concepts- named Danger and Divider. It’s a way to leverage the football on the back end, without playing a high-risk structure such as a no-safety defense.
By Mike Kuchar
Senior Research Manager
While many coaches will choose to play cover zero against Empty (3x2) formations, we did find another answer which in two zone concepts- named Danger and Divider. It’s a way to leverage the football on the back end, without playing a high-risk structure such as a no-safety defense.
Editor’s Note: The following research was conducted as part of XandOLabs.com special report on Quarters Coverage. The full-length report is available to Insiders only, which can be found by clicking here.
Defending 3x2 Empty Adjustments (Diagram 65)
Finally, defending Empty formations require a tremendous deal of technique by defensive backs in order to match the various routes an offense can present. With five eligible receivers- an only four defensive backs- it becomes necessary for another skill player, usually the Mike linebacker, to be involved in matching number three to his side. In fact, when asked about defending Empty formations, 32.9 percent of coaches will play Quarters coverage to both sides of the formation, and have the Mike LB carry #3 vertical.
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- How Pat Narduzzi at Michigan State teaches the Divider technique to his Corners and Safeties.
- Why the mid-point technique is an efficient answer to the Under route in Empty sets.
- How “Lock Coverage” can be an answer for offenses that will work boundary side two-man routes in Empty sets.
- Michigan State film narrations of Danger Coverage and the Divider technique.
The beauty of the Quarters scheme is the ability to adjust against various formations and offensive groupings that an offense can present. In this case, we’ve showed you more than one way to adjust to these formations. It’s your job as a coach to see which works for your program and your personnel- then master it.