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The Dupe Run-Pass Combo

by: Mark Orlando
Offensive Coordinator, Alabama State University
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The Dupe concept is the name of the pass concept that is tagged with the run call and can only be run out of the 3 x 1 formation. It is one of our 12 run/pass combos that gives the quarterback the opportunity to make an easy hitch or slant throw.

We always run the dupe offense out of either a static 3 x 1 formation or motioning into a 3 x 1 formation. Dupe communicates to our receivers the pass routes. The single receiver away from the formation call will always run a 6-yard hitch route aligned on the top of the numbers. To the formation call side, the #1 receiver will run a 3-step slant route with his alignment on the top of the numbers, #2 will run the bubble screen where in a static 3 x 1 formation his alignment will be to split the hash and the top of the numbers , and #3 will run a 1-step slant to open grass, which we call a ‘lookie’ route with his alignment being on the hash.

The key coaching point on the lookie route is to get to the inside shoulder of the outside linebacker over him. We will tag a run play with Dupe always away from the 3-receiver side. Now we are in a win-win situation offensively. Our quarterback knows that he has the defense in conflict, and will take advantage of what the defense gives him (Diagram 1 – vs. a dual safety look and diagram 2 – vs.  a post safety look).

We tell our QB that he is like a point guard in basketball. His job is to dish the ball to the correct man. He has three decisions that must be made. The first decision is, does he have the correct look to take the hitch, which will be determined by the pre-snap look he is getting. The next decision he must make is a post-snap decision, keying the first inside linebacker to the side of the running back. This decision is either a give to the running back on a run, or a read progression of lookie to slant. Because of the nature of the three different reads our quarterback must make, we call our offense the Triple-Read Offense (3RO). Here is the thought process for pre- and post-snap progression and post snap thought process of our quarterbacks.
Pre-Snap Thought Process
Our QB must determine if there is one-on-one coverage on the single receiver. In our terminology, one-on-one is defined as either a safety in two-high coverage or an outside linebacker in one-high coverage that can get involved in coverage on the single receiver. We want the receiver to be one-on-one with the cornerback. If the corner is soft enough, roughly seven or more yards off, we want to throw the hitch. By game plan, we may signal either a quick out, slant, or go route. If the receiver is being defended two-on-one, we now go to our post-snap thought process.
Post-Snap Thought Process
Post-snap, the quarterback will now key the first inside linebacker to the side of the running back. The quarterback’s decision is either to hand off to the running back or pull to throw the lookie or slant, which puts the inside linebacker in conflict. If the linebacker matches the running back past the center during the mesh, the quarterback will pull and read lookie to slant. If the linebacker over the lookie route doesn’t run with him, the QB will throw the lookie. If the linebacker over the lookie runs with him, he will throw the slant. The slant must work against the cornerback regardless of zone or man coverage. If the linebacker sits, blitzes, or plays the lookie, he will hand the ball off to the running back.

Included are five of our favorite plays running out of the Dupe offense. For these diagrams, ‘Dolphin’ is the run and ‘Dupe’ is the pass concept attached to it. They are the Ram Open Dolphin Dupe which includes two-back motion (Diagram 3);  the Rip Brown Dolphin Dupe in a 3 x 1 formation (Diagram 4); the Right Tear Dolphin Dupe which is  a 2 x 2 formation with motion (Diagram 5); the Right Whiz Dolphin Dupe which includes two-back motion out of a 3 x 1 formation (Diagram 6); and the Lark Zombie 39 Dupe which includes the tight end over motion (Diagram 7).

Diagram 1: Vs. a Dual Safety

Diagram 2: Vs. a Post Safety

Diagram 3: Ram Open Dolphin Dupe

Diagram 4: Rip Brown Dolphin Dupe

Diagram 5: Right Tear Dolphin Dupe

Diagram 6: Right Whiz Dolphin Dupe

Diagram 7: Lark Zombie 39 Dupe

The Dupe run/pass combo answers many challenges that you may see defensively. Every coach has bad plays in a game he wishes he could take back. In this offense, your quarterback has the opportunity to minimize those bad plays, increasing your offensive production.

Want More? Similar article are available at
The Triple Option Trips Offense – February, 2012
Quarterback Run/Screen Options Off the Zone Run Game – December, 2012
Packaging Your Passing Game – May, 2001

About the Author: Mark Orlando just joined the staff of Alabama State as offensive coordinator. He previously served for four season on the staff of Prairie View A & M University as both offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. A quarterback at Florida State, Orlando began his coaching career at Lincoln High School in Tallahassee. Collegiately, he has coached at Florida A & M, Tennessee State, Winston Salem State University, Southern University, and Bethune-Cookman.


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