Carthage and Whitehouse Pit Powerful, But Different Offenses in Friday’s Showdown
Friday night's ETSN.fm/Dairy Queen Game of the Week features two of East Texas' most powerful offenses.
We decided to take a closer look at Carthage's varied multiple offense and Whitehouse's uptempo spread attack. Below you will find two charts detailing everything from each offense's general philosophy and principles to statistical analysis.
Below the chart, we've spliced together portions of our sit-down interviews with Carthage head coach Scott Surratt and Whitehouse head coach Adam Cook, who took the time Wednesday afternoon to discuss their respective offenses with ETSN.fm staff writer Gabe Brooks.
Carthage's Multiple vs. Whitehouse's Spread
[table id=670 /]
[table id=671 /]
Carthage's Scott Surratt and Whitehouse's Adam Cook
Is there a specific name for your offense?
- Carthage head coach Scott Surratt: Multiple. We're very multiple. A lot of people call us pro-style, and we do a lot of pro-style. We do spread. We do just about every offense there is other than Slot-T and Wing-T, but we do have some Slot-T and Wing-T concepts in our run game. But we don't line up in too much wing stuff. We're very multiple.
- Whitehouse head coach Adam Cook: We don't really have a name for it. It's very similar to the "Air Raid" stuff they've done at Texas Tech that (Mike) Leach and those guys started way back at Kentucky.
What is the general philosophy of your offense?
- Surratt: Just be able to win the game running the ball or throwing the ball. We don't get into percentages. We just want to be able to win the game either way. It may be 70-30 one way or the other in a game. We don't care. ... We want to be able to run the ball because we have so much play-action stuff. Don't have to be able run it for lots of yardage, but if they'll respect the run, then we've got a lot of play-action stuff and we can do a lot of things. I think the first principle is run the ball and the second principle is score.
- Cook: It's an uptempo offense. That was one of the things that whenever I first became the coordinator here that I really wanted to do. ... Here before with (former offensive coordinator Reno) Moore, we were more of a spread team that was more of a look team, where we would look to see what the defense was doing, and then we would counter that with a play. We were successful doing that. The flavor I wanted to add to it was the uptempo stuff. That creates kind of a different monster for your quarterback to be able to make those adjustments. That's the thing that Pat (senior quarterback Patrick Mahomes) has really taken off with in this offense because he's able to get us out of some things. We've even gotten to where we're actually letting him make checks at the line, and you can tell he's really done well with that. ... It's uptempo and we're gonna try to run as fast as we can. And just really making them cover the whole field, really just trying to find green grass.
Why do you choose to run this offense?
- Surratt: I think it fits our personnel with our linemen, our backs, and our quarterback. I think it gives you the best chance to win games in all kinds of weather, and also if you're struggling in the passing game you can turn to your running game and play power football. Or you can spread them out and throw the ball (if you're running game is struggling). It allows you to do whatever the occasion may ask for. ... Early in the 1990's when Stephen F. Austin was good they got all their stuff from BYU and that's kinda what we started off with. We evolved from there going to a lot of colleges and visited with those guys. We've been fortunate to be around some good teams and visit some very good colleges that would share things with us. Then we kinda put our mix into everything.
- Cook: I'd say just being comfortable with it. ... I think originally when coach Moore (brought the) spread offense it created an excitement here that we hadn't had before. Whitehouse typically was a basketball school. Some people will watch what we do and say it's a finesse game and more of a basketball-type game that we play here. I think it fits our kids. ... I think because of back to when I was at Redwater (as offensive coordinator) the success that we had there. Whenever I was at Sulphur Springs and worked for Brad Turner we were in the spread, and he had gone up and met with coach (Todd) Dodge and we were running the spitting image of what he was doing at Southlake Carroll. We implemented that at Sulphur Springs. A lot of it has to do with my coaching tree, and what I've been able to be a part of. ... And I love it. It's exciting. People like it. I played quarterback in high school and I'd love to be in this offense.
What are the quarterback's duties in your offense?
- Surratt: The quarterback is everything. He's the coach on the field. A lot of people say that but I'm not just saying that. He knows every responsibility. He has to know what every offensive lineman does. He has to know their zone schemes and gap schemes because he checks to it. He has to know the D-line techniques. He has to know every protection. He has to know the receivers' rules. The fullback, he's gotta get him lined up. Everything on the whole team, he's gotta know what they're doing. He also calls the protection, and if he directs it wrong, he gets hit in the back of the head. And that's what I tell him (senior quarterback Blake Bogenschutz). "It's pretty important you know protections, or you're the one who gets hit."
- Cook: With Patrick those responsibilities have changed. (Former Whitehouse quarterbacks) Hunter (Taylor) and Brady (Attaway) did a great job early when we were first starting this thing out. Each one to come through we've been able to add some things. We look for someone who can get the ball out quick. That's key. That's the most huge responsibility. They have to know the basic coverages that they're seeing, and they have to be able to identify which side to work based on the leverage of the outside receiver. A lot of it again goes back to the principles of green grass and identifying where it is we have them outnumbered. Then the next phase you get to is where Patrick's making a lot of checks at the line.
What other high school programs do you know of
that run the same or a similar offense?
- Surratt: As much as we're doing because Blake can handle it, I would say probably nobody. I don't know of one that does everything that we do. I know a lot of people have evolved into straight spread, which I'm not disagreeing with that, but ours allows us to get into plays, if the quarterback understands it, that should be good to that look. That doesn't mean our guys are better than your guys when it comes down to that look, but it gets us to where we've got numbers every time we snap it, we feel like.
- Cook: I don't know that you could pick any two schools that run them the exact same way. The Frisco schools, there are several in that district. Some McKinney schools. Wylie, Wylie East ... they all have their own flavor in what they do. San Angelo Central. Springtown. Everybody still has their own flavor. If I had to pick one in East Texas, I would say Sulphur Springs is probably the closest to what we do.
What college programs run the same or a similar offense?
- Surratt: You can find some colleges that do a lot of stuff that we do that are very, very versatile and complex. One that comes to mind used to be Michigan, but not anymore. Now they're more spread. Florida State does a lot -- a lot -- of things we do. I've had the opportunity to visit with (FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher). We got a lot of stuff from Jon Gruden when he was at Tampa Bay. Just visiting when I went up to Michigan he was there. (Former Michigan offensive coordinator) Scott Loeffler, who is now at Virginia Tech. Got a lot of things from him. Greg Davis, who used to do a lot of pro-style stuff at Texas. We've been able to visit with Texas A&M and we do a lot of stuff they're doing now. We do our stuff, but we mix in some things. We borrow everything we do, just about.
- Cook: Texas Tech, that's the first one that comes to mind, and again, they still have their own flavor. We probably stay more basic than a lot of schools. You get Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia who's taken what Leach and those guys are doing and he's added to it. ... Everybody has their own little twist. West Virginia. Oklahoma State. A&M that runs the exact same thing as Malzahn. But they all have their own twists. I guess a lot of it has to do with the quarterback and who you have at that position and what he can do in the offense. With Patrick we don't feel like we have to get real cute with our formations. We just let him play and get the ball out to those other guys.