According to an article in the Akron-Beacon Journal, current Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer’s famed spread offense got it’s start on a trip to Louisville during the John L. Smith era. When Meyer was receivers coach at Notre Dame, he noticed it was becoming more difficult to put up big offensive numbers out of the basic I and pro-set formations. After watching UofL and seeing the unique formations the Cards were utilizing, Meyer asked former Irish head coach Bob Davie if he could head to UofL and find out what they were doing.
Davie approved and Meyer and a graduate assistant named Dan Mullen, now head coach at Mississippi State, hopped in a car and drove down to meet with John L. and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Here’s what Meyer said about that trip.
“I was so enamored with this style of play. It was spread the field, but be extremely aggressive.”
With less protection up front, Meyer asked how they picked up a free safety blitz. The response astonished him: Louisville hadn’t seen a free safety blitz in four years because they could see the entire play in front of them.
Meyer of course went on to have tremendous success at Bowling Green, Utah, and some school named Florida. It’s a pretty interesting read, check it out.
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