_FANframes: Arkansas Drop Back Passing Schemes (with video)

The Razorback offense does a lot of things well, but the most dangerous part of their scheme is the drop back passing game. Arkansas does a great job attacking different areas of the field, and this post will be broken down into 2 parts; how they attack inside the hashes and how they attack outside the hashes. Each video was cut from various highlights from the season, taken from 6 different SEC contests. The breakdown is then simplified with labels to each of the basic schemes being used in each video. The video is also slowed down to hopefully allow the viewer to easier follow the action of the clips.

Arkansas Drop Back Passing Game – Inside the Hashes

The first set of clips looks at multiple ways Arkansas will get the ball to many of their talented receivers in the middle of the field, but especially their very talented tight end. Of course these plays also have routes outside the hashes, but the focus is on where the ball was completed on each play.

TE Crossing Routes

The first set of clips will focus on how Arkansas gets the ball to their tight in the middle of the field. Often Arkansas uses crossing route combinations of various depths, usually focusing short (0-5 yards) or intermediate (10-15). Here you see the tight end working the middle of the field at multiple depths.

TE Curl Routes

The next set of clips is similar, but here the tight end will find the hole in the zone and sit at depths of 5-15 yards.

WR Cross Routes

This set of clips often take a lot of time and protection by Arkansas offensive front, but the Razorbacks also like to take their talented receivers on shorter (5-10 yard) routes completely across the formation. Often they are looking to pick off defenders with crossing routes coming from the opposite direction or with officials.

WR Curl Routes

Like with the tight end, when Arkansas catches you in zone coverages they will find holes in the interior parts of the zone and curl receivers into the gaps for solid gains.

WR Post Routes

This clip differs slightly because here the route is deeper than the short crossers and attempts to get the ball over the linebackers and underneath the safeties.


The final clip attacks the deep middle of the field by running an inside receiver between the hashes. Vertical routes outside the hashes pull the safeties outside opening up the middle of the field.


Arkansas Drop Back Passing Game – Outside the Hashes

Arkansas does a great job with their route combinations on both outside thirds of the field. Here they put a lot of pressure on both man and zone defenses by getting 2 to 3 receivers at various depths giving Wilson fairly simple reads.

RB Flat and Swing Routes

The first set of clips show the great job Arkansas does getting the ball to backs out of the backfield in their drop back passing game. They will run their back through the formation and then out into the flat or swing him out of the backfield. This puts a ton of pressure on linebackers to be sound in their coverages and gives the Razorbacks coverage mismatches.

Vertical – Flat/Out/Swing

These combinations show the outside receiver in the formation running vertical routes (or in some cases the outside 2 receivers in trips formations) or fades while the inside receiver runs a quick flat/out route or send a running back to the play side on a swing. These combinations put extreme pressure on cover 2 zones and put the corner in a bind. The also put pressure on man coverage, especially to cover the inside receiver on a quick route. As you can see Wilson will hit the flat/out route, then come back and hit the verticals of the fade underneath the cover 2 safety.


In this clip there is no underneath route. The deep safety attempts to take the inside receiver man and has no chance. Granted, both receivers make the mistake of running their routes to essentially the same location, but it still ends up a big play for Arkansas.

Slant – Flat/Swing

In these clips the outside receiver runs a slant route and the inside receiver runs a flat route or swing route from a back. In both the receiver finds the hole in the zone while the flat or the swing holds the cover 2 corner who has to cover the short outside route.

Slant – Corner

A similar combination, the outside receiver runs the same slant route, but the inside receiver runs a deeper corner route 10-15 yards down the field. This works as a pick play against man defenders, but is also a good route to attack the gap against cover 2 zones.

Slant – Vertical

Again the outside receiver runs the slant, but here the inside receiver runs a vertical. Often defenses get caught with a linebacker or safety caught covering the inside receiver which is a huge mismatch in the Razorback’s favor.


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