Bedlam football: Diamond nothing new
On Sept. 4, Oklahoma State unveiled a new formation for a few plays against Washington State. A full-house backfield, in which backup tailbacks Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith joined Kendall Hunter on the field. One lined up in what has become known as the pistol position, a tailback lined up directly behind a shotgun quarterback. The other two lined up as halfbacks, one on each side of QB Brandon Weeden.
It’s a power-running formation that OSU has continued to use occasionally. Offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen calls the formation the “cross.”
Last Saturday in Waco, Texas, OU flattered the Cowboys in the best way possible: imitation. The Sooners unveiled their own full-house backfield, with the same formation. It, too, worked very well as a power-running formation. Bob Stoops says the Sooners call the formation “backs,” while some media dubbed it the “diamond.”
There is little new under the autumn sun. OU got the formation from OSU, and I don’t know where Holgorsen got it, but I know at least how far back it goes. 1969. In Chuck Fairbanks’ third season as OU’s head coach, the Sooners used a similar form of the cross or the diamond.
OU called it the Diamond T and surprisingly unveiled it as their primary offense in September 1969. The Diamond T was not exactly like OSU’s cross or OU’s backs, because sophomore quarterback Jack Mildren did not line up in the shotgun. So it truly was a diamond; tailback Steve Owens lined up directly behind Mildren, with fullback Mike Harper and wingback Roy Bell each lined up behind a guard, a few yards behind Mildren and a few yards in front of Owens.
The Diamond-T was designed to continue the benefits of the I formation — Owens was a decent I formation tailback, if you hadn’t heard — and incorporate some option possibilities, too.
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