NCAA Pass or Post-Dig

The NCAA Pass or the Post-Dig:

This passing concept is called the NCAA Pass because every NCAA football team runs it.  It is also quite common on the professional level.  It was made most famous by Steve Spurrier during his time with the Florida Gators.  It is a downfield passing concept that is both very easy to understand and execute, but at the same time is very hard to stop.  Josh McDaniels of the Denver Broncos uses this concept often while calling max-protect play action passes (often he will only send out the two outside receivers and have a running back on a delay route).

This passing concept is only dependent on two receivers, the two outside receivers.  The weak side receiver either runs a 15 yard in-route, while the strong side outside receiver runs a deep crossing-route or a post.  One underneath receiver will run a shallower crossing route while a back or another receiver will try to create a rub by running a drag under the shallow crossing route.

The two outside receivers running the deep-in and the deep-post create a situation where the safety defending the middle of the field is forced to cover one receiver or the other leaving some open.  This concept is particularly effective off of the play action where the linebackers are sucked down towards the line of scrimmage.  The other receivers  with the mesh routes will often create a rub against man coverage and will just sit in the empty hole against zone coverage.

Here is an example on the chalk board:


via Thanks to Chris Brown for the diagram.

As you can see in the drawing the reads go from deep to shallow or hi-lo.  The Quarterback will first check the X receiver running the deep-post hoping for the deep play.   However, if he is not open the X receiver running the deep-in should be open underneath the safety.  Lastly, the receiver will check the mesh with the Y receiver and the tailback.

Here is some video of Miami running this concept as a play action pass:

For more information read Chris Brown’s article here:,191905


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