UF's New OC Kurt Roper Would Like the A-11 Offense

Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

Remember that wacky old thing? He'd probably love it.

In his introductory press conference, Florida's new OC Kurt Roper showed that he thinks that football is still slanted towards the defense despite all of the rules that have made things easier on the offense over the years. Here's a small snippet of what he said:

"Everybody thinks this is an offensive game, now," he said. "All the rules are for offense. I say it’s just the opposite. It’s more for defense. We have to have five guys with a number 50-70 on the field at all times. Defense doesn’t have any number rules.

In college football, the offense must have at least five players numbered between 50-79 on every play; not having that many is an illegal formation. Players wearing those numbers cannot be eligible for a forward pass, i.e. the tackle-eligible play is not allowed on the college level.

The first half of that rule, about the number of players wearing Nos. 50-79, is true for all offensive formations except the scrimmage kick. You can have no one wearing those numbers on a scrimmage kick if you so choose. In order to have a legal scrimmage kick formation, the guy who is to receive the snap (either the punter or the holder on a field goal try) must be at least seven yards back of the line of scrimmage.

If you remember from a few years back, there actually was an offensive scheme called the A-11 designed to exploit that scrimmage kick formation loophole about the required number of offensive linemen. In the A-11, the offense runs every snap from a scrimmage kick formation with the quarterback at least seven yards back of the line of scrimmage. The offense then never lines up anyone numbered 50-79, meaning that in theory, all 11 players could be eligible on a given play (hence the name A-11). Only five can still go out for a pass, but there's no way of knowing which five it'll be from play-to-play.

The A-11 is illegal on most levels, including college, so Roper won't be able to bust it out in Gainesville this fall. I don't even know if he's heard of it, but I think based on his quote here, he'd love the spirit of it. It's not often you hear someone complaining about the offensive lineman numbering rules, so he might find some kindred spirits in the guys who cooked up the A-11.

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