WSU unveiled a new wrinkle in their offense last weekend against USC: the pistol. Instead of the typical shotgun formation, the running back lines up directly behind the quarterback, allowing the offense to run either direction on the play.
UCLA is quite familiar with this offense, installing their own version of it prior to the 2010 season. Bud Withers, of the Seattle Times, took a look at the pistol and the popularity it’s gained in the college football world.
The offense — with the quarterback in a short shotgun formation and the running back directly behind him — is, in Neuheisel’s words, just the veer from the gun.
All this is bad news for Washington State, which faces the Bruins on Saturday afternoon in the Rose Bowl. The Cougars will bring in the conference’s ninth-ranked rush defense (209.8 yards a game) to the game.
As Withers says, the pistol UCLA runs is completely different from the version WSU showed last week. While the Cougs took it as an opportunity to pass, UCLA loves to run the option out of theirs. In fact, they only threw the ball nine times in their upset-win over Texas.
Get ready for a gun-fight Saturday at the Rose Bowl.