Football Wishbone Offense

What is Wishbone Offense in Football?

The wishbone offense in football is a type of offensive strategy that primarily utilizes the wishbone formation. It was created by University of Texas assistant Emory Bellard in an attempt to revive the troubled Longhorns' offense. Because the team had so many talented running backs, they decided to place three gifted rushers in the backfield. This triple-option attack went on to win Texas back-to-back National Championships before earning the name "Wishbone." The reason the formation gets this name is because it features three running backs behind the quarterback in a "Y" or "Wishbone" shape.

Because you designate so many runners to the backfield, it is pretty much presumed that the team will run out of this formation. However, the occasional pass play is always an option that may cause confusion amongst the defense. If you have a team of talented runners though, this becomes almost impossible to slow down. In the 70s and 80s, this explosive offense took collegiate football by storm, as teams struggled to slow it down defensively. In today's game, teams lean more on the passing game so we have seen the use of this formation die down. Certain teams such as Army and Navy still utilize the wishbone offense today.