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How Mike Norvell Created a Scheme Around Jordan Travis

How Midline works together with the Triple Option

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: APR 06 Florida State Spring Game Photo by Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There may not be a more utilitarian coach in the country than Florida State Seminoles Football’s Head Coach Mike Norvell.

Usually, coaches have a style. They run to open the pass or they pass to open up the run. They want to either be balanced, run-heavy or pass-heavy but very few coaches can do all of the above.

In each of his final three years at Memphis, Mike Norvell’s offense was in the top 10 in yards per play, yards per game, and total yards. In 2017 and 2019 he did that on the back of a dynamic downfield passing game. Placing the Tigers at 6th and 7th nationally in passing yards.

2018 was a different story. On their way to becoming a top 10 offense in the country, they rushed for 3919 yards which made them the 3rd best rushing offense (in terms of total yards and yards per carry) in the FBS. Memphis outrushed teams that run extremely run-heavy option offenses like Navy, Air Force, and Georgia Southern.

In his first year at FSU, he was given a challenge. He was tasked with creating an offense that could cater to two dramatically different quarterbacking styles. He started the season with pocket passers James Blackman and Tate Rodemaker taking snaps but quickly adjusted mid-season to an offense designed to feature a more mobile quarterback in Jordan Travis.

What's truly amazing is that he didn’t have to write up new plays for Travis. They were the same set of plays given to Blackman and Rodemaker, they just had different checks and different reads.

What’s even more amazing is how well these plays work off of one another. Nothing illustrates this point more than two of his most called plays of 2020- Midline and what I refer to as the Spread Triple Option.