14 Pre-Snap Movements from Matt Canada’s 2017 LSU Offense

The Matt Canada offense made an immediate impact at Pitt last season when it was implemented, handing Clemson their only loss of the year, and it looks like it’s already having that same effect at LSU.

Matt Canada’s scheme this season is practically a carbon copy of the one he installed last season at Pitt. It revolves around a core group of plays, while using all kinds of shifting and motion before the snap to create confusion, and give LSU a numbers advantage at the point of attack.

We’ve taken all the different pre-snap movements LSU has used in the first two games vs BYU and Chattanooga, and put together this list of 14 of some of the most exotic, interesting, and unusual pre-snap movements from this offense.

Finally, the verbiage used to describe the shifts, motions, and formations is designed to be generic and explanatory as possible. Everybody calls things a little bit differently, and you could absolutely label a lot of these as single word calls in your offense if you wanted to steal an idea or two.

If you want to know more about Matt Canada’s unique offense, check out this great course put together by Jason Hahnstadt of Pro Style Spread Offense.

1. Bunch Trade

This is pretty straightforward. The bunch just switches sides, and stays tight to the formation. This allows LSU to set up the playfake and the fake reverse all while adding a couple extra guys to the protection scheme. All of these backfield theatrics manage to hold the defense’s attention long enough to get a receiver behind them on the post route. This is just one example of how good Matt Canada is at scheming up the deep ball.

2. Tackle Trade to Unbalanced + Jet Motion

Just like last season at Pitt, Canada has an offensive lineman he likes to move around just as if he were a tight end. This keeps the defensive front from getting comfortable, and they’re never sure whether or not #63 KJ Malone is gonna stay put before the ball is snapped.

3. Double TE Trade to Over Wing + Jet Motion

This time they’ll move both tight ends to create an “over” set where that tight end on the line is now ineligible. This is a recurring theme in this offense, where Canada will use all kinds of tricks and pre-snap movements to get as many hats to the point of attack as possible.

4. Double TE Trade to Wing + Jet Motion

This is a great way to flip the script on the defensive front, and if you watch enough of LSU’s offense, you’ll see that the double tight end trade is one of Matt Canada’s favorite pre-snap movements. The jet motion in the opposite direction creates all kinds of possibilities on this play, as you can see.

5. Double TE Trade to Wing-Twin + Wing Motion

Here we see a continuation of the double tight end trade movement, but then quickly the wing moves back to his original side. The timing on this play makes the wing a legitimate threat to take the handoff, and it’s just one more way this scheme is designed to keep the defense on their toes at all times.

6. Double Motion: Y Off Motion + Slot Jet Motion

This is a brilliant design of both formation and motion. Canada puts the formation into the boundary, which out of this look often times means the offense could try to get the ball back out wide. Once both men go in motion, the ball is snapped and the counter play back to the short side of the field creates a huge gain when the defense overreacts to the motion.

7. Double Motion: FB Flip + Slot Motion

The motion, especially the slot motion, is a great way to play games with the safeties. Here we see another counter play run to where the safety used to be. That will turn into a theme this season.

8. Double TE Trade + Tackle Trade to Unbalanced + H Motion

Now we see a convergence of of the offensive tackle and tight end movements on this play to create an unbalanced set, before the H-back returns to the original wing position. This is another great way to create a numbers advantage at the point of attack for the power scheme.

9. Double TE Trade + Tackle Trade to Unbalanced + H Motion + X Jet

Here’s where it starts to get really crazy. The offense moves around tight ends, receivers, and an offensive lineman to change the strength multiple times before the ball is snapped. Once again the threat of the jet sweep handoff to both the H and X adds another element of uncertainty for the defense on this play.

10. Fake Double TE Trade Y Stay + Jet Motion

Canada has a progression to everything he does. and this play is no different. If the defense sees both tight ends start to move, and they start to bump the front and adjust too early, all of a sudden that first tight end ends up staying exactly where he is, and you’ve still got a gap to that side you have to account for.

11. Jet Twirl Motion

After you see this for the first time, it seems like the most obvious thing in the world to add to your jet sweep package. When you’re a team that runs as much jet sweep as LSU does, any time that motion man crosses the center, he’s a threat to take the hand off, and as a result, the defense is constantly on edge before the ball is even snapped.

12. Fake Double TE Trade Y Stay + Jet Twirl Motion

This time LSU gives the defense a dose of all the different gimmick and misdirection movements they’ve got. Just like the first play at the beginning of this post, Canada uses all this backfield movement to set up some maximum protection and time up a deep shot to the post route, and it pays off once again.

13. Total OL and TE Flip to Wing Slot + Jet Motion

This was the first offensive play of the season for LSU, and Canada made sure to make a statement to the defense and anyone breaking down this film for the rest of the season: We’re not gonna make it easy for you. Not only is LSU changing the formation in dramatic fashion, but they’ve forced the defense to respect the threat of the jet sweep from now until the final whistle.

14. Ace Quads Over Double TE Trade to Pro Near Twins + Jet Twirl Motion

The brilliance of this scheme is the seamless way Matt Canada blends one and two-back concepts and formations. Here we see another example of this as the offense moves from a one back set to an offset I formation.


If you want to know more about Matt Canada’s unique offense, check out this great course put together by Jason Hahnstadt of Pro Style Spread Offense.

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