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Arizona football: Wildcats offense displays diamond set, featuring three running backs

An interesting combination of running backs are being used in the red zone

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

We've seen the Arizona Wildcats get creative on offense in the passing game. But now, the focus has shifted to running the ball in the red zone, and it starts with the diamond formation. If you're unsure about what the diamond formation looks like exactly, here's some footage of the diamond formation in action.

With this set, Arizona has been using halfback Zach Green to the left of Anu Solomon, fullback Jamardre Cobb to the right, and true freshman Orlando Bradford as the tailback.

The formation can only be as effective as the run game, and with a lead, Nick Wilson is able to establish that presence from the beginning.

With the emergence of Orlando Bradford in the backfield, Arizona could be close to establishing a two-headed monster in the backfield. Bradford finished the Oregon State game with three rushing touchdowns, all from within six yards. He totaled 83 yards on 19 carries, and has proven to be an effective runner.

In this set, we also see fullback Jamardre Cobb, who hasn't had the most glamorous role in the offense, but all three of Bradford's touchdowns came from Cobb's side. The 6'0" 240lb fullback serves as a true blocking back, and we saw against Nevada that he has some soft hands for a big man when he caught an Anu Solomon touchdown pass.

Zach Green has received some touches in two games, totaling 43 yards on seven carries, but was injured on an early kickoff against Oregon State. This puts Nick Wilson or Jared Baker as the third back in these sets.

Cobb and Green both ultimately replace the tight ends in the red zone, adding stronger run blocking, with the potential of having the backs leak into the flats. The possibility of having three guys book it out of the backfield is also there, which could cause all sorts of confusion for the defense.

This formation greatly benefits the passing game as well. With three running backs in a goal line situation, the defense is forced to stack the box. It leaves the corners in a one-on-one matchup with your outside receivers, leaving 6'3" Cayleb Jones and 6'4" David Richards isolated.

Heading into the season, Rich Rodriguez seemed to have an emphasis on implementing tight ends. Throughout the spring game, and fall camp, that didn't seem to work out. Of course, the injury to Trevor Wood impacted that, but Josh Kern and Matt Morin have been non-existent in the offense.

Personally, this new goal line look has more benefits than the tight end system, especially when you consider the effectiveness of the running game. And as long as Orlando Bradford can punch it in, this could be yet another trick up Rich Rod's sleeve.