Remember the Veer? It was the offensive (both definitions apply) formation favored by former Wisconsin football coach Don Morton, who compiled a 6-27 record from 1987 to '89. Many Badger fans believe the Veer has gone the way of the leisure suit, but an offensive scheme remarkably similar to it will be on display at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday, when the Badgers host San Jose State.
At its heart, the Veer was a simple scheme for a running quarterback to isolate, or "read," the defense's best player on any given play and either keep the ball or pitch to a running back, depending on where that defender goes. This notion of giving a running quarterback a few options at the point of attack is the essence of the Spread Option favored by coaches like Urban Meyer at Florida and Rich Rodriguez at Michigan.
San Jose State runs an offense called the Pistol, a combination of the shotgun and option in which the quarterback lines up four yards behind the center with a tailback a few yards directly behind him. That makes it tough for the defense to figure out which direction the play is headed, and lets the quarterback attack the edges with the option of pitching to the tailback.
Effectively running the Pistol will draw comparisons between the Spartans and Nevada, which last season led the nation in rushing using the Pistol. Ineffective use risks stirring memories of Don Morton's teams.