Via John, your attention is pointed to baby pictures of the Urban Meyer offense in one of its first appearances against Stanford in 2000. Well, hello Matt LoVecchio: if you remembered that name, your brain officially clings to useless information. Feed it new information and ask that it discard that and the phone numbers from youth you still occasionally dial when attempting to call someone. Your brain will refuse, of course, but it's nice to ask it impossible favors every now and then, which is why you tried to actually read Marquez in Spanish one summer. Man, that was good nappin'.
The video is only the first series, but you'll recognize it soon enough:
That is Urban Meyer you see LoVecchio talking to on the sidelines, and that is a damn Meyer-ish offense rolling down the field against Stanford and Ty Willingham. Play action off the zone read, then the zone read, end-around out of an empty backfield, I-formation option, the wishbone with play-action just for the hell of it, then a double flourish with a shift into the flexbone because fuck you, that's why, then shifting into the shotgun, another qb keeper off the read, another keeper and more I-formation before the red zone finisher of a slant thrown into a void vacated by linebackers crashing the qb draw/blitzing. Six formations, option running, play-action bootlegs, and slant thrown through hapless defense for TD. Ahhhhh.
The experiment was short-lived, and didn't produce this kind of yardage for the rest of the game (ND finished with fewer yards than Stanford, who threw the ball 43 times in the game in giving Irish fans a preview of future offensive stagnation and crapulence) or the season. It does, however, give you a snapshot of the moment one of the most influential and widely used offenses in football today began its slow crawl from the mire and onto dry land, where it would succeed the dinosaurs and roam the earth in fuzzy, warm-blooded glory.
(As for the counter-swing towards power-running, the metaphor remains valid. Reintroducing big power runs out of the I-formation and other big sets is a bit like reintroducing the T-Rex into the current ecosystem. It causes trouble, especially when you don't have the requisite artillery up front to counter.)