Maryland will encounter a different sort of offense when it plays Nevada in the Humanitarian Bowl. It's called the "pistol."
In the pistol, the quarterback lines up in shotgun formation, but closer to the line. A running back is set directly behind.
The pistol is designed to give the quarterback the shotgun formation's advantage of reading the defense. But it puts added pressure on the defense because the quarterback can also hand off or run.
Nevada coach Chris Ault said the offense suits quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Ault had seen Kaepernick at a football camp while the quarterback was in high school and wanted an offense to capitalize on his multi-dimensional skills.
"In high school, my impression of it was that it was definitely very diverse with what you could do with it," said Kapernick, who has rushed for 1,115 yards this season.
Running back Vai Taua, who also topped 1,000 yards, said he likes the system because he's farther from the line than in other offenses. "I get the ball deeper. There's a lot more I can do with it," he said.
If you watch Canadian football, you'll notice some teams up there running the pistol.
Sounds like a challenge for a Maryland defense whose coordinator, Chris Cosh, recently left for Kansas State. Al Seamonson has been filling in on an interim basis.