Per Frontpager request, here is a quick primer for the game of the decade (no pun intended). Speed vs. Speed; Star vs. "Swag"; East vs. West; Duck vs. Hawk/Tiger- Oregon vs. Auburn.
Before we get to anything, let's have a collective LOL at tWWL's Football Expert, Gregg Easterbrook and his article about the "Blur." You can read about what I think of his cute nickname here.
Offense, offense, offense... let's start with Auburn:
Re. Gus Malzahn and the No Huddle: It's not Oregon fast- but it's still fast.
When Malzahn was at the Prep Level, he used the no-huddle religiously- putting up ridiculous numbers there. At Auburn though, the pace hasn't slowed too much, and the concepts remain the same:
- Speed up the game - Accomplished by snapping the ball within 5 seconds of spotting it. This makes the offense the aggressor and takes the defense out of their routine of reading and adjusting to the formation.
- Lengthening the game - Making the game take longer to finish, and subsequently testing the conditioning of the defense. In his words, a 48-minute high school game involves only 7-8 minutes of actual playing time (a few seconds for each play). If you can lengthen this by 2-3 minutes, you are effectively making it a 5-quarter game. You go for it on 4th down, try onside kicks, and do anything you can to get the ball to your offense's hands.
- Mentally and physically wear down the opponent - a 5th quarter of game play plus the pressure of having to line up correctly within a few seconds will wear your opponent down both ways. The defense must maintain concentration for that extra quarter.
- You set the tempo of the game.
- Coaches can reset the play after noting the defensive alignment - meaning they'll line up and make you show what youre running, and change the play.
- Defenses cannot simulate it in practice - Your scout team is not going to be able to run at this pace and prepare your defense. Thus, your defense will need to spend extra time to prepare for it.
- More snaps for the offense means more possibilities for scoring, finding weaknesses, etc.
You'll find that concept everywhere where great coaches are nowadays (hm, even Stanford does it!). So while it's not "Blur"ring speed (LOL), it's still fast, and fun to watch. Lot's of great communication and methods used all over the field for Auburn.
Now for Oregon:
Just for laughs again:
[In Oregon's offense, p]ass patterns are minimal, which keeps the quarterback’s mind from melting under the pace. Oregon runs hitch screens, then occasionally fakes a hitch screen and sends a receiver on the fake side deep. That’s it — that’s the blur offense passing tree.
Oh really Gregg? Seems to me there's a little more than a few screens.
Here are my articles on Oregon's Offense
More to come, gotta get some of that film.