You read that right. Warner, a senior, doesn't just snap the ball and block. He gets the plays from the sideline, reads the defense, calls the blocking assignments and then barks the snap count.
"I'm not aware of any other offenses that are doing it right now," says Tech offensive coordinator Tony Franklin. And that seems clear from defenses' inability to react to it. Last week against Illinois,Tech scored 52 points and gained 403 yards, a season low for the 3-0 team. (And Tech hasn't played any FCS schools, either.)
Tech even has a play designed for when (not if) defenses get confused. Warner draws a pass rusher offside with a moderated cadence, and then when somebody jumps, he switches to a "Freeze" play where all the Tech receivers take off for the end zone. Free play, and sometimes free points. It worked like a charm against Illinois, though the play was called back because of a penalty. No matter; if you jump offside against Warner and Tech, be prepared to run down the field while the culprit of this sleight-of-voice trick watches in pride.
The concept of having the center run the offense makes a lot of sense. At least it did to Franklin, who came up with it when he was a coach of the Lexington Horsemen of the National Indoor Football League. The team's home "field" was in Rupp Arena, which gets pretty loud even for football games. "On the road you had to do silent cadence," Franklin says. "So it was a good time to try it. The center we had loved it."
just one thing from the author, "even though there's still skepticism on whether Franklin's offense can work in a major conference."
If you can, try checking out Tech's game against Virginia on Saturday at 2:30 pm CST
*be sure to watch LG Kevin Saia during the broadcast as he is the one that alerts the center to begin the cadence
(from the first 3 days of the Franklin install)