Friday, September 28, 2012

Tech in 2012

A worthwhile article from profiling Stephen Warner from Louisiana Tech with some perspective on running the offense through the center.

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

Related links:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Philosophy & Filler

We were fortunate to be able to collaborate with Joe Daniel and have a few conversations about the game of football.  Coach Daniel has a lot of great insight and is 100% football.  Be sure to check all his great work over at the following links:

For whatever reason, Daniel was gracious enough to host me on his burgeoning podcast ( ) to shoot the shit.  This, after visiting the football greats of James Vint ,  Tim Murphy ,  Jerry Gordon, and Shap Boyd.  After heavy-hitters like those guys, please keep your expectations low.  I will say I think it might be a little better than my last public interview

Links to the websites referenced in the interview:

Sunday, September 9, 2012

College Football Y'all

Hope you got a chance to catch some of the quality college football match-ups this weekend.  I found a few observations worth mentioning from some of the Air Raid patriarchs.

Mike Leach – I haven’t paid much attention to Leach this spring/summer, opting to rather wait and see how things played out in the fall before offering any editorial.  It appears as though he is picking up right where he left off from a philosophy standpoint (wide splits, vertical attack focus).  On one of WSU’s first explosive plays featured an effective smash adjustment into the boundary, converting #1’s hitch into a post once the split-safety widens to match the (corner) bend of #2, leaving a middle-of-the-field void. 

smash conversion

Noel Mazzone – Like Leach, Mazzone is doing exactly as he had on his last stop; streamlined efficiency centered on horizontal stretch of perimeter defenders. Mazzone has also adapted the Holgorsen, Franklin (TFS), 3-back change-up to capitalize on defensive personnel adjustments. Similar to the two quarterbacks he had at ASU, Mazzone’s UCLA quarterback, Brett Hundley, finished with a more than respectable 75% completion ratio.

Tony Franklin – I am really glad Hurricane Isaac delayed last week’s Louisiana Tech – Texas A&M matchup until October 18, because it should allow enough time for a larger viewing audience to develop an interest.  There is plenty to take note of with Tony Franklin’s offense, much of which we’ve previously written about.  Of note are the contributions of freshmen Tevin King and Kenneth Dixon who came out of nowhere (plenty of depth with solid running backs) with over a 6 yard per carry average.  Those are impressive stats, but I think it also drives home Franklin’s aggressive style for playing offense.  

Tech has incorporated more inside zone this year and you may not find a team this year more adept at quick perimeter screens (particularly solid, rocket/laser with linemen).  Of course, the one thing you can learn from Tech is how committed to tempo they are.  They never move slower than snapping within 20 seconds of the spot and when they operate in “attack” tempo, no defense is safe. Even while leading with only 43 seconds left in the first half and receiving to start the second half, Franklin still attempted to work the clock and drive the field for points.  This style of play helped them break out of their own 1 yard line in the third quarter and score on a 4 play drive.
They’re going so fast there’s no time to explain what’s happening 
– CBS Color commentator, Ron Zook, during the Louisiana Tech game broadcast
There is nothing "soft" or finesse about this brand of football.  It is fast and nasty - both UCLA and La Tech relentlessly paced through 94 total offensive plays for over 600 yards total offense with over 250 yards rushing and 5 TDs.

Here are two observations I felt like taking a look at.
Fire (stretch read) with predetermined cutback

Fire (stretch read) with built-in option throw