Wednesday, October 10, 2012

TFS: Lulz

Tony Franklin with a rebuttal

How has Tech won three road games already against three teams that played in bowl games last year? By outscoring almost everyone in the country by running Franklin’s offense somewhere close to perfection.

The Bulldogs are No. 11 in total offense at 523.4 yards a game and No. 3 in scoring offense at 53.2 points a game. Louisiana Tech averages more points a game than Auburn has scored combined in its four losses. The Bulldogs fired off 97 snaps in their 58-31 win over UNLV last weekend.

That’s our No. 1 goal every week,” Franklin said. “To be the fastest team in America.”
Here’s where Franklin’s philosophical differences with Saban get good. Remember what the Alabama coach said last week in the wake of West Virginia 70, Baylor 63?

"I think that the way people are going no-huddle right now, that at some point in time, we should look at how fast we allow the game to go in terms of player safety," Saban said. “That's when guys have a much greater chance of getting hurt when they're not ready to play.”

Franklin’s response: “The most hilarious thing about the timing of those comments is anybody who watched New England play Denver (Sunday).”

Tom Brady and the Patriots, running a hurry-up no-huddle, ran off 89 snaps and set a franchise record with 35 first downs in beating the Broncos 31-21. Oh, and the Patriots are coached by one of Saban’s best buds, Bill Belichick.

New England is the best offense in the NFL for one reason,” Franklin said. “They play like colleges do. They play no-huddle, fast-tempo, they change tempos and they do what they have to do to win. I think Belichick would probably disagree with his buddy.”

It’s the great equalizer,” Franklin said. “People say Baylor can’t play defense. You know what? Before Art Briles got there, they couldn’t play offense, either, and they couldn’t win games. Now all of a sudden, Baylor can beat people because they can outscore people.

“Obviously if you can line up and you’ve got better players than everybody else and play great defense and eat clock and win as many games as you can, that’s a great way of playing football, too. The problem is, 95 percent of us don’t have that type of talent to do that.

“So when they fall into that trap of saying, ‘Here’s how Alabama has won championships. Here’s what we should do,’ to me, that’s the trap that Coach Saban would want everybody to fall into because, the reality of it is, he’s going to have better players most of the time.”

Our offensive (players) understand that if they get lined up incredibly fast,” Franklin said, “if they’re ready to snap the ball when the official puts the ball in play, their job is twice as easy.”
This is how the Bulldogs wear opponents down in the WAC and beyond. Like Illinois, which surrendered 31 straight second-half points to Louisiana Tech in a shocking 52-24 blowout in Champaign in September. Or like Virginia a week later, which gave up 34 straight points in a loss in Charlottesville.
You’ve got bigger guys than we do? More depth? Good luck getting on and off the field against our offense.
You could see the fatigue in their players,” Cameron, a senior, said of Illinois and Virginia. “You could see it in their faces and their body language. When we see bad body language, it motivates us to play even faster.”


Agitating a bag of wind said...

Saban and Franklin are flipped completely around it seems. The team with the most talent in the country should be running the most plays, given its superior players the most opportunities possible to exert their dominance. Likewise, the heavy underdog would benefit from as few plays as possible and benefiting from a more random result. So, i have two questions:

1) Does speeding up really help the underdog? 2) Have there been more upsets recently, with the advent of the hurry-up or in the past, with 3 yards and a cloud of dust?

brophyfootball said...

touche - point well taken.

In all honesty, it isn't so much the volume of plays that TAMU, Oregon, WVU, Houston, La Tech, et al are running, it is the amount of positive yardage plays these teams are accomplishing. They can run at a high efficiency (very few negative yardage plays / drops) because they are running a very limited amount of TYPES of plays / concepts. They are great at what they do (whatever it may be /style). The tempo allows them to become effective running this limited menu because it provides limited opportunity for the defense to pin their ears back, prepare, and tee-off on the offense.

The "success" of Saban really comes in his ability and penchant for completely eliminating risk. He wins by eliminating errors, miscues, and does not jeopardize any progress through calculated control. Defense and offense are meticulously planned and plotted to match the best outcome (most risk averse). He wins (as do most of the top BCS schools) by eliminating the liability of talent. He recognizes that the best talent is what will keep you from a deficiency in ability.

There won't be one absolute formula for success, but in today's game what is a more likely outcome, outscoring opponents on offense or dominating an opponent on defense? Ask can have a stellar defense but if an offense can get lucky and break 2 big plays (and score), now you have to figure out a way to manufacture points when you otherwise aren't built for that.

The goal of attack tempo teams, particularly Louisiana Tech, is to smother an opponent in such a point deficit that the opponent is taken completely out of their game plan. Watch any of Louisiana Tech's games on ESPN3 this year and you will see an offense that isn't content on going no-huddle a few series, but the entire game....forcing substitution issues, communication/check issues and perplexing problem of adjusting to 3-back and 5-wide with varying personnel groupings within the span of 10 seconds. Something's bound to give. Now, if offensive players are dropping balls and shooting themselves in the foot, then its a moot issue.