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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

No huddle? No problem

Hurry-up offense gaining popularity

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing (5) looks down the field for a receiver against Baylor in this Oct. 13, 2007, file photo at Memorial Stadium. More and more Big 12 teams are implementing the no-huddle, spread offense during spring practices. Kansas, which utilized the spread offense in 2007, ranked second in the nation in scoring offense with the no-huddle approach.

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing (5) looks down the field for a receiver against Baylor in this Oct. 13, 2007, file photo at Memorial Stadium. More and more Big 12 teams are implementing the no-huddle, spread offense during spring practices. Kansas, which utilized the spread offense in 2007, ranked second in the nation in scoring offense with the no-huddle approach.

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If Kansas University's offensive attack entertained you last football season, just wait.

That no-huddle spread offense? Well : it's spreading.

With teams like the Jayhawks having great success ditching the huddle and using every square foot of the field in 2007, teams across the Big 12 Conference are starting to try it as well. Already this spring, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas State and Baylor have experimented with no-huddle to go along with teams that already use it, like Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma State.

The no-huddle approach, where plays are signaled in from the sidelines, gives the offense the opportunity to adjust to the defensive setup at the last second. He who acts last gets the advantage.

"It's a chess game," KU coach Mark Mangino said, "that's played over a number of years."

Interestingly enough, KU's style of attack benefits its entire team. Not only did the Jayhawks rank eighth nationally in total offense and second in scoring offense in 2007, but KU's defense faced it every day in practice and started to adjust.

It will come in handy as more and more conference teams start implementing it.

"Just watching our defense, they're starting to pick up on some the little nuances on offense that we do because they see it everyday," Mangino said. "That means our offense is making our defense better."

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, whose Sooners play Kansas on Oct. 18, said he evolved his offense toward no-huddle as a way to get more plays in over the course of a game. Missouri, a no-huddle spread success story, was second in the Bowl Subdivision with 1,112 offensive plays in 2007.

"The more other offenses are snapping it quicker, we want to make sure we are getting the same number of tries at it," Stoops said. "With the opportunity to change plays at the line of scrimmage, you need to be at the line quicker."

The question is, when will the defenses catch up? The Big 12 had five teams in the top 10 nationally in total offense in 2007, and several games had outrageous final scores - most notably Kansas beating Nebraska, 76-39, Colorado beating Nebraska, 65-51, and Texas beating Texas Tech, 59-43.

Most coaches asked about it Monday during the Big 12 coaches spring conference call said it's all cyclical, and eventually the tables will turn. Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy wasn't so sure, citing more plays being run due to the no-huddle approach and a greater tendency to pass the ball.

"Up until about three or four years ago, I think defenses were ahead with all the zone-blitz packages they put in," Gundy said. "Now offenses have found a way to overcome that.

"I think it's going to continue. I think people are going to score more points than they ever have, and I don't think it's going the other way."

It's now the mission of defensive coordinators to prove Gundy wrong. Perhaps the teams with the best chance to stop the spread offense, interestingly enough, are the ones who know it and work with it on a daily basis.

Mangino wants to think so.

"How they're actually going to stop it? I think there's a lot of ways," Mangino said. "I probably don't want to discuss those because we're going to play against no-huddle spread offenses."

He sure is - more than ever before.

Comments

slantrox 12 years, 9 months ago

No offense (pun) but I would have loved to see you add in the Nebraska pounding of KSU 73-31!

KGphoto 12 years, 9 months ago

The Big Twelve is going to have 3 top ten teams, and at least 6 ranked teams. Get ready for a nice long stretch of being the number one conference in America.We've got the best coaches, and the best quarterbacks, the best defenses.Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and I don't know how you're going to keep out Nebraska and Texas A&M. That's 8 bowl teams! We are all going to be bitching about the BCS limit of two per conference as well. Because between Kansas, Mizzou, Texas and Oklahoma, only two can go.Should be a fun year.

shelleysue 12 years, 9 months ago

August 30th cannot get here fast enough!!

Ben Kane 12 years, 9 months ago

seems like an easy choice to me, send KU and the winner of the south to the bcs and leave mizzou at home!

thiknthinhawk 12 years, 9 months ago

Prediction- KU-OU will decide one of the teams that will be playing for the national title.

okjhok 12 years, 9 months ago

KGphoto hit it on the head when he/she mentioned quarterbacks. Any league that can throw out Reesing, Daniel, McCoy, Bradford, Harrell, Hawkins, Robinson and Freeman is going to produce.

flipborder02 12 years, 9 months ago

okjhok I dont know about Freemen he just a fat a$$.

okjhok 12 years, 9 months ago

Well, I wouldn't say that to his face. He's a big dude. At this point he's probably the eighth best in the league. I'm willing to give him one more year to prove his worth.

pmohr13 12 years, 9 months ago

I had a friend actually say that to his face, and he didn't do anything. the guy is a pansy.

GridironHawk 12 years, 9 months ago

I am not one to usually defend KSU players but not beating the crap out of someone does not make you a pansy. I'm sure it isn't easy for Freeman (especially as big as he is) to back down from fights (if what pmohr13 said is true) but if he wouldn't have then we would be reading articles about how is a jacka$$ and out of control...

justanotherfan 12 years, 9 months ago

I agree with Gridiron. A lot of athletes have to deal with people coming up to them and talking a lot of crap, knowing its a no win situation for them. If they beat the crap out of someone, then they are a loose cannon. If they just walk away, they are a pansy. Credit to Freeman for just walking away pmohr. No credit to your friend for being a jerk and trying to pick a fight with an athlete.

12 years, 9 months ago

Back in the late 80's I saw Tommy Morrison in Westport on a weekend night near the peak of his career. He was standing outside Kelly's just hanging out with friends. A group of punks came along and were calling him names and challenging him to a fight. He could have smashed their skulls with one bare-knuckle punch to each, but he took the high road.

sevenyearhawk 12 years, 9 months ago

thiknthinhawk:Prediction- KU-OU will decide one of the teams that will be playing for the national title.***I LIKE IT!! :D

stravinsky 12 years, 9 months ago

Better story: a girl I know who goes to K-State was drunk, getting a ride with some people and one of the guys asked her what she thought of Josh Freeman. Her response was something like "Josh Freeman is F'ing terrible! We need a new quarterback, he can't throw! That guy is freaking worthless!"She then found out that Josh Freeman was actually sitting next to her.

Kevin Long 12 years, 9 months ago

That's awesome! Freeman isn't half the man that lil' sparky is! I can't wait till fall.

JBurtin 12 years, 9 months ago

I know he's from K-State, and that story is really funny, but if it is true, I actually feel kind of bad for him.How do you respond to that?Sucks to go somewhere hoping to become a hero, only to find out that you're one of the most hated people in town.Oh well, he should have come here. We offered him a scholarship and he would be having a great career as a tight end by now.

William James 12 years, 9 months ago

Freeman isnt shy with the ladies either. He approaches students on campus he deems worthy to bring to his place and asks them on the spot "Ya wanna go back to my place"Not just a QB, but a ladies man as well!As far as the dude tellin him he was weak, a good alternative for Freeman would of been to slap the dude across the face.

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