Hurry-up offense means more plays, defenses scrambling

Credit: Brady Moore / KTVB

Hurry-up offense means more plays, defenses scrambling

Print
Email
|

by Jay Tust

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBSportsGuy

KTVB.COM

Posted on November 16, 2013 at 8:27 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 16 at 8:41 PM

BOISE -- Before the season we talked about the Boise State offense instituting a new up-tempo pace by eliminating the huddle. As with anything, it has it's pros and cons.

We start off with the good. On offense, its been effective for them, especially compared to last year's numbers.

While their average yards per play is up just slightly from 5.8 to 6.1, they're total number of plays per game has increased from approximately 68 a game to almost 82.

What that means: Although BSU is seeing similar results to last year every time they snap the ball, getting more plays in is the reason they're averaging almost 100 more total yards per game this season.

The other side of the ball is a different story. The Boise State defense has faced an average of 100 plays per game over the last two contests. Before allowing 109 to Colorado State two weeks ago, the Broncos were on the field for 91 plays at BYU.

You would have to go back 101 games ago to find the last time a Boise State defense spent more than 90 plays on the field. In happened in a 70-35 victory over rival-Idaho in 2005. The Vandals  managed to total up 92 plays.

Back to this year, five of Boise State's nine opponest so far rank in the top 20 in the NCAA in plays per game. So the con? More and more teams are using this strategy it's a big reason why the Broncos are on pace for a historically bad season.

It's an offensive strategy that taking college football by storm.

The hurry-up offense eliminates huddling and shrinks the time between snaps meaning, there is now more pressure on defenses to perform and communicate than ever before.

This season, if you a look at yards per play, you will find that the Boise State defense is pretty mediocre. Opposing teams gain an average of 5.4 yards every time the ball is snapped, which ranks 55th among the NCAA's 125 FBS schools.

But there is a reason the Broncos are surrendering 438 total yards per game -- the 98th most in the country. It has to do with the shear volume of plays they are seeing.

In 2011, the Bronco defense was on the field for 806 plays. An average of 62 plays per game. Last season, that number jumped slightly to 888 plays, or 68.3 a contest.

Through nine games this season, the Boise State defense has already been on the field for 731 plays, an average of 81.2 per game, the third highest total in the country.

At that rate, the defense is on pace to spend 1,055 plays on the field this season. Add over 81 more if they make it to the Mountain West Championship game.

That means that the Broncos will potentially line up 248 more times this season on defense, which at their currently rate of 81.2 plays per game means they will play essentially three more games on defense in 2013 than they did in 2012.

The aftermath is interesting. Does the increase in snaps means more injures?
Coach Petersen says he's not sure.

Either way, it's tough to ignore the amount of Broncos that have been sidelined this season.

"I don't remember a year like this," side Coach Pete.

At the very least, along with injury replacements, the new pace is forcing younger guys on the field.

With depth being tested more than ever, the game is evolving and defenses are scrambling to figure out a solution.

Print
Email
|