When you think of up-tempo college football offenses; ones with option quarterbacks and high speed tailbacks, often names like Chip Kelly, Rich Rodriguez, and Gus Malzahn come to mind. Their fast paced offenses are not a new fad in football, it is a strategy many teams focus on but few can perfect. While some may deem the approach only fits the amateur game, some NFL teams are adopting the strategy of more snaps per game too — like Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.
Fast-paced offenses result in more snaps per game, which in theory translates to more points. In its most simple terms: rather than attempt to hold your opponents without scoring, the goal is to simply score more than your opponent. Piling on, if you will. It strays away from the concept of “defense wins championships” and focuses on as many points as possible. The downside is it forces your own defense to play more snaps, which, if your team is not balanced, may result in a broken philosophy.
Pete Roussel at CoachingSearch.com studied coaches and play-callers to see who operates at the fastest tempo. His goal was to study coaches over a three-year span (but some only include two years of data, because they held non-play calling position earlier) and review the snaps per game.
Nobody in the last three years has a faster pace than Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown.
Of course, a fast pace isn’t the end-all be-all of winning formulas. Consider Alabama has averaged just 65 offensive snaps per game over the last four years, three of which have resulted in a title.
If you run a high octane offense, a defensive balance is a must. Fortunately for Kentucky football, it seems to be focusing in the right areas. Hiring a defensive minded head coach who created one of the most ferocious units in the country over the last couple of years, and bringing in one of the most explosive offensive minds in the game, the Cats appear to have it figured out. On paper, it seems to be a match made in heaven.