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Spread dead like Fred?

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by ThndringHerd, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. ThndringHerd

    ThndringHerd Well-Known Member

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    Technically, the term "Spread" has more to do with offensive line gaps, but what I'd like to talk about is the pass-first version using shotgun snaps and primarily one-back sets with 3-5 WR.

    OU, MU, OSU, and KU were supposed to kick ass this year. What happened? Is the "Spread" attack as we know it going the way of the Dodo?

    From what I understand, the Spread was designed to compensate for weak OL play. The idea being, if you run enough receivers out into the pattern, there will be someone open before the D-Line can get to the QB. The angles for running the ball to the outside are better because of the deep handoffs. No arguing that some teams have had success with it. On paper, it's all well and great, but it does have some very basic issues.

    1. It is nearly impossible to generate an interior running game. In most defensive sets, there are 7 defenders in the 'box', and you only have 5 linemen to block them. Draw plays work if the LBs drop back into a zone, but you're not going to burn them on that two plays in a row, so no consitency. It's alot easier for a defense to make their reads knowing that you're basically never going to try to pound it up the middle.

    2. It's horrendous in the red-zone. DB's can tighten-up their coverage because they don't have to defend the deep sideline routes. You get more tipped passes and INTs. Shotgun snaps will always be dicier than a direct exchange (more turnovers and stalled drives). Does an OL that mostly pass-blocks in practice and games have a handicap when they're trying to punch it in on the goal-line?

    3. Pressure, pressure, pressure. In high pressure situations, the more complicated tasks tend to break-down first. Simpler is always better when everything's hanging on one play. QB throwing mechanics, timing routes, shotgun snaps... just too many things to **** up. Sure, if everything goes right, you can beat ANYONE. But realistically, you're more likely to drop games you shouldn't because you're running some Rube Goldberg abomination of an offense.

    4. Point #3 kind of ties in with this last thought. Consistency is king in college ball. There is no playoff system. A 8-4 NFL team still has a chance of getting hot, making a playoff run, and winning the whole enchilada. A 8-4 college team is stuck playing in the 'Weedeater Also-rans Bowl'. In college, you simply can't afford to drop games to inferior teams. That happens way too much when you set out to throw the ball 40+ times per game.
     
  2. Mick Ronson

    Mick Ronson Well-Known Member

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    with Bradford hurt and OSU at 6-1 not sure i can accept the general premise. KU is still 5-2. This is Kansas, a program that has been sub-mediocre most of it's history.... not USC or Ohio State.

    I'm also pretty sure OU either led the nation or was very close to it in red zone efficiency last year. Losing Daniel, Maclin, Coffman, and Tony Temple (in addition to both coordinators)....I'm not sure who thought MU was going to kick ass. I didn't.

    You make some interesting points, though.
     
  3. Crash Davis

    Crash Davis MA....THE MEATLOAF!!! Club Member

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    I still think it's a very effective offense when run well. KU's offense has been fine, their problem is defense. MU's problem is inexperience at key positions, NU's problem is not enough talent to run it.

    The spread's biggest drawback is it is highly dependent on the QB position. Ideally you want a QB who is an equally good runner and passer, and those guys are just rare when talking about someone who can do both at a D-1 level. That wasn't a big deal when there were only 5-10 teams that ran the spread, but now that 50-60 teams run it the talent has been spread thin and certain teams are having to scrape the bottom of the barrell.
     
  4. buffaholic

    buffaholic Club Member Club Member

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    Speed on defense negates it some and I think DCs are making adjustments. I think Collins is leading the way by defending it with a front of Beatty/Herrod/West plus 2 LBs and 6 DBs. That's a lot of speed. With that said, I'll believe it if it shuts down OSU in Stillwater.
     
  5. ThndringHerd

    ThndringHerd Well-Known Member

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    OSU lost to a team from the Sun Belt, and still have UT, Tech, and OU on their schedule. KU is 0-2 in the big XII, and will be lucky to finish .500 in the conference. Leach isn't doing so hot this year, either. I see your point with Mizzou losing its coordinators, but plenty were still putting them 2nd or 3rd in the North.

    I guess my point is that even one loss handicaps a team's chances for a title-run. From what I've seen, a team running the spread is more likely to drop an odd game or two over the course of a season (compared to a power, or balanced offense).

    OU's numbers were great last year. No arguing that. Don't think they're ever going to see them again running the same system. IMO, DC's have started to figure out how to break it down this year.
     
  6. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    dunno bout that man. Spread seems to be doing quite well. Every team has a down year when they lose talent and coaching.

    I don't know if that argument about OU holds water. That was an all time record breaking offense. what, 5 games in a row of 60+ points? And they had a TON of talent that they lost. Now, with injuries, its their Oline, their best WR's, their best TE, and their QB.... Ya, no wonder they aren't holding up there.
     
  7. ThndringHerd

    ThndringHerd Well-Known Member

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    True dual threat QB's are definitely the key. I agree it can still work if you have someone who runs nearly as well as a D-1 halfback. You won't have an interior run game, but you can still run pretty well to the boundaries. But if you have someone who runs that well, why not just play power football like Florida does with Tebow? I guess maybe if you're a lower-rung school that can't recruit OL?

    Being QB dependent also plays into the consistency thing. If your starter goes down, or has the flu that week, or just wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, it hurts a spread passing team more than a conventional or power offense.
     
  8. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    errr. TT disagrees with you... the same offense that put up 35 points on UT.
     
  9. ThndringHerd

    ThndringHerd Well-Known Member

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    \

    Given the talent level at OU, you think that even playing their 2nd stringers they should be 3-3? Aren't we still talking about guys that would start for say 80% of D-1 teams?

    It's the consistency. The 'bad' years for a program are going to be worse running the spread IMO, because it's more complicated and more QB dependent. The 'good' years are less likely to turn into 'great' ones because of the odd game or two that's going to be dropped pretty much every year.

    I'll be very surprised if Stoops is still running the same basic offense 3 yrs from now. Of course, I could be completely wrong.
     
  10. Sportsfan101

    Sportsfan101 Active Member

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    Stupid post. Of teams in top 10 of total offense in NFL, all 10 run the spread offense in some semblance. It's so widespread that it's more common to ask which teams DON'T run the spread.



    Houston75793756 6.4937 536.57610 2Nevada74903539 7.2235 505.57430 3Texas A&M75883423 5.8233 489.00430 4Texas Tech85873908 6.6644 488.50530 5Kansas75423325 6.1332 475.00520 6Troy75243218 6.1424 459.71520 7Cincinnati74483210 7.1738 458.57700 8Florida74793199 6.6830 457.00700 9Fresno St.74783177 6.6532 453.86430 10Fla. Atlantic
     
  11. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    Bet ya Ohio state wishes they ran some form of the spread. And Oregon seems to find a new QB every year to run the spread. This thread is wrong. moving on.
     
  12. ThndringHerd

    ThndringHerd Well-Known Member

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    Not this year. 24 points. And they've dropped games to Houston, and A&M fer chrissakes.

    IMO people are too concerned about 'points'. It's about wins and losses, not stat sheets. So what if you throw 30 on the scoreboard? If you give up 2 picks, and go 3-and-out about 6 times on your way there? At the end of the day, you're pretty much ****ed.
     
  13. ThndringHerd

    ThndringHerd Well-Known Member

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    First off... NO teams in the NFL run the spread. :smile2: Think there might be a reason for that?

    Second. It's about the W/L columns, not the stat sheets. I'd bet good money that Iowa or Ga Tech would mop the floor with every team on that list except Florida. Houston got pounded by ****ing UTEP?!? And Florida is NOT a pass-first team. They are a power running attack that happens to line up in the shotgun.
     
  14. ThndringHerd

    ThndringHerd Well-Known Member

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    If Ohio State wanted to run the spread, you don't think they would?

    Belotti's had a pretty good run. He also lost to Boise this year right out of the gate despite having much better talent. INCONSISTENCY, dude.
     
  15. The Guest

    The Guest Guest

    Belotti is no longer Oregon's head coach.
     
  16. ThndringHerd

    ThndringHerd Well-Known Member

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    I think Collins is definitely on to something. I liked the blitzes in the 1st half. Not sure if our safeties are good enough to shut down the better spread attacks yet. When/if they get there, look out.
     
  17. buffaholic

    buffaholic Club Member Club Member

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    Ummm, Sportsfan101, that would be the NCAA.... You need to now repeat football101! ;)
     
  18. BlackNGold

    BlackNGold Club Member Club Member

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    Yes collins is onto something...

    Pass efficiency Defense - 12th in the big 12.
    Interceptions - 10th in the Big 12
    Sacks by - 11th in the Big 12
    Scoring Defense - 11th in the Big 12


    KSU has the 10th ranked offense in the Big 12 and moved the ball against CU on the ground - they averaged almost 5 yards a carry. People seem to forget that KSU played their 2nd string QB against CU and he played bad and if the defense could of stopped the run the game could of been different - maybe not. I am not ready to declare Collins an offensive genius because his team has had a couple of good quarters of play. Bring it 4 quarters and shut someone down and I will start to be impressed.
     
  19. ThndringHerd

    ThndringHerd Well-Known Member

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    Mike Belotti. Chip Kelly. Tomato. Tomahto. :lol:

    Honestly don't follow Oregon much and had forgotten. Am I getting senile already? That was this year they lost to Boise, wasn't it?
     
  20. ThndringHerd

    ThndringHerd Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty much with you on the 4 quarters thing. Good 1st half against UT and KU though. His defenses seem to do pretty well when they go on the attack, which isn't nearly enough. He also seems to be having a really hard time recruiting safeties which may be why he's reluctant to be more aggressive.

    Not saying he's a genius. Just think he's on the right path, if you look at what we were doing against UT and KU in the 1st half.
     
  21. Sportsfan101

    Sportsfan101 Active Member

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    Dundering Heard, you're an idiot.

    LOL at the fact that all 10 teams in total offense run the spread, yet you say that doesn't prove that the spread isn't dead.

    If you read SmartFootball.com's article on Ohio State's offense, you'll see that Tressel doesn't know how to run the spread zone-read play and that's why their offense sucks. They should adopt the spread and know how to coach it.

    There are more teams running the spread than ever before -- by a very wide margin. The spread is not dead. Quite the opposite. And educate yourself on a couple of things -- the spread is oftentimes just the veer / option offense run out of a 4 wide set, which gives teams the ability to throw the ball more effectively than out of a wishbone or wing T set. The concepts in the spread are not new -- what is new is the set that the concepts are run out of. Plus, your dumb post ignores the fact that the "spread" offense can mean many different things -- the spread and shred perfected at Tulane, Clemson, WVU and now being run at Michigan by Rich Rod; the power running Tebow offense; the Mike Leach offense; etc etc etc.

    You don't think you can win with the spread? Over the last 4 years, 6 of the 7 teams that have won some form of a national championship (per Wikipedia) ran the spread -- Texas, Florida, LSU, Mizzou (apparently they were named A&H national champion in 2007 per NCAA website!), Florida, and Utah. The only other team to win a national championship in that time is USC, which has incorporated some spread aspects into its offense. This year, the #1-3 teams in college football run the spread and 7 of the top 10 run the spread.

    Case closed. This thread is a loser.
     
  22. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    I started to see it last year. Defenses are figuring this out.

    1. Press the wide receivers to throw them off their timing routes.

    2. Bring pressure, especially quick pressure up the middle.

    Given the small WRs and wide O-line gaps, it's generally not very difficult to accomplish these things.
     
  23. Crash Davis

    Crash Davis MA....THE MEATLOAF!!! Club Member

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    What the hell is the A&H National Champion? :confused: :rolleyes:
     
  24. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Did Arm & Hammer buy the sponsorship rights or something? :confused:

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    of course the spread is stoppable, as is any offense. However, you need some real athletes to run that plan, and I don't know how well it would work against the Spread and shred. The running variety of the spread could really tear that up.
     
  26. ThndringHerd

    ThndringHerd Well-Known Member

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    No ****, sherlock. If you had the reading comprehension of a 3rd grader, you'd have noticed that I mentioned that in the thread opener. Florida and LSU are/were more balanced or primarily running teams. The version of the spread we're talking about is the one that TT & OU run, which is basically the circa 1980 U of H Run & Gun or BYU shotgun attack altered by running it out of a spread formation. Different versions of this approach were tried about the same time in the NFL by the Chargers, Oilers and Lions (and probably others I can't recall). They had some success, but (surprise), they were too inconsistent to make it through the divisional playoffs.

    Yes. It is actually possible to win a game with it. That's not the argument. The debate is whether or not it will win more games (not just produce prettier numbers) consistently, specifically at major conference schools that are not handicapped by an inability to recruit OL talent. Now that major conference DC's have been defending against it for a few years, teams that run it are becoming VERY inconsistent. As such, I believe it is past its prime as a vehicle to contend at the higher levels of college football, and will probably be, once again, relegated to being run by schools in bottom-feeder conferences, and one or two PAC-10 teams.

    MU nat'l champ? :lol:
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
  27. absinthe

    absinthe Ambitious but rubbish. Club Member Junta Member

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    You are also not accounting for OU and OSU losing their two best offensive weapons, and TT graduating the Best QB and WR's in their schools history.
     
  28. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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  29. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    And both of those offenses are shadows of what they were last year. That's the point of this thread. The spread is not doing as well as it was. Last year seemed to be the peak and defenses started catching up/ figuring it out during last year's bowl season.
     
  30. ThndringHerd

    ThndringHerd Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. Safeties who can keep up with WR's in man coverage are a necessity, but it can be done. The Run & Gun went down the tubes pretty quick in the NFL after everyone started drafting speed first at safety and installing nickel/dime packages.

    The running variety of the spread will live on. Great way to attack the perimeter. The teams with great running QB's are still doing pretty well this year. Problem is, unless you've got Tebow, you're still pretty much limited to running draw plays if you want/need to run it inside.
     

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