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Why you play your explosive players

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by Buffnik, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    We've been going round and round about whether Hawkins is justified in playing the less explosive guys that know the playbook the best.

    Cody over Hansen, when Hansen has the arm to get the arm down field and the scrambling ability to bust a long run. Espy over guys like Simmons and Wright that can beat a corner deep or turn a short slant into a long gain. Sumler over Darrell Scott in passing situations, when DS has the speed and hands to turn a dump off into an explosive play. In the past, it's been guys like Cody Crawford and Dusty Sprague starting over Blake Mackey, Pat Williams and Josh Smith.

    Urban Meyer compiled the following stat that appeared in ESPN the Magazine this week:

    “A college football team has only a 20% chance of scoring on a drive with no plays beyond 15 yards. But with just one play exceeding that distance, the number jumps to 50%. Two such plays push the needle to 80%.”

    This is why you play your speed in college. Without explosive plays, your offense does not score very many points.

    The article went on to talk about how speed dominates the college game, but not the pro game, and explains why. In a nutshell, the hashes are farther apart so a college player on a sweep has about 10 extra yards to gain the corner on some plays.

    Also, and more importantly, college players are less experienced and get much less practice time than pro players. Therefore, it was estimated that the defense executes all its assignments exactly right about 50% of the time (versus 90% in the NFL). This leaves major holes in a defense that fast players can readily exploit and can't be covered up unless the defense has a ton of speed to cover a mistake or make it irrelevant through an explosive defensive play.

    Finally, on the topic of explosive plays vs. playbook knowledge, I was thinking about a story I saw on Brett Favre. One time he was sitting in a QB meeting and the coach kept talking about the gameplan and what they were going to do against Nickel. Favre didn't know what Nickel was and had to ask the backup QB after the meeting was over. When he told Favre that it meant that the defense has an extra DB in by substituting for a linebacker, Favre's reaction was, "So what." With an attitude like that, he would never see the field under Dan Hawkins.
     
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  2. White_Rabbit

    White_Rabbit Club Member Club Member

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    Interesting. I didn't know the field width was smaller in the NFL. Speed wins over all else in college is pretty much the moral of the story and we don't have much speed on this team. Coaches need to start making this a priority in recruiting. We need 4.4 guys playing at RB, WR, CB,S and 4.5-4.6 guys playing at TE and LB and hell, why not at QB. We have far too many 4.6-4.7 guys starting at the skill spots.
     
  3. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Just so it's clear, it's not the field width. It's that the NFL hashes are at the goal posts. They're closer to the sidelines in college. Makes a pretty significant difference in how much space you have from the hash to the sideline on the wide side of the field.
     
  4. White_Rabbit

    White_Rabbit Club Member Club Member

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    Ah I see. Yeah that would definitely benefit teams with better speed.
     
  5. MiamiBuffs

    MiamiBuffs Wᴉɐɯᴉ qnɟɟs Club Member

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    Insightful. Thanks
     
  6. dply

    dply Doble hoja Club Member

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    It is also why college FG's are a tab bit harder the closer you are to the goalline.
     
  7. zbuff

    zbuff Club Member Club Member

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    Allsome! A new excuse (for Goodman)!
     
  8. ThndringHerd

    ThndringHerd Well-Known Member

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    Good stats from Meyer. Most close football games are decided by a handful big plays (that, and turnovers). That's why throwing 5-yd curls to 4.8 receivers won't win many games. Also why safety is probably the most important position on the football field at this point (college or pro).

    Also, I don't ever recall a Hawk team running the pitch-sweep with a pulling guard. It's the most consistently effective play in college ball, and it's not even in our playbook? Brilliant.
     

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