No-Huddle Offense a Surprise Hit for "Young" Team

The UNLV win was a good gut-check for the Cougars. The most pleasant surprise was was no-huddle offensive "wrinkle" used by this young offense, to say the least.

Co-Offensive Coordinator Robbie Bosco noted the coaches delayed implementing the hurry-up offense because players on offense were so young and they weren't quite ready yet.

With other factors you could lump together under the "failure to execute" category, I don't fully understand how the hurry-up offense helps our offense execute better in those areas of deficiency than in a typical huddle-up offense.

I'm not questioning that this happened, because the positive results speak for themselves. I'm trying to understand WHY it worked when the team is still so "young?"

It would seem the offensive mistakes would increase with a hurry-up offense, not decrease. Just as Bosco suggested, you don't run a hurry-up offense if you don't fully trust the quarterback or the other 10 guys to adapt at the line of scrimmage.

Our offense is now one game older, with a badly needed WIN. Obviously, the hurry-up offense did not improve our turnovers. I'm mystified how the blocking, route running, and pass efficiency improved by using the hurry-up, unless:

- BYU might gain better matchups if opposing defenses cannot quickly change personnel to adjust to BYU's proven tendencies on 2nd and 3rd down. The hurry-up offense doesn't really apply on 1st down because the defense has time to get the 11 players they want on the field.

- Our young team on offense gains a slight edge on 2nd or 3rd down, playing against more experienced players, if the defense is either confused, wasn't able to get the right subs in, or when they made it in, were not quite in position as quarterback Matt Berry calls the play and spreads the formation. The hurry-up might test the skills of the defensive captain who is calling the alignments and adjustments on the field.

- Could it also be that if the defense is on its heels for 2nd and 3rd down, that they can't properly coordinate their quarterback pressure schemes as effectively? Maybe the UNLV defense had to play more conservative on 2nd and 3rd down because defenders had to sight-adjust their position and attack, based on which wide receivers, running backs and tight ends were in the game, and where Berry deployed them.

For those more knowledgeable than I, in the hurry-up offense, doesn't Bosco signal in the base formation, then leave it to Berry as to what he does with it, or if he switches out to something else, based on the formation or personnel he sees in the UNLV defense?

I believe each formation has several options. If my understanding is correct, Bosco did not signal in "the play" as much as the formation, including a set of plays that fit that exact package of 11 players. Ideally, for each play, the coaches have identified the best 11, based on the blocking required, the routes to run.

It seems a come-from-behind victory, with a hurry-up offense, suggests that Berry is developing his defense-reading ability, as well as his leadership. Once his hand fully heals and the long-ball accuracy returns, the Cougars may indeed turn the corner.

It's still too early to tell, but I am confident that Berry and Beck are both going to treat Cougar fans with an old-fashioned BYU vertical passing game. However, this particular rocket needs to get off the launch pad before we start plotting orbits.

The team's ability to succeed by employing the hurry-up was a pleasant surprise for me and a good omen for better days to come.

It will be interesting to see if the hurry-up offense is used against Boise State, Notre Dame or an experienced Utah team. One reason for its success against UNLV was the surprise. We won't have the element of surprise again.

I like the idea of incorporating the hurry-up offense in every game, if only just to yank the chain of the defense by switching it on and off so there are no "routine series" in defending BYU when we have the ball. Anything to confuse opposing defenses is always good in my book.

It appeared that Berry was able to string together several drives with dink-off passes, especially to Toby Christensen.

With Berry's hand nearly 100% healed, and with "rust' between his long ball accuracy and the timing with the speed receivers, it makes sense to limit his passing to dink-off intermediate passes to WRs, TEs or RBs. Nice to see that 10 receivers caught passes. Gives BSU more to prepare for.

Like others, I've wondered if Crowton's complex War and Peace size playbook might have turned college football into a technical manual fit for a mainframe operating system rather than a fun game for 20 year olds.

I wonder if the hurry-up leveraged Berry's ability for pitch-and-catch football, like a bunch of guys playing touch football in the park on Saturday afternoon, where its just our 11 against their 11.

By scaling back and allowing Bosco to call plays, the hurry-up may have been a plan that directly simplified the offense game, and made it fun again. Rather than a spec sheet to launch the space shuttle.

I think the complexity gets added when players really mature. Maybe the team's successful experiment with the hurry-up offense mesh with BYU's younger players need for simplicity, and even fun.

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