Picking Up The Pace

Dave Doeren may have a background on the defensive side of the football, but he knows exactly what he wants to do and how he wants to play when NC State has the ball in 2013.

Dave Doeren may have a background on the defensive side of the football, but he knows exactly what he wants to do and how he wants to play when NC State has the ball in 2013.

For Doeren, his offense starts with a no-huddle, fast-paced approach.

"That's really big," said junior wideout Bryan Underwood. "We're trying to hike the ball ever 12-to-15 seconds so we have to be in great condition. It's taking a toll on us so I know it will on the defense.

"What we want to do is get in a groove, playing fast... get the defense tired so we can score more touchdowns."

"From the first day of practice we've been going non-stop," he added. "Last year it seemed we would hike the ball in two minutes even in practice, and that's the main thing with us now... playing uptempo."

When discussing the pace of an offense, most often look at the number of plays as an indicator of just how fast a team is playing.

However, Doeren believes that while NC State is going to be up-tempo, he isn't that concerned with the number of plays from his group.

"The number of plays we run isn't that big of a concern to me," he stated. "It's more about, I want to go fast, don't get me wrong, but the way we go fast isn't about how many plays we get in."

NC State, a team that ran some no-huddle in 2012 but was mainly a pro-style offense that huddled, averaged 83.3 plays per game, which ranked No. 9 nationally. Northern Illinois, where Doeren coached in 2012, ran a spread, no-huddle offense and averaged just 74 plays per game, which ranked No. 52 in the country.

Why is that misleading? Well, Northern Illinois was more efficient with their plays, so even though they were much more uptempo than State, they ran fewer plays because they were scoring quicker.

The Huskies averaged .525 points per play in 2012, which ranked No. 8 nationally. NC State averaged just .313 points per play, finishing No. 91 in the country in the category.

"At the end of the game, I want to have more points than they do on the board," said Doeren. "If that means we ran 100 plays or 60 plays I'm not going to get caught up in that."

Priority No. 1 for NC State's offense will be lining up as quickly as possible after after completing a play.

"We want to get to the line as quickly as we can," said Doeren. "We may go first sound, that's going literally as fast as humanly possible for a team.

"We may get up there and call a cadence and turn and look at the sideline and change the play. We may get up there and shift and motion. We may have a play that works and we repeat it five times in a row as fast as possible to see if you can stop it."

As a former defensive coordinator, he understands the type of stress an uptempo, explosive offense can put on a defense.

"I do believe the no-huddle, from a defensive standpoint, that it creates less things you have to prepare for as an offensive coach," Doeren stated. "With the number of things we can do and as fast as we can go, you can't substitute as much, which means you don't have as many substitution packages.

"It eliminates the number of calls you can make as a defensive coordinator. There is not as much substituting that can take place against your team, which can limit the number of substitution packages that come in and out of the game.

Doeren went even more in-depth on how a no-huddle, uptempo can limit and harm a defense.

"I know we were only blitzed 11% of the season for two seasons in a row at Northern," he said. "We played teams that blitzed 60% of the game and they blitzed five times against us.

"They didn't want to practice all those things against the different option schemes we could run, unbalanced sets and motions."

Doeren and his staff have hit the ground running on the recruiting trail, but he knows it could take a couple of seasons before those results are seen on the field... which is another reason why he wants to play fast offensively.

"I believe in [a no-huddle, uptempo offense] because I think when you're in a program like ours, we're not going to have Florida State or Clemson's players right away," he said. "So, we've got to do some things to try and level the playing field with creativity, and hopefully we can do that.

"[The offensive style is] spreading. The NFL is doing a lot of no-huddle stuff. The pistol showed up last year. What they see on NFL football is a big deal to them. It is an exciting brand. There are a lot of big plays, a lot of explosive plays."

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