Les did it, Gary Patterson is doing it, will Bielema do it?
- by Doug Samuels 3 months ago
Fox Sports released an interesting article this morning on TCU's offensive overhaul. In the piece, Gary Patterson opens up about why he felt some changes to his offensive philosophy were needed, and it started with recruiting.
"I saw too many good players leave the state because they considered us a running team and play action." Patterson told Fox Sports Southwest.
Essentially, Patterson observed that players were giving TCU the cold shoulder to play in up tempo offenses at places like Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas Tech, or West Virginia. Patterson decided enough was enough, and hired Houston offensive coordinator Doug Meachum to bring his fast paced offensive approach to help him stop the exodus of Texas' top play makers to outside programs.
While the main focus was bringing in a more potent offensive attack, Patterson explains there has been an interesting byproduct of the new approach this spring. To quote the article, "Patterson figures practicing at that speed will better prepare his defense to face offenses that operate at similar tempos."
That will prove to be very beneficial in the Big 12. Looking at their schedule, after their first two games against Samford and Minnesota, TCU faces six straight teams with an up tempo offensive approach (SMU, Oklahoma, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and West Virginia).
That got us to thinking, who else out there has a rough stretch when it comes to facing no huddle teams? You know where this is going, don't you...
Four of Arkansas' first five games are wicked. The Razorbacks open with Auburn, and then two weeks later face Texas Tech, Northern Illinois, and Texas A&M in consecutive weekends before eventually wrapping up the season with Ole Miss and Missouri back to back.
A front loaded schedule like that will certainly challenge the Razorbacks' stamina. I recall a few years ago when LSU opened up against Chip Kelly's Oregon team at JerryWorld. To prepare for the tempo Oregon played at, Les had two offensive scout teams run back to back...no breaks for the LSU defense as they tried to prepare for Oregon's attack. You might recall the result...a game in which LSU's defense stoned Oregon all night and Les' group won rather easily. After the game I recall LSU's defenders praising the fact that they faced tempo from the scout teams all through spring and August practice. Given his very public statements against unrelenting tempo, it will be interesting to see how hard Bret Bielema pushes his scout offense to simulate actual game speed that his defense will face in these early games.