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Use of the no huddle in the NFL up 56% from last season

Last night, the Wall Street Journal released an interesting look at how the use of the no huddle in the National Football League is impacting television.

While the article emphasized how producers and commentators are scrambling to keep up, we noticed an few statistics worth noting.

Last week, in the opening week of NFL action, 14% of all NFL plays were run without a huddle. That's an increase of over 56% from last season, and 100% from five seasons ago.

The game continues to change and evolve.

Because of the increase in tempo, plenty of adjustments had to be made from everyone from the booth to the production team. Take a look at the full article to get the entire perspective. 

Kelly: "We've gone over every trick play Michigan State could run"

After the fake field goal call that led Michigan State to an overtime victory over Notre Dame back in 2010, Brian Kelly isn't taking any chances.

Kelly briefly touched on their preparation of trick plays during his presser last night saying, "We've gone over every trick play that Michigan State could possibly run against us."

The Fighting Irish and Spartans square off in ABC's prime time slot tomorrow night at 8.

Urban expects "an inferno" from the Horseshoe tomorrow

With two games at the Horseshoe already under their belt, and another two coming up before they hit the road for their first away game up in East Lansing, Urban Meyer explains that he wants to see more out of their fans, starting tomorrow against Cal.

I expect much more. I expect a stadium to be an inferno, I expect players to be diving over each other to hit quarterbacks, I expect the offense to score a multitude of points and be celebrating in the end zone."

"It’s nothing close.” he explained.

“It’s a journey, it’s a marathon to get it where we want it. What we’ve done the first two weeks is nothing close to what this place should be like. I think that stadium ought to be absolutely electric."

Urban noted their own performance as part of the reason that he has been unimpressed with the home field advantage in their first two wins.

“But we need to play better. You want to get a stadium going? Go hit a quarterback. You want to really get the stadium going? Put a hand on a punt. That’s when people come out of their seats.”

Ohio State and Cal kickoff tomorrow at noon on ABC.

Mike Norvell: I literally call plays in my sleep

Fox Sports Arizona did an interesting piece on Arizona State offensive coordinator Mike Norvell recently. In the article, Norvell admits that if you asked his wife, she'd tell you that he actually coaches in his sleep.

"There have been times where I have actually called out plays while I'm sleeping, but that isn't happening much right now because coaches don't sleep during the season." he explained.

Norvell admits to having his fair share of napkins with X's and O's occupying the empty space, but technology has changed that a bit.

"I can't stop thinking about it. I definitely have my fair share of napkin drawings, but that's the great thing about iPhones now. You've got notes, so you can always plug the ideas into notes."

Norvell notes that he entered the profession with limited coaching ties, and has worked his way up the coaching ladder by focusing on trying to become the best offensive coach in the country on a daily basis.

"I came into this business not knowing one person but I've been fortunate to get to the position I'm in today. I think that's because I've been able to work hard and focus in on each and every day as its own." 

"I'd be lying if I didn't say that one day, down the road, I'd like to be a head coach. Since I got in the business it's something I've wanted to do. But the way I'm going to get there is by focusing on Missouri or whoever this week's opponent is."

Skip Holtz on turnovers: The ball is the only thing that matters

After their 23-13 loss to Rutgers last night, Skip Holtz noted that they can't continue to give the ball away and dig themselves in a hole like they against the Scarlet Knights with 4 turnovers and expect to win.

"The things as a coach that we have got to do if we want to have any chance at all, we cannot turn the ball over. It's something that we have harped and talked about. We've got too many guys that are playing too hard to take care of that thing the way we're taking care of it."

"Until we can learn to coach it better and take care of the football, we're not going to win many football games."

"The game is so important, and the ball is so important they named this game after it. It's the only thing that matters and if you out there and put it on the ground or give it up your not going to win many football games."


Kyle Flood explains the Rutgers formula

For a coaching staff, getting your team ready to play on a short week is always a challenge.

Kyle Flood explained that they spent more time in meetings than the normally do, and that some of the early penalties were a result of the crowd at Raymond James Stadium.

"I think that we were as ready as we could be. It was a short week and we can't do as much as we would like on their feet, so we try to do more in the classroom and meeting room, and I think our players played fast tonight. I don't think we saw any effects of the short week, more than anyone else would have."

When asked about their early penalties last night, Flood credited the crowd and explained "false starts have nothing to do with tired legs." Flood continued by explaining that penalties is the one glaring area that they can continue to improve on over the next 10 days.

Flood also touches on the "Rutgers formula" towards the end of the interview after he is asked to compare this years team to the 2006 team that went 11-2.

After going into the half down 6-3 last night, the Scarlet Knights came out and scored 10 points in the third and fourth quarters to go on to win 23-13.


Friday TV - Leach in Vegas

Washington State at UNLV tonight, along with some prep action on ESPN.

Eastern time listed.


No games


Washington State at UNLV - 9 - ESPN

High School:

Don Bosco Prep (NJ) at St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) - 8 - ESPN2

Lakewood (CA) at Narbonne (CA) - 9 - ESPNU

Bergen Catholic (NJ) at Bishop Gorman (NV) - 10 - Fox Sports Net

Narduzzi: "We're not happy...we're perfectionists"

After finishing with one of the top defenses in the country a season ago (#6 nationally in total defense), many believe that Michigan State has picked up this season right where they left off in 2011.

Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi is not one of those people. He's not satisfied.

Despite not allowing an offensive touchdown (both of the touchdowns scored on the Spartans have come on interceptions returned for touchdowns), Narduzzi sees plenty of room for improvement.

We’re perfectionists; we want everything to be perfect. If someone gets a five-yard run, a 10-yard run, there’s reasons why. And if we were right where we needed to be, it would have been zero."

“It’s one guy every play that’s out of place,” he explained. “We’ve got to get that straightened out. It’s focus every play, I would say. A little bit of communication. At all levels.”

“We’ve played solid defense, but we haven’t played mistake-free defense yet. There’s expectations. There’s expectations about where we want to be. They say we want to be here and there, then that’s how we want to coach them and grade them.”