UCLA, Arkansas, and Duke implementing 'The Pistol' to help run game
Duke offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper says the Blue Devils are experimenting with “The Pistol” to improve the running game.
Roper says, “We are trying to commit ourselves to a couple schemes and get really, really good at them, so the lineman up front do the same things over and over, the running backs do things over and over, and hopefully that leads to a high level of execution. You are who you are, but if you want to run the football, you have to call runs.”
“What I think you gotta find out is how successful those plays end up being. We obviously have got in ‘The Pistol’ some and run some plays. We’ll see. I can’t exactly tell you how it’s going to be. I am pleased with some of the early results.”
“We need to be a team that runs that ball better. Part of that is committing to the run. Last year, we didn’t commit much to the year. We felt we were going to be more successful doing the things we did to win football games. When you can run the football, it obviously helps in the red zone.”
Nevada’s Chris Ault started ‘The Pistol,’ which typically features a running back directly behind the quarterback in the shotgun formation.
UCLA and Arkansas are expected to run more plays out of ‘The Pistol’ this season. At Arkansas, Petrino will rely on former Nevada offensive coordinator / offensive line coach Chris Klenakis as his new offensive line coach. Petrino, however, has renamed the formation 'The Shot.'
Over the last two seasons, Nevada has finished in the top three in the nation of rushing offense by utilizing 'The Pistol.' Last season, Chris Ault's team led the country with 344 yards per game on the ground.
Pelini shuts down the media, wants no distractions
On Monday, we complimented Bo Pelini for his class while answering several post-practice, ill-advised questions from reporters.
We titled the article, “How Would Bob Knight Have Responded to These Post-Practice Questions.”
Well, today, Pelini has decided to shut down the media access for the time being.
In fact, in an effort to avoid any distractions as the team comes together, Pelini won't allow former players to watch practice either (for the time being).
Acoording to HuskerExtra.com , “Doak Ostergard, the Nebraska athletic department's outreach director, this morning sent the following message to former Husker football players:
"Good Morning: Coach Pelini has asked me to inform you that in order to limit distractions, practices have been closed indefinitely to all guests including former players and players' families. If you have any questions please contact me.”
"We appreciate all the support you continue to give our program. Go Big Red!"
Mullen: Find a way to get to Atlanta, they can mohawk me
Appearing on ESPN’s First Take on Wednesday morning, Dana Jacobson asked Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen what it would take to get Mullen to go with a Tim Tebow ‘training camp hazing’ type of haircut.
Mullen jokingly sent a message to his players…”Find a way to get to Atlanta. They can mohawk me. They can do whatever they want (if we play for the SEC championship).
Mullen isn’t shying away from thinking big, adding, “You might think we’re crazy playing the last three national champions on the road, but that’s our goal.”
Mississippi State plays at LSU (September 18th), at Florida (October 16th), and at Alabama (November 13th).
Mullen is in Bristol, CT today participating in the ESPN “car wash.”
Mayoral candidate claims Saban's endorsement, alters photo with Nick
Bessemer, Alabama mayoral candidate Dorothy Davidson is claiming Nick Saban’s endorsement.
Stop. This already sounds suspicious.
Davisdon’s campaign team has since printed color fliers that show Ms. Davidson smiling side by side with Coach Saban.
Problem is, Saban hasn’t given an endorsement and the photo has been altered significantly.
"Coach Saban has not been contacted for a political endorsement of any kind," Alabama associate AD Jeff Purinton wrote in an e-mail response to questions from The Birmingham News.
This is pretty funny, so take a look at the Ms. Davidson’s color flier.
Only in Alabama.
Greg Schiano's candid comments
Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano had some interesting comments this morning when speaking with Joe Rose of WQAM in Miami.
Schiano hyped his strength center and strength coach, explained his philosophy to recruit the Florida high schools, and talked about his quarterback Tom Savage.
Schiano said, “We have, I think, what is the best weight room in America and the best strength coach in America. We want to be able to, when we do it, which is very rare, but train the whole team at once. It’s more of a team building thing. It really is a special thing for us. That’s really who we are. That kind of stuff we can’t put enough in to. When we first got here, there were 3 players from Rutgers active in the NFL. Now, there are 31.”
“The only change in our philosophy is that we have expanded in Florida. At one point, we were only Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach County. Now, we’ve spread out and gone up to Tampa, cut across to Jacksonville. We have kids from all over the state, now. I just love the passion these kids bring to our program. They love football. They’ve been raised on it. 20 spring practices every spring. I try to explain it to people. Those kids are special.”
(On the rule that prohibits head coaches from traveling during spring recruiting) “That rule bugs me a lot. I love being able to see kids practice. Just getting to know their work habits and seeing their environment. I don’t think that rule will ever change.”
“We are always going to be balanced, but I think what happens when you have a guy like Tom Savage, who has a great arm and can make all the throws, and more than that he has all the intangibles that a great quarterback needs, I think we’ll try to work the play-action game more on early downs. Give him the chance to use his skills.”
(on agents, runners, financial advisors) “You hope that your assistant coaches have such great relationships, and your trainers, strength coaches…that were involved in their lives and we know where there might be a hot spot, where there might be an area of vulnerability. At the end of the day, they are like your own kids. You invest everything you can in them, and then you gotta trust that they will make the right decision.”
Rutgers opens with Norfolk State on Thursday, September 2nd.
Wednesday morning Coaches Quick Hits
Some interesting quotes and notes from around the country:
New NIKE uniforms for at least 1 game this year: Alabama, Boise State, Florida, Miami (Fla.), Ohio State, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, TCU, Virginia Tech and West Virginia will wear a special NIKE uniform for at least one game this year. The uniforms will be unveiled on September 1st.
Dennis Erickson says Sun Devils perimeter blocking has improved: "That's the biggest improvement I've seen, maybe on this whole football team. How well (the receivers) have been blocking and how committed they are to it. . . . The improvement is night and day."
Joker give UK the afternoon off, time for the swimming pool: “Because of the effort and enthusiasm, we are going to take the afternoon off. We are going to the pool and do some gainers, swan dives, back flips and have some lunch. Then we are going to get into meeting time this afternoon.”
USC players imitate Coach O: You can watch it here.
Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos is pleased: “I think we are very, very close. We have installed a lot in 14 practices. We all felt like we would have to cut back on our install packages at some point and we haven’t had to do that in camp at all. We have just been able to keep going because the guys have paid close attention to detail. Right now, we just need to get everyone back and healthy to develop our continuity.”
Memphis head coach Larry Porter pleased with defense: "(The scrimmage) was totally dominated by the defense. I liked what I saw from the defense. It wasn't one particular guy. They played extremely well as a unit. You didn't see many guys busting (assignments) and that's what you want.”
"Offensively, we were a little sloppy. We're going to have to correct some of those mistakes ... we've got to get some guys back on the field as well. I think that will solve some of our issues offensively."
"Defensively, we are right on schedule, if not ahead. Special teams-wise, I think we are headed in the exact right direction. It's just the offense that has to play catch-up right now. Once we get some guys back I think we'll make some tremendous strides."
Art Briles compliments his strength coach Kaz Kazadi: “We feel like our guys, through the strength and conditioning program that Kaz [Kazadi] has them under, can backup their mental tenacity with physical strength. So that’s an encouraging aspect. You can think tough, think physical, but if you can’t back it up, it doesn’t do any good. Now they can back it up because we are becoming a more physically strong and fit football team.”
Virginia head coach Mike London talks about the improving play from the wide receivers:
LA Tech OC Tony Franklin: I'm pissed off every day
LA Tech offensive coordinator Tony Franklin pretty much speaks his mind.
Following a recent practice, Franklin stated, "The energy today? Not good. The performance? Not good. Nobody was good. Everything. They didn't play hard. They came out and felt sorry for themselves. They wallowed around in their slop and looked like crap. To be a good football team you've got to learn how to overcome it when you get tired and you feel sorry for yourself. Somebody's got to pick it up and get it going, and nobody did.”
Franlkin added, "I'm pissed off every day. Every day that we're out here I'm upset. Until we win and they learn how to win then I'll be upset.”
"Eventually what you want is for the players to do it, and then you don't have to. There will be times — hopefully — where you come out during the season and you'll never see my temper, or I'll be softly spoken."
"I'm happy — don't get me wrong, the players have done some nice things — but they have to learn how to work better."
LA Tech will play Grambling State in the season-opener in Shreveport, LA. The Bulldogs have long road trips to Texas A&M, Boise State, Hawaii, New Mexico State, and San Jose State.
Tuesday night Coaches Quick Hits
Some interesting quotes from around the country:
Derek Dooley concerned about coeds: "What happens now is kind of the next phase. School has started, and when school starts of course there's two distractions that come with it. One is an important one, school. And the second one is human nature, girls."
Randy Edsall likes intensity during night practices: "We were back to a two-a-day practice with one in the morning and one at night. The night practice always brings out the best in the players. There is something about the night practices that seem to be the most intense.”
Rick Minter compares Brian Kelly to Lou Holtz: “Brian Kelly isn't a Lou Holtz clone, but there are a lot of similarities. Lou is about developing players. Lou is about handling the pressures that go with the job. He knows how to shut it out and yet embrace it at the same time. And when the lights come on, particularly in front of the media and the fans, he's just what the doctor ordered. And I see those qualities in Brian.”
“He's not afraid to believe in a kid if he sees an intangible there. He has a knack for finding the kinds of players that he wants who bring winning traits and attributes. He shows faith and confidence enough so that he'll play the guy and the rest of the team will believe in and rally around the kid. Brian Kelly is a motivator and a teacher. He's somewhat like a pied piper. People want to follow that guy.”
Nebraska OC Shawn Watson talks about Huskers’ offense: “If you compare this year against last year, we are making plays. I think a lot of that is due to the guys having experience in the offense. In two facets, one…fundamentals, two…just the nomenclature and how we do our business, how we function.”
Dan Mullen pleased to get Bulldogs eligible: “I think two years in a row now, everybody that we’ve had a mathematical chance to get eligible, has gotten eligible. That’s a great credit to Rockey Felker and Bracky Brett and Steve Smith in our compliance office, as well as our assistant coaches and the kids that have really worked. That’s what you want two years in a row. To get all your kids eligible is a big deal.”
Charlie Strong says Cards will play hard: “I can’t make any promises here. I can’t say how many games we’re going to win, but I can say this to you: we will be an exciting football team. We will play hard, we will play hard — guys understand — we will play hard.”
Bowling Green head coach Dave Clawson answers questions after Tuesday's practice: