Pace is the new spread, ctd.

I was going to revisit the issue of pace that I explored in July in another week or so, but I’m delighted to find that John Pennington’s already done the heavy lifting.  Here’s how the SEC shapes up through Week 3:

Need For Speed (Seconds of Possession per Offensive Snap)

  School   Secs/Poss   Off. Snaps   Secs/Snap
  Texas A&M   4635   224   20.69
  Ole Miss   5045   238   21.19
  Missouri   3710   159   23.33
  Kentucky   4777   202   23.64
  Auburn   4876   205   23.78
  Vanderbilt   4969   188   26.43
  S. Carolina   5501   207   26.57
  Tennessee   5518   204   27.04
  Georgia   4040   146   27.67
  LSU   5288   189   27.97
  Miss. State   6443   225   28.63
  Arkansas   6502   211   30.81
  Alabama   3947   128   30.83
  Florida   4688   147   31.89

If you compare that with my numbers from July (Texas A&M, 21.41 spp; Ole Miss, 22.75 spp; Clemson 22.77 spp; Georgia Tech, 27.64 spp; Alabama, 30.19 spp; Florida 30.60 spp), offenses sped up at the top and slowed down at the bottom.

But I’m still not sure how much to take from this. It’s a good indication of coaching philosophy, but how much does it say about wins and losses? Georgia is a perfect example why.  The Dawgs averaged 25.57 seconds per play last season, so this year’s number is a significant increase in time.  But that’s easily explained by that last eight-and-a-half-minute drive to run out the South Carolina game; with a two-game sample size, that drive is going to have an oversized effect on Georgia’s average.  And it was the perfect strategy in that situation.

Maybe I’ll learn more as the season wears on.



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24 responses to “Pace is the new spread, ctd.

  1. Always been a YPP man myself. Not sure it matters how fast or slow you go provided you’re getting chunks with each snap.


  2. simpl_matter

    Florida is dead last BOOM!


  3. Joe Schmoe

    Being able to run plays quickly is based on being highly organized and players knowing exactly where to go and what to do quickly. I think this pace really enables you to “out organize” the defense which has to try to react to what the offense is doing. Obviously pace doesn’t help you if you aren’t able to couple it with effective execution once the ball is snapped. The combination of the two should lead to YPP.


    • Joe Schmoe

      And I would add that the UGA defense is a great example of the effect of pace. We have seen how difficult it has been at times for UGA to get lined up prior to the snap on teams that move quickly due to the fact that we run a complex defense. So if nothing else, pace can force a defense to dumb things down and run more vanilla schemes.


    • RP

      This is the main reason that i dont like the new pace movement in football. Do we really want the game to be about which team can align their players quicker? The game is about what those players can do once everyone lines up across from each other. I dont ming the no-huddle and even pace to a degree, but some of it should be slowed down a tad.


  4. PatinDC

    I find it interesting that FL is last. That was always their edge. “SPEED”


  5. sniffer

    One thing that jumps out of that chart is, with the exception of A&M, there are more wins at the bottom than the top.

    Tennessee has to be in there somewhere, I guess….


  6. fetch

    The interesting thing is, UGA is a no-huddle team despite being in the bottom half pace wise. We have found how to use both slow and fast pace to our advantage. Our advantage is change of pace, not so much pace itself.


    • ScoutDawg

      Well said there Sir. CMR, early pace Guru, once again ahead of the trend. How long before someone steps in and makes us go fast all the time; or slow?


  7. DawgPhan

    saw a tweet today that Chip Kelly’s Eagles are on pace to run 1080 plays this season….they ran 1079 last season….everyone was amazed at the pace in the first game.


    • DawgPhan

      To follow up, I think being able to go at the right speed at the right time to maximize scoring is probably the new spread.


  8. Swiss

    “Georgia is a perfect example why. The Dawgs averaged 25.57 seconds per play last season, so this year’s number is a significant increase in time. But that’s easily explained by that last eight-and-a-half-minute drive to run out the South Carolina game”

    I think the lesson here is that the time per snap stats don’t really matter in and of themselves. What matters is being able to dictate your desired pace. Sometimes that may call for lightning speed. Other times it may call for the Chinese water torture of a long, clock-killing drive.

    I’m kind of glad to see that we have the capacity to do both.


  9. El Dawgo in El Paso

    We have 76 points in only 146 offensive snaps. That is an incredible ratio. I would be interested to see the rest of the conference’s ratio. Our offense is very adept at putting points on the board.


  10. dawg

    Seconds of possession per snap?? This is bogus. You can complete a 10 yd play and run out of bounds and the clock stops. You can complete a 10 yd play and stay in bounds and the clock keeps going. 1 play takes up maybe 8 seconds of possession, the other takes up twice that. There are all kinds of errors in these statistics.


  11. Hogbody Spradlin

    My impression is that we are quick to line up but not necessarily to snap the ball. Coming to the line still prohibits defensive subs. How many times do we see Aaron Murray leisurely looking over for a call after coming to the line?


    • Russ

      Exactly. That’s Bobo’s MO. Once you get to the line you freeze the defensive player line up and then you can call accordingly. The defense has to make do with the players on the field, which (I guess) is a problem for the DC..


  12. Will (the other one)

    Pace for it’s own sake is stupid. Even Oregon admitted to having multiple speeds (which New England quickly picked up on). “Average snap time/game” is a pretty innacurate way to measure this though, because even the Oregons/Baylors of the world will slow down up by 40 with 3rd stringers in.