FNF Coaches Talk — Under-Center offense, Arizona Coach Suspends 30 Players, Football Players or Lab Rats?

FNF Coaches Talk

Welcome back, Coaches. We’ve got three stories for you.

1. Trending: Under-Center Offense (USA Football Blogs)

Here’s a headline we didn’t expect to see begin with the word: “Trending.” According to USA Football Director of Football Operations Keith Grabowski, the under-center offense is trending this season. Hard to believe considering how much we’ve read about the rise of the spread, uptempo RPO style offenses.

Ohio State appears to be utilizing the under-center offense to give their running backs a down-hill run and to set up play-action. Talking with the media this past spring, offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich communicated what he saw as the benefits of operating in this manner:

“From an obvious, broad stroke element, it allows the tailback to get downhill a little bit more, and then you’re trying to complement those runs with your play-action. Anytime you’re able to create longer conflict for the defense, longer timeframe, meaning an under center — you take the snap, you fake it to the tailback — there’s a little bit difference of a matter of time that goes into that than when you’re in the gun. So, you’re able to get more suck from the defense, at times, on your play-action that complements those particular runs.”


How does an under-center offense challenge teams that are used to seeing spread attacks?

2. Arizona coach defends suspending more than 30 players in loss (Arizona Republic)

We’re still waiting for more details on this story, but we wonder what infraction could have resulted in this disciplinary action. Gilbert Perry (Ariz.) coach Gilbert Perry suspended 30 of his players before a must-win game, which the team lost. The team was eliminated from playoff contention with the loss.

But it was something coach Preston Jones felt he had to do, letting his players know there are bigger things in life than just winning football games.

With more than 30 players suspended, including Louisville-committed quarterback Chubba Purdy, for violating a “team policy/rule,” the Pumas lost to Cesar Chavez 35-27 on Friday night, dropping them to 3-2.

Through four games, Purdy was leading the state in total yards offense.

“Good kids make mistakes, it is part of growing up,” Jones said in a email statement to The Republic. “The Team did a great job showing resiliency against a good Cesar Chavez football team. I’m very proud of how the entire TEAM and program responded to adversity last week. Looking forward to a distraction-free week.”

What type of team-wide infraction would cause you to suspend 30 players?

3. Football Players? Or Lab Rats Who Can Run and Pass? (New York Times)

Coaches — Here’s an interesting one to consider as we try to consider the downsides of integrating new technology.

As college teams collect more and more data to improve performance, a player may be asked to swallow an electronic pill to monitor body temperature or wear goggles that track eye movement.

The new training room in the $28 million football operations building at Louisiana State features jetted tubs, antigravity treadmills and sodium-infused water coolers. A room nearby holds another piece of equipment tucked out of sight: a centrifuge.
It is another example of how modern efforts to improve performance in big-time college athletics have moved beyond smoothies and sleep monitors. The centrifuge is used for blood work for injury treatments such as platelet-poor plasma therapy and stem-cell injections.

At what point do you think new technology takes away from how coaches can impact the game?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk!