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Woody Hayes ran a faster offense than Urban Meyer does.

AngryWoody's picture
March 1, 2014 at 7:03pm

With all the controversy swirling around that "new-fangled" hurry up offense I thought this was interesting. From an SI article written in 1968:

...In the first half of the season the top college teams got off about 40% more offensive plays than the leading pro teams. Notre Dame averaged 93 plays a game; Yale, 89; Ohio State, 87; Georgia, 85. USC, with its ground attack, and Tennessee, with its consciousness about field position, still averaged 78 each. This compared with Los Angeles at 65 plays a game; Dallas, 63; Baltimore, 60 and Green Bay, 57.

"We are now getting plays off every 12 or 13 seconds," says Ohio State's Woody Hayes. "We are moving so fast I frequently can't get a play in from the sidelines. We'll hit 100 plays a game soon." This, coming from one of football's bastions of the conservative, makes it plain that something big has happened.

Quite naturally, all of this is driving the game's coaching giants goofy. Bear Bryant is sitting down there in Tuscaloosa with one of the best defensive teams he has ever had, allowing opponents only 10 points a game, but the Tide has been beaten twice and scared witless almost every week because it just can't score enough....

Woody Hayes ran the hurry up in 1968, and the wildest thing about it was that it was common place in college football at the time. This year Ohio State averaged 72.8 plays per game. 46 years ago In the era of good old fashioned slow football, Woody was running 87 a game. It just blows my mind because you've always been taught that Woody had a "slow, plodding, grind-it-out" (You'll hear that on ESPN at least 40 bazillion times next football season to describe the B1G) style offense, when he ran an up tempo hurry up offense (At least in in his later years). If you read further in the article it talks about how they were running the spread! In 1968! We've been told time and time again that the spread and the hurry up are these crazy new inventions that will fundamentally change the game of football and defense is dead and yadda, yadda, yadda. Turns out it's just more old news.

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