Brownlow: Go Figure
Lauren Brownlow takes a look inside the numbers.
Larry Fedora wants his offense to go fast, and Carolina ran 74 plays against Elon, nearly 12 more than the Tar Heels averaged a season ago. But both he and offensive coordinator Blake Anderson think it can go even faster. Carolina ran 45 plays in 13:32 in the first half (about 3.33 plays per minute) and 29 in the second half (2.35 per minute). But that’s because Fedora told Anderson to “shut it down”.
“With about three minutes left in the third quarter, I told (Anderson) to shut it down. You still got 74 plays in,” Fedora said. “We try to run some clock off and we don’t let (Anderson) throw the ball very much. We don’t let (Anderson) stay as balanced as he would like to be, and so he gets frustrated because I put handcuffs on him. And I understand. When you’re running an offense, you want to see them excel and he wants to get (quarterback Bryn Renner) as many good reps in a game as possible.”
There’s no set number in mind for the number of plays Fedora wants to run in a game. (“We just want to go fast. What is fast, I don’t know. Just fast,” Fedora said.) His Southern Miss team averaged 74.4 plays a year ago, so it seems like Carolina is right around that number. But after the game, he said that Renner needed to go even faster.
Renner chastised himself both after the game and again on Monday for standing around and watching a few plays instead of running up to the line of scrimmage to call the next play. In fact, Renner said he was embarrassed after watching Oregon play on Saturday night. The Ducks ran a ridiculous 96 plays in a blowout win over Arkansas State.
Only four of the top 20 teams nationally in total offense ran fewer than 70 plays, and nine ran 80 or more plays. (For the record, the team that ran the most plays last week was Marshall: 101 plays in a 69-34 loss at West Virginia.)
Chip Kelly’s offense is ingrained in the fabric of Oregon football, while Fedora is still installing his at Carolina. But Renner was even further humiliated when his coaches let him have it in film study, poking fun at him for standing and watching after a great play by Giovani Bernard. “I can’t be a spectator – I might as well just buy a ticket,” Renner said with a grin.