Share “OU joins OSU on no-huddle bandwagon”

By Scott Wright and Jake Trotter Published: August 10, 2008
Before a young football player learns the proper way to carry a football, or fundamental blocking techniques, or how to make a form tackle, he must be taught one basic principle of being a football player.

No little-leaguer will get on the football field if he doesn't know how to huddle.

And in Oklahoma these days, a fan might have to travel to a Pop Warner field to observe that long-practiced ritual.

At the NCAA Division I level, the state of Oklahoma has become a no-huddle zone.

Tulsa and Oklahoma State have moved to no-huddle offenses for a few years now, and last spring, the Oklahoma Sooners joined the migration.

And the trendy, fast-paced offense is only gaining support at the college level.

OSU coach Mike Gundy could barely control his excitement recently when discussing the new play clock rules in college football.

The rules play perfectly into his fast-break offensive style and give no-huddle teams the opportunity to gain an advantage.

The rule will require officials to spot the ball for play immediately after the previous play ends. In years past, an official would place the ball and then stand over it briefly before starting the play clock.

"(The official) stopped us a lot of times from running a play right away,” Gundy said. "Now, we don't have that. He won't stand over it anymore. As soon as he puts the ball down, you can run another play.”

But the new clock rules are only a facet of the growing trend of the no-huddle offense.

"It attacks the defense instead of being attacked,” said OSU co-offensive coordinator Gunter Brewer. "That's the object of the no-huddle — to put the pressure on the other guy. Then you find ways to exploit where they are weak and force them into fewer defensive calls, because you're moving at a fast pace.

"Offensively, you become the attacker instead of the attackee.”

With prolific offenses around the Big 12 Conference — like Missouri, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, the league's top three in total offense — and the country finding greater success without huddling, it has lots of coaches thinking, "do we need to huddle?”

"The no-huddle gives us all kinds of options,” said Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, whose offense was fifth nationally in total yards and eighth in scoring last year.

"If we huddled all the time, I don't think we'd be near as productive.

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