Among the challenges OU poses to UConn is a hurry-up, no-huddle offense that has resulted in 1,131 snaps for the Sooner offense this season.
No other team has more than 1,000.
“They are trying to catch you off guard, or catch another guy on the field,” linebacker Lawrence Wilson said. “If you are not set you give up the home run. Or, if 12 guys on the field you give up the first down. It’s a lot of threats. You have to be mentally tough on a team like that. Very fast tempo.”
UConn defensive coordinator Hank Hughes compared it to square dancing.
“I was a phys-ed major in college and we had to take different physical education classes and square dance was one of them,” he said. “The guy was a hall of fame wrestling coach and taught the class. He would talk us through the moves. Then, he would turn the record on.
“When it starts happening quick, how quick can you respond to the tempo? That’s a part of that tempo that you have to create in practice.”
While both Michigan and West Virginia both have uptempo offenses, neither comes close to the speed with which the Sooners play. Which is why simulating OU’s tempo is a central focus for the Huskies this week.
“It will be the biggest challenge to us,” said Huskies linebacker Scot Lutrus. “But we have had time to prepare for that. Every practice we try and get the tempo as fast as we can and push the scout team. “