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How To Install A Successful College Football Offense In Three Days

Using West Virginia's Dana Holgorsen as a backdrop, Chris Brown of SmartFootball put out a great article today outlining how easy it should be to install a successful offense in college football. Analogizing the practice techniques of Holgorsen to Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations" is no easy task, but Brown's analysis is equal parts common sense and simplicity.


The application to installing a football offense is this: focus on a few things, specialize players, and repeat the process over and over again. The first step is, whatever your offense is, to assign players to roles that fit them and have them develop those skills from one practice to the next, over the course of many months and years. The second step is to not make their job more difficult by changing their roles by moving them around or by installing too much offense — hence the three day rule.

↵I’ve used Holgorsen and his Airraid roots as the backdrop because these ideas were developed by Hal Mumme and Mike Leach, but they apply to every offense. After assigning players to their positions (RB, H-Back, Y, X, Z, etc) you install no more than a handful of plays each day, so that, for that day, the player’s job is obvious: learn your two or three assignments and do them over, and over, and over again.

Holgorsen proves a great case study, as his offenses in Houston and Oklahoma State have seen great success without the massive playbooks that some colleges try to utilize. Folks in Morgantown are anxious to see that success spill over to Holgorsen's current position as offensive coordinator and head coach in waiting for the Mountaineers. Should he continue to be successful, more coaches and programs will start to take note of this increasingly simple approach to college football coaching.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.