Breaking The Tempo Myth

Come Back to College Please
Today I would like to talk about the myth that Up Tempo offenses hurt their own defense's  productivity.  Many times when you watch a college game you hear announcers say that a teams tempo on offense is the reason they don't or can't play good defense.  The Chip Kelly Oregon teams or the Art Briles Baylor teams for example.  Announcers think that the tempo of the offense puts the defense on the field too much.  I am here to say I respectfully disagree.  It is 3 and Outs and the inability to get first downs that truly wear out your defense.  Look at the National Championship game this year.  Clemson ran 99 plays against a ball control offense that generally snaps the ball with 2-5 seconds left on the play clock!!! Not 99 snaps against the fastest operating team in college football playing at warp speed.  99 against ALABAMA!!!!  Why did that occur?  A multitude of Alabama 3 and Outs that put their defense back on the field and Clemson's ability to make plays and extend drives.  It had nothing to do with Tempo or Turnovers.  Let's take a look at a hypothetical scenario of 3 and Outs by Tempo and Non Tempo teams.

I'm Calling It The 30 Second Difference
In this hypothetical scenario i am going to explain to you what I call the 30 second difference.  We are going to look at a standard 4 play sequence ending in a punt for the offense.  We will not talk about the game clock, or actual real time but merely the operating time for 2 different offense's and how it equates to the defense.  For this experiment we are going to say that the average time for each play is 5 seconds including punts.  A general play lasts for 4-6 seconds so 5 is the median.  We are going to say that the tempo offense snaps the ball 8 seconds after the ready for play whistle while the traditional offense snaps the ball 23 seconds after the ready for play whistle.  Both teams in this experiment will snap the punt play 20 seconds after the ready for play whistle.  So let us look at the numbers.
Tempo Team                                                                   
1st Down-5 Second Play 8 Seconds to next play      
2nd Down-5 Second Play 8 Seconds to next play
3rd Down-5 Second Play 20 Seconds until Punt Play
4th Down-5 Second Punt Play
Total-56 Seconds
Traditional Team
1st Down-5 Second Play 23 Seconds to next Play
2nd Down-5 Second Play 23 Seconds to next Play
3rd Down-5 Second Play 20 Seconds until Punt Play
4th Down-5 Second Punt Play
Total-86 Seconds

If both teams are operating with those hypothetical numbers you can see that the operating difference is only 30 Seconds. 30 SECONDS!!!! Again we are removing real time with TV timeouts and injuries and penalties and only focusing on the operating time.  Is 30 SECONDS really that big of a deal?  Is that a significant amount of rest for the defense?  Many would say that over the course of the game it means a lot and I agree.  But if you are 3 and Out that many times you have far bigger problems.  And that is the real issue at hand here. It is 3 and Outs and the inability to get first downs that truly wear out your defense, not the tempo you are playing at.

I can't stand when I watch Up Tempo teams play and the score is 28-28 after 18 minutes of football and the announcers talk about using up clock to keep your defense off the field!! The defense was fresh at kickoff and gave up a TD. They were fresh the second drive and gave up a TD. They were fresh on the third drive and gave up a TD. At some point you have to realize that bad defense is just that, bad.  What you have to realize as a Tempo Offense is how to change your goals as a Defensive Unit.  The mindset and outlook must change to points per possession.  Let's say in the old days you gave up TDS on 25% of the other teams possessions.  If they only got 8 possessions due to the game being played slower you would give up 14 points.  If the other team today gets 16 possessions because of an Up Tempo style then they will score 28 points.  Statically speaking that is the same Defensive Efficiency.  Just because you gave up more points does not mean you played worse defense.  The key here is the Up Tempo offense has to be able to generate points if they are going to give the other team more opportunities.  So we need to the offense to score TDS on 50% of their drives so in 16 possessions we have 64 points.  The point of my argument is 3 and Outs are the real killer and burden to your own defense.  All these numbers are hypothetical in theory but the point remains the same.  If you want to help your defense then move the chains.  If you want to win games then score points.  The problem with numbers is they create a skewed sense of reality. Defensive minded coaches don't want to look at a stat sheet that says they give up 28 points a game.  But if your Offensive style allows you to score 42 a game does it really matter?  At the end of the day 1 more point than the other team always wins.



  1. Such a great Post!! Thanks for Sharing. Are you looking to buy Footballs? It’s all available at just a click: Football || cosco football price || buy nivia football online

  2. Coach, Rick Stewart here. Running the NATIONAL DEFENSE CLINIC in Vegas April 13-14. Was wanting to pay you to come speak. My email is

  3. SBOBET adalah situs taruhan secara daring. SBOBET beroperasi di Asia yang dilisensikan oleh First Cagayan Leisure & Resort Corporation, Manila-Filipina dan di Eropa dilisensikan oleh Pemerintah Isle of Man untuk beroperasi sebagai juru taruhan olahraga sedunia. SBOBET menawarkan taruhan olahraga dalam beberapa bahasa.

  4. Information you provided is too good and so useful thank you so much for sharing.nice working dear, This is useful information.If You want to predication about football match following this link