Alabama’s Nick Saban and a number of other defensive-minded coaches have spent the last couple of years talking about the “dangers” of up-tempo offenses in college football. According to the D-first guys, the lack of substitutions wears down defensive players and since most injuries supposedly occur when players are tired, well, you get the gist. Hurry-up offenses lead to more injuries.
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze was asked about that point today and his response was pretty clear: There’s never been any study that he’s aware of that suggests any such thing. Freeze’s reply shouldn’t surprise anyone — he runs an up-tempo system in Oxford.
Still, the ongoing back and forth between offensive and defensive coaches over the safety of hurry-up offenses has gotten to the point that some school or conference should commission a study on the issue.
As a matter of fact, you would think that one of those defensive-minded coaches would have already headed over to his school’s math department and asked some student to watch a little film and do a little ciphering. Our guess? Someone already has and the results weren’t what that coach had hoped to find.
(UPDATE – Stewart Mandel tackled this subject last week. Several researchers do believe it makes sense that hurry-up offenses might lead to more injuries, but as one stated in Mandel’s piece: “We don’t have quantifiable data to support” those claims. Time for someone to get that quantifiable data before we’re forced to spend several more seasons listening to offensive- and defensive-minded coaches argue over whether or not hurry-up systems are more dangerous than regular offenses.)