Dana Holgorsen Calls out Nick Saban, Bret Bielema on Uptempo Offense
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
At the Big 12 media days in Dallas, Texas, West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen defended the use of the no-hudde, uptempo offense and took a shot at Alabama and Arkansas head coaches Nick Saban and Bret Bielema, respectively.
Saban and Bielema have both come out in favor of rule changes that would, in at least some way, restrict or hinder the use of no-huddle offenses. The two coaches cited injury concerns.
However, Holgorsen, who has made a name for himself using the uptempo offense, feels that Saban and Bielema simply need to get with the times.
"Get over it because it's not going to change," Holgorsen said. "It's going into the NFL, for crying out loud."
Jerry Hinnen of CBS Sports reported that Saban felt injuries were more likely with teams that went no-huddle.
"At some point in time, we should look at how fast we allow the game to go in terms of player safety," Saban said. "The team gets in the same formation group, you can't substitute defensive players, you go on a 14-, 16-, 18-play drive and they're snapping the ball as fast as you can go and you look out there and all your players are walking around and can't even get lined up."
Then Bielema came out in a report by Joel Erickson of Al.com with similar concerns.
"Not to get on the coattails of some of the other coaches, there is a lot of truth that the way offensive philosophies are driven now, there's times where you can't get a defensive substitution in for 8, 10, 12 play drives," Bielema said. "That has an effect on safety of that student-athlete, especially the bigger defensive linemen, that is really real."
Holgorsen, though, feels that with the uptempo style becoming more popular, teams should simply adapt.
Does the no-huddle offense create injury concerns?
"There's people being hired in the NFL that have the background in college football to be able to create a little bit more parity," Holgorsen said. "Don't see it changing any time soon. So you'd better learn to adapt to it."
According to a study conducted by CoachingSearch.com, the Big 12 led the country last year in average offensive snaps per game with 73.
Furthermore, Texas A&M led the country last year with an average of 80 snaps per game. Its offensive coordinator last year, Kliff Kingsbury, is now the head coach at Texas Tech.
Kingsbury is also a big supporter of the no-huddle. In a report by Ralph Russo of the Associated Press, Kingsbury said, "You want me to play slower, well, OK, you need to get smaller, less strong defensive linemen."
*All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.
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