College Football: The 19 Cliches Coaches Use the Most

Monte Faison IICorrespondent IJune 29, 2011

College Football: The 19 Cliches Coaches Use the Most

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    Time and time again, hour after hour, we hear our favorite coach using his favorite phrases to motivate players, assistant coaches and teams. We hear them in press conferences, on the sidelines and in team meetings.

    Though these words can get annoying, most of them are quite true in terms of reaching success as a good football team.

    This slideshow will present 19 of the most-used cliches of all-time by college football coaches.

“One Game at a Time”

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    Mentally during a football season you don’t want to get too ahead of yourself. A season is a long road and you must stay focused. Coaches week-in and week-out preach this message into their players' heads, warning them not to get too comfortable.

    Remember ladies and gentlemen, complacency is real.

    Coach Nick Saban had the right message when he spoke to the press about it in 2008.

“Leave It on the Field”

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    I always heard this in high school. Though I didn’t want to break the seriousness of game preparation, I always wanted to ask:

    Leave what?

    What is “it”?

    Do you mean "it," as in talent?

“Take Care of the Football”

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    Turnovers are a big deal in a football game, but is the ball like a baby or something?

“Play a Full 60 Minutes”

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    So does everyone else in the game. Giving full effort for 60 minutes might be another thing.

Nick Saban, “Our Guys Need to Play with More Consistency”

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    Blah, blah, blah. Consistency this, consistency that.

    Next time I hear Coach Saban say this aloud, I’m going to hand him a thesaurus and show him the word "conformability."

    C'mon Coach Saban, try and say something new for once.

"He Gives Us 110 Percent Every Play"

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    Yes, it sounds good, but science proves that a person can't give 110 percent of something.

"Run the Ball Down Their Throats"

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    Yes, the best way to open up the pass is to run the football effectively. To win football games, you must win in the trenches. This is a common philosophy in the game of football.

    But to be honest, that "down your throat" bit sounds like it will hurt.

"I'm a Man! I'm Forty!"

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    It's not commonly used all the time, but I had to throw it in there because I still hear it.

    Many college football fans will never forget the verbal explosion of Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy defending one of his players.

Bear Bryant, “Were Going To Take the Football”

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    I know this is against the rules because I'm a 'Bama student, but the Bear said this a little too much during his tenure at Alabama.

    Of course you have to take the football, the turnover margin is one of the most important stats when it comes to winning a football game.

    Remember, causing fumbles to gain offensive opportunities has won teams championships.


    Chris Weinke's fumble in the national championship vs. Oklahoma in 2000.

"We Need To Air It out More"

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    If a coach would have said this over 50 years ago, nobody would have agreed.

    But now?

    Passing the football is the new trend. Offensive systems have been developed all around the country to cater to receivers and quarterbacks.

    The best system we have seen so far? Mike Leach at Texas Tech and June Jones at Hawaii (Colt Brennan, Timmy Chang).

"Were Going to Milk the Clock"

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    Milking the clock means that you are trying to waste time so the game can end. Usually when a coach does this, his runners will stay in bounds to keep the clock moving.

    Would you like your milk two-percent or fat-free?

"He's Overdue To Break One"

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    If a coach is saying this, his athlete needs a big run to get a rhythm going.

"This Game Is Being Won in the Trenches"

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    A game of football is won with the big boys who get on their hands and knees every play. It takes a real competitor to play in the trenches, and there is an absolute need to run the football.

    This is a widely used phrase, but someone forgot to tell Chip Kelly this during the national championship game.


    Don't leave the defensive tackles unblocked on the goal line.

"We Need To Get Better Field Position"

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    Obtaining better field position in a football game enhances your team's chances of scoring. Why would you want it hard on yourself? When you are closer, it's easier.

"He Threw Up a Prayer"

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    This happens when a quarterback is doing one of two things:

    1. He is trying to do too much by forcing the ball to a receiver when one's not open.

    2. It's the end of the game or half, and he is trying to make a play by throwing the football way down the field.

    Either way you look at it, the outcome isn't very good—unless you're Doug Flutie.

"Give a 2nd Effort"

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    So what happens if you fall the first time you try to achieve something?

    You get up and try again!

    Football is a game that challenges you mentally and physically. You must have a large amount of effort in your heart to play it. This is what makes it one of the greatest sports in the world.

"Play Until the Whistle Is Blown"

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    Have you ever wondered why players still run behind someone after an opponent has already passed them, heading towards the end zone?

    Coaches preach this in college football, teaching kids to fight until the end.


    Bizarre things have happened, and it usually ends up as a good thing for players who follow this rule.

    One great example of this? Michael Dyer's knee in last year's national championship game.

"Let's March Down the Field"

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    "Marching down the field" is a phrase that is used by an offense to either score, change field position or "milk the clock."

    Since when did a football team become a band with musical instruments?

"We Have To Punch It in Here"

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    This phrase is used often by coaches who are indicating the sense of urgency to score. Usually this happens when a team is down in the football game, or the opposing team is catching up points-wise.

    C'mon Coach, we know that there is a need for scoring. If I remember correctly, the team who has the most points in the end wins, right?