Hot Reads: An Aggressive Medley of Tunes
Photo Credit: Ryan Loco

Hot Reads: An Aggressive Medley of Tunes

July 23, 2018

"He’s about to hurt some feelings in the Big Ten."

That's your pull quote from the video I'm about to share. 

I don't know much about this, other than it was brought to my attention by Varsity Club member Born and Bred Red. I did some light searching online and found little in the way of additional info. The TWIST Podcast, as it's introduced in the video, consists of about 20 videos, the first of which was posted as a 2017 bowl season preview. That's about all I know about it.

Oh, and this: These are my people. I'm not from Georgia (the hosts mention towards the end that they are) nor am I a Florida State fan (the hosts mention early that they are), but these are still my people. I'll always feel at home among those so college football obsessed that though they grew up in Georgia rooting for Florida State they'll happily spend 40 minutes breaking down the first four or five drives of UCF's 2017 game against USF because that UCF coach is now Nebraska's coach.

That's nose-to-tail eating right there, smoking the whole pig, and I am here for it. Give me the low light. Give me the family room setting. I don't need production value, just passion for the subject. While the marching bands and 100,000-seat stadiums are fun and great, this is college football distilled.

I don't even know the guys' names, but Host Right is clearly a football coach at some level. He handles the brunt of the Xs-and-Os explaining. Host Left gets them in and out of things, offers some insight and a few key questions to keep things moving.

And they both love the Scott Frost hire at Nebraska.

"We are Florida State fans and happy to have Willie [Taggart]," Host Right begins before Host Left jumps in to finish the sentence, "but Scott Frost is the man."

What has them so enamored? The offense, which is broken down here. There's a discussion of Frost's roots, including a Husker fan in the comments noting that Nebraska didn't run the triple option under Tom Osborne, which always happens. The plays and formations get their own breakdowns as they happen, but at some point plays are plays. They're fun to look at and think about, but they're not what's separating, say, Urban Meyer from Jim Harbaugh.

So what sets Frost apart? There are two things that come up in this video that are worth considering. One, it's an aggressive offense. Host Right at some point describes it as "on the edge." Conservatism isn't part of the equation. No fear of failure and all that. Combine that with tempo and then execute it and you really have something. If you're looking for the Oregon influence here, it's probably in this category.

Two, it's a comprehensive offense. My favorite part of the video starts around the 16-minute mark with a UCF double screen. That leads to a recounting of a conversation Host Right had with a member of Willie Fritz's staff at Georgia Southern (told ya, nose-to-tail) about the option game and incorporating screens and pitches into the complement of plays. Both coaches in that conversation agreed that it's tough to do both well.

But Frost has both in his scheme. Plenty of football people marvel at his selection of screens, and, of course, it's easy to see that more traditional options featuring a pitch man are part of the package, too. "He's really good at both of them," Host Right says. "He must be an amazing teacher and really organized because they're good at a lot of different things."

And if you're looking for the Nebraska influence in what Frost does, look here. People are probably tired of me pulling out this quote multiple times a season, but I'm not because it still serves as what I think is the best encapsulation of Osborne's offense. It comes from Homer Smith (courtesy of Smart Football):

Tom Osborne understood what made option plays (and other run plays) work and what had stopped them. So, he ran them — he ran almost all of them — but only when they would work. He checked to them versus vulnerable defenses. His smash mouth runs, run action passes, and QB runs kept defenses from mirroring properly against his options. The result was staggering totals of rushing yards. No matter how successful the options, etc. had been in their individual heydays, they were never better than when Coach Osborne “played a medley of tunes.” What would stop it? The only thing that could stop Bill Walsh’s passing attack, which was retirement of the man who made it work.

It's the "medley of tunes" that always gets me, and it appears to be back in Lincoln now.

The Grab Bag

  • One-time Nebraska target Bryan Addison‍, a 4-star athlete in the 2018 class who visited for the NIU game, is back on the market after receiving a release from UCLA.
  • Missed this late last week, but at least two SEC coaches are now advocating for a nine-game conference schedule: Nick Saban and Gus Malzahn.
  • This fits with today's main entry: The biggest key to being an offensive or defensive coordinator. (Highly recommended.)
  • ICYMI: The team is in Chicago for media days and we've got a few pieces to get you ready. Here are some key questions we're hoping to have answered, as well as all the info you need ahead of today's proceedings (schedule, how to watch, etc.).

Today's Song of Today

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