FSU Coach Jimbo Fisher explains why offenses are going wild in college football today

I found this to be interesting, as I have recently been reflecting on why it seems the “average” college football game these days is a 43 to 39 game, when it wasn’t that long ago that you’d see scores of 17 - 7, at least some of the time. Also interesting that he specifically points to Auburn as a prime example.

http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2016 … _play.html

“Quarterback runs in college football are always going to change the game of football,” Fisher explained. “Now, can you keep a quarterback healthy? Do you have enough of them? It changes the whole dynamic of what you do on defense. … It used to be when a lineman was downfield when a pass was thrown, it is an illegal man down field. Now, they can be up to 3 yards down field. Now, you’re a safety and you read an unblocked guy. You’re supposed to read the unblocked lineman. And that is coming off the line and hitting that guy on the run. He’s 3 yards off the line.”

I don’t like the unfair rules supporting the spread offense and hate the HUNH element even more.

Yeah - that’s why I posted this. I don’t think many people realize how much this “linemen being downfield” impacts the balance between offense and defense. I’ll be honest - I hadn’t really thought that much about it. Obviously, I knew it was a penalty, and a point of contention between the HUNH advocates (like Gus) and the more traditional football guys (like CBB and Saban).

But reading this made me think about the false reads or keys to defensive players, and how allowing the linemen downfield breaks down pass coverage because the defenders HAVE to think it is a run with linemen 5-7 yards downfield. Their (defenders) choice is to release their coverage and go get the ball carrier; or, stay with the receiver and leave gaping holes for a QB run. Seems a lot like what I’ve seen in bunches the last couple of seasons.

They (powers that be) need to tighten that up. Problem is, I’m sure that it’s extremely difficult for the officials - in real time - to keep track of. There’s a LOT going on in any one play, and 22 players to watch. It’s hard to notice one or two guys slipping a couple of yards farther down the field while the QB is scrambling away from blitzing defenders behind the LOS.

Not sure what the answer is.

The officials are in sensory overload as you astutely pointed out. Is this the reason so many calls are missed? I feel that there is bias or bad refs, but you bring up some good points that there is way too much to watch. I sense there is a real story here with a need for more refs on the field, OR that we make changes that don’t allow the Olinemen to get far enough down field to create vague KEYS for the defenders. I have been told that many of the spread coaches want their lineman to get downfield enough (illegal) to make the secondary think run so they let the WR go…and BAM! It is obvious that refs aren’t penalizing spread teams for OL going too far down field. Is it because they can’t keep up with the speed of the game, holding, rub plays, cut blocks, misdirection, etc.?

About the only time I see it called is when there is a legit scramble by a QB, not a RPO or ZR. Think something like Austin scrambling and suddenly pulling up to pass as he happens to see a receiver open.

They should probably add another official to the crew. The game is so much more complex than it was in the past.

The SEC has experimented with this during some spring games. I think we’ll see it sooner or later.

That’s great to hear.

Auburn will fight that to the end. AU has an unfair advantage and Jimbo Fisher says as much.