Morris spread vs others

Can someone tell us what makes CMs spread offense different or unique vs others? I understand he learned from Gus - but I’m really hoping his version is different and better. (Auburn was good this year due to defense, and they run the ball as a % more than we do, not that I’m against the run).

If it is a Gus copy I guess should expect more running, but if it is not an auburn copy or for that matter similar to the other 100s of spread teams, what makes it different or unique?

I’m really hoping we are going to get better results than all those spread teams out there with losing records who hired the latest round of spread gurus. Fedora, Kings bury, Sumlin, the list goes on.

That being said, defensive coordinator and personnel are what I suspect will make the difference. But a spread offense, with lots of passing is what I expect will keep folks happy longer as we struggle to find a winning formula.

Personally I don’t care what offense we run as long as it gives a unique edge.

I watched SMU play a couple of times this year and drew some conclusions but I looked up some stats to reinforce what I saw. On the season 487 passes, 486 runs. 3823 yards vs 2397. The games I watched also did not have all the jet sweep, side to side movement typical of Gus. They ran counter, traps, pulls and power. Their pass routes were more like Petrino than Gus as well. They threw some quick screens but they featured a lot of crossing and seam routes. They just do it all at a high rate of speed.

I believe his offense is sound in principle. My biggest hope is that Coach Morris can attract a caliber of athlete to Arkansas that he could not get to SMU. Jimmies and Joes.

And in a statistical oddity FG% 92.9% PAT% 89.9%. Two different kickers. One missed one field goal the other missed 5 PAT’s.

What I was told by Rick Jones and Billy Dawson is that he’s excellent at finding what his QB can do within his scheme, and what backs, WR and tight ends do best. Evaluation and then fit.

More than anything, he’s faster than Gus. He builds temp first. And then adds formations and motion. He will run 1,000 formations in a game. But mostly the same plays. And he does it without penalties.

That requires great conditioning so fatigue doesn’t lead to mistakes.

One thing for sure. There will an awful lot of running in practice. Count on it, players.

I compiled a load of stats comparing Chad’s spread at Clemson versus the Enos offense and posted it earlier. It didn’t get alot of looks…so here it is again below. In summary…I think looking at Chad’s CLEMSON offense is a better barometer into what he probably would want to do once he gets good personnel playing good personnel. And…it will involve more running than what some seem to want to believe. The AirRaid is NOT coming to Fayetteville.

Allow me to say I support the Chad Morris hire. I made it clear I thought BB deserved one more year. But once the die was cast, I also said “anyone but Leach and Kiffin.” I stand by that. And neither of those guys was hired. I celebrated, I admit. And, I do think Morris is a great hire. He seems to be a really good person. That’s important to me. He has energy and a certain charisma. Maybe not quite as charismatic in a press conference as Bret. But he is engaging in his own way. I agree with those that have said Chad reminds one a little of Houston. Whatever, I think being engaging—having charisma—is important at a place like Arkansas, which doesn’t “sell itself” on the recruiting trail. Broyles had oodles of charisma, and I don’t think anyone would argue he was our greatest coach. Most importantly, I think Chad’s recruiting ties are exactly what Arkansas needs. And, ultimately, what Bret probably lacked.

Arkansas will certainly look different under Chad. Who can say defensively what the true differences in style and scheme will be? Based on comments and perhaps on who Chad is considering as a DC, it will probably be more of an attacking style. That will make the fans happy. But production is needed, regardless of style. Increased talent. Jimmy’s and Joe’s. I certainly believe improvement on the defensive side of the ball is significantly more important than the offensive side of the ball. And it’s been that way for a good while.

Offensively, Chad has the reputation as an offensive guru. What he did at SMU is almost a miracle, and he deserves credit for that! But, SMU also plays in a totally different world in terms of the defensive talent they play against. I actually think looking at what Chad did at Clemson is more informative, and then comparing it to the Enos era at Arkansas. Here is a deep dive I did using of the Morris vs. Enos eras. Granted, this shows nothing in terms of the differing styles….and I submit that STYLE means as much as substance to some Hog fans. In any case, here is the comparison:

Clemson under Morris
2011 Pass: 37.5 282.3 ypg
Rush 37.9 158.5 ypg
Run/pass ration 50/50
2012 Pass 36.5 321.6 ypg
Rush 45.2 191.1 ypg
Run/pass ration 55/45
2013 Pass 37.9 333.1 ypg
Rush 41.8 175 ypg
Run/pass ration 52/48
2014 Pass 34.7 261.8 ypg
Rush 41.5 146.5 ypg
Run/pass ratio 54/46
Cumulative Chad Morris era Clemson stats:
Pass 36.65 299.7 ypg 8.17 yards per attempt
Run 41.6 167.77 ypg 4.03 yards per attempt
Overall: 78.25 offensive snaps per game
467.47 yards per game
\t Yards per play – 5.97
Run/pass ratio 53/47

Arkansas under Enos
2015 Pass 28.8 268.2 ypg
Rush 39.3 198.3 ypg
2016 Pass 31.2 264.2 ypg
Rush 39.7 164.4 ypg
2017 Pass 28.3 . 205.4 ypg
Rush 38.5 168 ypg
Cumulative Dan Enos era Arkansas stats
Pass 29.43 245.93 ypg 8.35 yards per attempt
Rush 39.1 176.9 ypg 4.5 yards per attempt
Overall: 68.53 offensive snaps per game
422.83 yards per game
Yards per play – 6.17
Run pass ratio 57/43

A few things jump out. You hear the word “wide-open” associated with Chad’s offense—and with great enthusiasm at that. “We’re gonna be WIDE-OPEN” I keep hearing. Well, first, what does “wide-open” mean anyway? Lots of wide-outs? Lots of motion? The scheme will definitely be different. Pro style versus read option, Gus Malzahn-influenced modern day Delaware wing-T. Preferred personnel will change.

But the substance won’t be as different as some might think.

Clemson under Chad had a run/pass ratio of 53/47, versus 57/43 in Enos’ offense. That’s a whopping 4% difference in the run/pass ratio. Yet, hearing the “we’re gonna be WIDE-OPEN” narrative one would think it would be a bigger difference. Nope. Further, the actual yards per attempt is better with Enos’ Hog offense. In fact, the Enos offenses have a better overall yards per play average, and the Morris offense produced only 50 yards a game more, despite having 10 more snaps a game. (Yes, the playing fast issue will be a huge difference. No doubt).

So, I think it’s important that Hog fans understand that while the style will be different, the percentage of passing isn’t just going to spike, and the production probably won’t be staggeringly better. Now, one can certainly point out this statistical analysis doesn’t account for POINTS per game. But points per game depends on field position, defense and kicking game performance, and of course Red Zone efficiency (not in this breakdown I admit….because it wasn’t easy to find). And, when you score fast, the other team gets the ball back fast. So they have more chances too.

I include all of this to make a couple of points. 1. Morris does lead very good offenses. No question. But the Enos offenses were not miles and miles inferior as the fan perception would lead one to believe. The run/pass ratio isn’t just going to flip. The Air Raid isn’t coming to the Hill. The Enos offenses, especially in the first 2 years, were actually quite comparable. 2. The biggest difference between Clemson and their rise versus Arkansas is on the OTHER SIDE of the ball. THAT will tell the tale if you ask me. And that is hopefully where Chad’s recruiting ties will help the most. Clemson developed a far better, nastier defense than the Hogs have had probably since the 80’s. Maybe even before that. Certainly, the last defense we had comperable to the Clemson defense of last year was the Dan Hampton led 1977-78 unit. We also had a great defense with Billy Ray and Steve Atwater etc. in the 80’s. But the point is DEFENSE has been lacking. Not offense.

Yet, fan hope seems to center around our new “wide-open” offense. I think that’s misplaced. We will have a good offense. But we also had one in 2 of the 3 Enos years. My hope is that Chad and his new DC will shore up the defense. At least over time. THEN we may see the Hog football program become what we all desire.

I will argue that there was no balance to the Enos offense. The numbers were huge against lesser foes. Staggering sometimes. But against the better teams, the run game and overall yards went way down. Now, I don’t have the breakout for Clemson numbers. Perhaps they did the same thing, piling up huge numbers against the weak teams and not so good against the better ACC foes. The last two years of the Enos offense was feast or famine.

Hogmaestro I should have noted that earlier.

So Morris had better talent going against generally lesser talent and had similar production as our last OC.

So…I should not expect better results offensively.

Since he wasn’t the head coach…exceptions COULD be tempo - does he go faster at smu than Clemson?, better adaptability to droughts? - like the ones at Missouri and Virginia Tech?

So we need a better defense and talent.

Better defense - hired an offensive guy…hmmmm

Better talent - supposed to be a great recruiter…check.

But I’ll bet if we run a fashionable spread…folks will be happier generally :slight_smile:

I would love to see a contrast analysis between the air raid, spread and run (rich rod, Baylor), chip Kelly style, okie state style, Gus style and what Morris does. I think we could all use the education.

Maybe we need an analysis even more when it comes to defense, which no one talks about, but seems to matter the most for winning vs visual happiness.

Offense puts people in the seats. Defense wins championships.

There will be enough offense, spread or whatever. Will the Hog -D be able to stop anybody and not give up those big plays we have been so accustomed to seeing.

3 of 4 teams in NCAA playoff rank in the top 4 in fewest points allowed. 1. Alabama 2. Clemson 4. Georgia

Washington is third while Oklahoma ranks 52nd.

Let’s see how it turns out, and see if Defense truly wins Championships. The odds are in it’s favor.

Sorry but you need offense, defense, and special teams to win a championship

“Offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships.”
— Bear Bryant

Clay I don’t disagree. Just comparing raw numbers to point out that what Morris describes as a "run-oriented spread, shot taking’ offense will be exactly that. I just want fans to see at least 50/50 run/pass…maybe a little more run…coming…and not expect the 75/25 pass/run AirRaid.

Once Collins was gone, along with Tretola and Kirkland…the offense indeed couldn’t run it against the better defenses.
I for one don’t think Enos is a better coordinator than Chaney.

This is why I was salivating at the thought of getting Pete Kwiatkowski the Huskies Defensive Coordinator.

Washington’s Recruiting last year is only slightly ahead of Arkansas so he’s basically working with similar talent.

The original Delaware Wing T influenced Morris a lot. It’s gone through a lot of modifications of course, but it began here. One of Morris’ keys is to get mismatches. He certainly has some Petrino in him. I think of him as the best of Gus and Petrino.

The Delaware Wing T is more than a formation. It is a philosophy of attack based on the anticipation of certain adjustments forced upon the defense due to the position of the wingback. It is a four back running system that forces the secondary to play at least three deep, due to the presences of three deep receiving threats. Thus it is readily apparent that although the Delaware Wing T is a ground-oriented attack, it is equally dependent on an interrelated passing game.

Although the Wing T has undergone drastic changes during the past two and one-half decades to stay abreast of the increased defensive sophistication, the basic principles designed and developed by Dave Nelson and Tubby Raymond remain intact.
The Wing T is designed for consistency, strength, and is ball control oriented.

The formations are characterized by a wingback so there is the threat of at least three deep receivers.
The quarterback threatens the flank either with action or away from it on every play providing either an additional threat to the attack flank or misdirection threatening the flank away from flow.

All three backs are close enough to the formation so that they may be used as blockers, ball-carriers or for deception.

The offense is designed in complete backfield series, each of which presents multiple threats to the defense on each play.

It has a balance of passing which is predominantly play action in nature.
The spread of receivers is accomplished by ends and is made to accommodate the running game and not as a mechanism to enhance the passing game.

Great summary Bob!

Here is a helpful discussion detailing the different types of spread offenses.

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Yes, its on the Miami website, but links discussions from other boards. Its a good summary with links that take you as deep as you want to go in this discussion.

Note that Morris is listed with Gus in the “Smashmouth Spread.”

It’s the tempo, boys. Faster horses, more running, more passing, more plays in other words. No more of the OC scratching his, ur nose while figuring out what play to signal in. Some call it hurry-up. That is what I call it, too. His offense will be whatever his QB can do. We don’t know who the QB will be yet. Bet on it being the one who can handle the most things at an ultra fast pace. I think it will be more NASCAR than anything. Hint: Left Lane, Hammer Down, Full boogie Football.

Well from the stats I’m seeing smu goes fast but there 20+ teams who go faster including Missouri, Ole Miss and Texas A&M.

It does appear that the teams who have had most success against Bama do use tempo to try and negate defensive readiness. Ole miss, Texas A&M, Clemson. I guess that’s a little like our bball philosophy, get shots off early before defenses have time to settle in to their best base alignments.

From what I’m reading and seeing so far, this is a 2 back power run attack with lots of deep shots over the top with tempo.


Clay I don’t disagree. Just comparing raw numbers to point out that what Morris describes as a "run-oriented spread, shot taking’ offense will be exactly that. I just want fans to see at least 50/50 run/pass…maybe a little more run…coming…and not expect the 75/25 pass/run AirRaid.

Once Collins was gone, along with Tretola and Kirkland…the offense indeed couldn’t run it against the better defenses.
I for one don’t think Enos is a better coordinator than Chaney.

[/quote] I think Enos was a much better OC than Chaney. Chaney now has the OL & depth at RB to have a dominant running game without an experienced QB. His trick plays at imopportune times drove me nuts. Enos never had a dependable OL who could protect the QB

The key to the Morris offense has been – and will be – tempo and formations. You struggle to get lined up to all of the different sets because of the tempo. And, it sure helps to have good players, too. I think there is speed waiting on him at Arkansas. The offensive line is another story.

Maybe the system will help these offensive linemen who struggled in a pro system.