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Oklahoma State’s snap speed progression since Gundy took over

Oklahoma State could become the eighth team in the last seven years to break the 20 seconds/play mark.



Photo Attribution: USATSI

Photo Attribution: USATSI

Mike Gundy said it at media days:

“We want to play as fast as possible”

Tracy Moore said it earlier this spring:

“I’m not going to lie. It’s a lot faster than when Coach (Dana) Holgorsen was here.”

Parker Graham said it, too:

“Oh my Gosh, it’s even faster than the last one, if that’s even possible.”

Everything we’ve heard since the curtain closed on that whatever that thing was at the Cotton Bowl in January has pointed towards OSU going even faster than before. Gundy even riffed on a no-huddle wishbone O at media days, which sounds just…insane.

The point remains though, OSU will continue to test the limits of speed — and now the Big 12 is trying to help them out.

I wanted to look at how fast this thing could go. How far we’ve come since Gundy took over and who else is testing the dexterity of the people in charge of play clocks all over the country.

First, how far OSU has come. The numbers I’m about to throw at you are simply this: total time of possession on offense divided by total plays. Passing teams are sometimes helped by this because the play clock stops for them on incompletions…though if you’re throwing that many incomplete passes, you likely have bigger issues.

The reason the numbers might seem inflated is because a team holds the ball for a while when it punts, has turnovers, and commits penalties. I didn’t include these as offensive “plays” because, well, those are all things that slow an offense down and I don’t feel like they should be added to artificially enhance these numbers.

Here are OSU’s numbers:

Total time/total plays

2005: 24 seconds per play
2006: 26 seconds per play
2007: 23 seconds per play
2008: 26 seconds per play
2009: 28 seconds per play
2010: 22 seconds per play
2011: 20 seconds per play
2012: 21 seconds per play

Pretty interesting, right? That 28 to 22 drop you see in 2010 is D-A-N-A. Also, the 2011 team was insane. So good, so fast, so disciplined. Just a machine.

And I think that 2005 team was fast because it just scripted three plays at a time then punted. Not much to think about there…that 2009 team was slow because Zac was tired of getting murdered every time he snapped the ball.

Now how do these rank nationally?

Here those numbers from the last six years:

10 fastest teams

2012 Houston: 18.1 seconds
2012 Marshall: 18.7 seconds
2012 La. Tech: 19.1 seconds
2012 Arizona: 19.4 seconds
2009 Houston[1. Dana.]: 19.6 seconds
2011 Middle Tennessee: 19.8 seconds
2012 Baylor: 19.9 seconds
2011 Houston: 20.2 seconds
2012 Indiana: 20.4 seconds
2008 Oregon: 20.5 seconds

Okahoma State’s six teams rank 15th, 19th, 41st, 106th, 432nd, 567th (out of 723 teams).

Only seven teams (again, out of 723!) have ever broken the 20-second mark so I would think that’s the goal for OSU. And with that eighth referee added I think they could get it this year.

The five slowest

2012 New Mexico: 31 seconds
2011 Temple: 31 seconds
2008 Northern Illinois: 31 seconds
2012 Auburn: 31 seconds
2010 UCF: 31 seconds

Oh, Auburn. That was a clinic in why you don’t hire Iowa State coaches who can’t win at Iowa State.

Other notes:

• 2010 OU was the only team to run over 1,200 plays (1,210).
• UTSA only ran 680 plays in 2012. OSU will reach that by the end of October this year.
• The only team to have the ball for fewer than 300 minutes in a season was Houston in 2012 (the fastest team of the era).

OSU has been really good in this area and is getting better. In and of itself snap speed doesn’t do much, but when you combine it with a “we know exactly what we’re going to do on every play” attitude, well, you have something.

One of the biggest things I’m worried about this year is Yurcich’s ability to pull the trigger quickly on plays like Monk and Dana were able to — those dudes lived to call the right play at the right time and it’s one thing that made the Pokes great over the last three years.

Check out our full 2013 OSU football preview here.

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