MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The bread and butter of the Gopher football team’s offense has been a ground-and-pound rushing attack.
But as they hold their spring practices over the next month, they’re adding in a new wrinkle.
It’s probably the one thing you’d least expect.
Watching the Gophers last year was a throwback to the old days, to the point where Jerry Kill was even joking about running a wishbone offense.
Now think the polar opposite of that four-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust philosophy. That’s what they’re implementing this spring.
The no-huddle is coming to Minnesota.
“Coach (Jerry Kill) wanted to do it,” offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover said. “So we did some visiting, did some research, and felt like we came up with something that fits us.”
The Gophers are just beta testing it for now, but the goal is to eventually work it into the offense – to be able to change things up on a defense by changing tempo.
“Everything’s moving so fast,” receiver KJ Maye said. “Fast, fast, fast. So you’ve gotta be able to think quick, be able to think on the run. Pre-snap, post-snap, those type of things.”
Make no mistake, Limegrover says, this will still be Minnesota’s classic brand of two tight-end, fullback formation football.
“Don’t think of the no-huddle as like a spread-it-out” philosophy, he said. “We’re still gonna – if you were watching today – we still got into under-center, two-back, and ran power. I think one of the things that we talked about was having different ways to change the game.”
It certainly is a change from what we’re used to, which is why they’re working on it now. The idea being to build a foundation here in the spring so they can go fast in the fall, without having to learn so fast.
“I told my guys,” Limegrover said, “it’s like the roots to a big old oak tree. When the oak tree is mature, it’s got all the branches, it’s all over the place, and it’s firm and mature. But right now, it’s that sapling. It’s those roots that we’re trying to build.”