One of the slowest offenses in college football may be hitting the accelerator sooner rather than later.
And while that's a substantial shift by itself, it's also coming from Nick Saban and Alabama. Saban long hasn't been a fan of trying to cram as many plays into a game as possible, and he still isn't. But effectiveness trumps personal preference.
"It's something we're going to look at. I think we'll have to," Saban told ESPN.com on Thursday. "I think we need to play faster and will have to do more of that going forward. The only reason we haven't done more of it to this point is that our guys seem to play better when we don't [go fast] just because it's been our style and we've had reasonably good success moving the ball and running the ball.
"The thing I wonder about is that if you play offense like that, then that's how you practice. You have to practice like that, so how do you really ever coach defensive players? If a guy doesn't play the right technique, you're going up and telling him and showing him how to play that block or whatever.
"But, hell, they're running another play."
Saban also told ESPN that he estimated "80-90" percent of college football would be running an up-tempo offense in five years.
Saban has raised concerns about the speed of offenses, asking if the number of additional plays puts players at an increased risk for injury. And it also limits defensive scheming. Saban's one of the best defensive minds in football, his options are limited with little time to substitute and send in a complicated defensive package.
Alabama was the fourth-slowest offense in college football last season, but has sprinkled in up-tempo offensive packages under Saban, including against Texas A&M.
Alabama's opponent on Saturday, Ole Miss, is one of the faster offensive teams in the country and has run 238 plays through three games. Alabama, on the other hand, has run 176 plays in its three games.
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