UTE HUB

ProudUte
8

KW did something different last season

He chose to be on offense first (starting about mid-season).  Will he continue that pattern this year?

I say yes, at least in most cases.  There may be some situations where he doesn’t.  However, I believe he has great confidence in his offense’s ability to score and he wants to score first.

 

  • Yergensen
    1

    Deferring, which a lot of teams do, doesn’t make much sense to me.  Wouldn’t taking the ball first increase the odds of having more possessions/game and running more plays/game?  Any stats guys here that can qualify/disqualify this?

    • cj13
      2

      It does not increase the expected number of drives as the deferring team gets the ball to start in the second half. Whoever ends with the ball in the first half will have either the same amount of drives or one more drive than the other team.

    • GameForAnyFuss
      6

      No, taking the ball first is not guaranteed to give you more possessions. Why? Because possession after halftime is not dependent on who had the ball at the end of the first half. It doesn’t alternate. You (or your opponent) can have the ball at the end of the first half and at the beginning of the second half.

      Think of it this way: From a possession standpoint, football is actually like two shorter games played back to back where the winner is who has the best aggregate score. One game you kick off first, one game your opponent kicks off first.

      So no, there is no statistical advantage to taking the ball or deferring. Here’s a good article on the subject: https://www.sharpfootballanalysis.com/analysis/opening-kickoff-receive-or-defer/

      However, there may be a psychological advantage to deferring. Statistically speaking, more drives in football end without points than with points (about 65% in the NFL). So if you put your defense on the field first, chances are they will get a stop, which will give your team a boost and deflate your opponent. That gives you an advantage on your first drive.

      Make sense?

      • Yergensen
        1

        Duh, got it, thanks for the explanation.

    • W16Ute
      3

      I think the deferring argument also comes down to if you are able to score right before the half then you could score again when you receive in the 3rd and get a 2 for 1 you’re situation.

      I think Whitt was going with the ‘put my strength in the field first’ idea, which after how many years is the offense. I like that mentality.

  • chinngiskhaan
    3

    I would think the perceived advantage in deferring is that you have a greater chance at having the momentum at tge end of the game. Statistically I doubt it means much, but that seems like the reason it happens so often.

    • ironman1315

      It’s about the 2-1 opportunity. Get the ball and score at the end of the 1H then score in the 2H first drive. You’re up anywhere between 6 and 14. 

      • rbmw263
        1

        not even a 2-1 opportunity. Its a 2-0 opportunity

  • Tony
    6

    Depends on what he thinks the strength of the team is, offense or defense.

  • FtheY
    2

    Two things here. 

    1. I think Whitt trusted the offense more than he ever has. He believed in Rising. 

    2. I saw this as “limit the amount of defensive snaps our guys have to take as our secondary was depleted” last year. Less snaps means less chance for injuries – that’s why the go fast hurry up teams get injured so much….just a raw amount of more snaps.  Secondly, with the trust in Cam, it was about ball control and time of possession. 

  • UteThunder
    3

    It’s surprising he waited so long into his coaching career to start doing this consistently. I remember him mentioning many times early in his career that the team that scores first in a game goes on to win something like 84% of the time. We can argue correlation vs causation, but with a statistic like that, I would put my offense on the field to start the game every chance I got.

  • rbmw263
    2

    electing to receive first is objectively the wrong choice every time imo. 

  • UteDuke
    1

    Something that doesn’t seem to have been mentioned is that while the game of football is a game of two halves the halves are not inherently equal. Going into a game a team has limited data points to work from. They have devised a game plan based on film study and projection. The game plan is altered over the course of the game, with the biggest adjustments being made at half time.

    With this in mind, I can see why Kyle has deferred in the past, and why last season he chose to receive. A team that’s strength is its defense will defer and play more snaps the first half and do their learning and adjustments then. By deferring, they will play less snaps in the second half and will be locked in on what the opposing offense is doing.

    A team with a dynamic offense like we had last year requires less adjustment time. It is most potent right out of the gate when the opposing team still has limited knowledge of the game plan. If a coach is confident they can score on anyone then they will give the offense the most favorable conditions to do so. There is less concern that half time adjustments by the opposing defense will be effective, or that your own defense will require more time on the field to get things figured out.

    This is just one way of looking at it. I liked what we did last year and hope to see similar aggressiveness this season.

  • James
    1

    Interesting topic. I would venture to say that putting your offense on the field first and scoring first increases the likelihood of winning by a wider margin, especially if the defense is able to get an opening stop. When teams get down 10-14 points, they are more apt to get away from their strengths and game plan. If a “running team” feels the need to “throw the ball” more even though throwing it isn’t their strength, this can often lead to 3 and outs or turnovers. This is what happened to Oregon twice last year and we all know how those games ended up – BLOWOUTS!!

    • GameForAnyFuss
      1

      I would have thought that too, but the data I found didn’t support that. See the link I posted above.

  • ayoriver
    3

    I think we also underestimate the Ludwig factor in this. There was a ton of talk when the hire was made about how he is the perfect coordinator for kwhitt. Personnel certainly is an important piece, but when talking about how he hasn’t really done that before now, I think that confidence in what the offense is going to do with the ball in their hands is a very meaningful factor as well and often overlooked

  • Rick
    1

    I think he started doing it during the season because he realized his offense was this team’s strong point, especially with all of the injuries in the secondary.  In the past Kyle deferred because defense was the team’s strength and we got a lot of turnovers  historically which basically is like breaking a serve in tennis.  The very fact that he adapts things to the strengths and weaknesses of his actual team is a testimony to how much Kyle has grown as a head coach and how strongly he trusts Andy over any other OC he has had during his time as our head coach.