Saturday’s for a high school coach usually start really early. There’s the game from the night before that needs to be broken down and analyzed. Positives and negatives need to be identified for growth and repair. It’s really an important time as a coach to help give your team the best chance at winning moving forward. Plus there’s a new opponent to worry about and their game film to dissect. I used to do that until I started to feel nervous about the upcoming opponent (there’s always something to worry about). Then it was break time filled with college football and sometimes if the weather was nice I’d walk back to the high school and watch a rocket game if I knew a family that had a player.
I don’t have to worry about game film anymore. My biggest worry with football now is how often my kids will want to visit the concession stand. I’m taking my family and most importantly my two girls to their first college football game. Western Michigan Univ. is a great place to watch a game. It’s usually doesn’t feel overly crowded and I don’t mind the walk down memory lane that is the path to the stadium. The product on the field is much better then when I was in school. PJ Fleck has done a great job of recruiting and it shows, the Broncos are the favorite to win the Mid American Conference this year. I picked this game specifically not totally because I’m a Western grad but because the Georgia Southern Eagles are in town. Oh I get it you want to pick a game Western is most likely going to win. Wrong! I picked this game because Georgia Southern led the nation last year in rushing yards with a really cool option attack out of the shotgun. In fact GS crushed the Broncos last year in Georgia to the tune of 413 total rushing yards.
Now this is a college game and professionals will be covering it so I’m going to try to keep this brief. If you’d like to know more I’ll include all sorts of links for you to read and watch, but I just feel like there is someone out there more qualified to breakdown this game.
Georgia Southern has been an option team for a long time. Paul Johnson brought the flexbone here many years ago before his days at Navy and Georgia Tech. The coaches that followed continued to run the flexbone with great success until the university decided to be more mainstream. The spread offense didn’t fit GS very well and the program struggled for about four years until the option came back. In walks Willie Fritz an uber successful coach running this unique offense at Sam Houston (a great breakdown of some key components to that offense here). Fritz wasn’t a flexbone guy and so the early criticism was actually pretty funny in hindsight. “16 of the last 17 years he’s had a winning season” due in large part to this unique offense that he is now taking to Tulane (they probably don’t have the personnel to run the option this year so it might be rough, have patience Green Wave fans). Georgia Southern’s new head coach Tyson Summers has already said several times that he is keeping the offense so all this writing isn’t totally pointless. If you’ve been to this site before you may have read about option style offenses before and it’s important to know that the GS option functions very differently. For starters their offensive linemen block zone and not the ultra fast down blocks employed by the under center option guys. The zone schemes are meant to go just like the Oregon Ducks inside and outside zone schemes (you can watch the videos or even better you can read it straight from the man himself). GS puts their spin on it by instead of having two potential ball carriers a lot of their plays have three, by using a pitch man. There’s a ton of different pitch men by using a ton of different formations coupled with a variety of different motions. This for football nerds makes it a super entertaining offense to watch.
So I’ll be in Waldo Stadium rowing the boat as best I can and hoping for an entertaining game my kids will love. If you happen to be in the area give us a wave and cross your fingers my kids will be willing to sit in their seats for at least a quarter.