Tempo offense wins and losses

A reader emailed over the weekend and asked a tempo offense question, specifically, how does the number of plays run factor into wins and losses.

Well, just looking at the opening weekend of SEC play, the team that ran more plays typically won the game. Not all teams were trying to snap it fast, and some of them won anyway.

There were 13 games involving SEC teams on opening weekend. The team that ran the most plays won 10 times.

Alabama’s Nick Saban and new Arkansas coach Bret Bielema have been vocal critics of snap-it-fast football. They weren’t trying to go fast and out-played their opponents anyway. Alabama ran 62 plays to Virginia Tech’s 59, and Arkansas ran 74 plays to Louisiana-Lafayette’s 63.

Ole Miss ran 85 plays to Vanderbilt’s 69.

LSU ran 80 plays to TCU’s 54.

North Carolina ran 20 more plays than South Carolina but could neither rush for 100 yards or pass for 200. And remember, SC star Jadeveon Clowney was criticized for having an average game.

If you turn the ball over extra plays don’t help. Washington State and Mike Leach ran 88 plays to Auburn’s 65, but WSU also threw three interceptions and gave up a 100-yard kick return touchdown.

Last year in Hugh Freeze’s first season as coach Ole Miss ran more plays than its opponent in 10 of 13 games and was 6-4 in those games.

Here’s what play differential looked like for SEC teams on opening weekend:

Ole Miss* 84, Vanderbilt 69

Alabama* 62, Virginia Tech 59

Florida* 70, Toledo 54

North Carolina 79, South Carolina* 59

Rice 88, Texas A&M* 66

Oklahoma State* 73, MSU 70

Clemson* 76, Georgia 70

LSU* 80, TCU 54

Arkansas* 74, La.-Lafayette 63

Tennessee* 73, Austin Peay 54

Washington State 88, Auburn* 65

Western Kentucky* 75, Kentucky 60

Missouri* 87, Murray State 75


* – Winning team

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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