Time Of Possession

Discussion in 'RayGator's Swamp Gas' started by 95Gator, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. 95Gator

    95Gator Well-Known Member

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    Please correct me if I'm wrong:

    When a lesser team is trying to win a game against a superior team, a common strategy is to slow the game down on offense as to not let as many plays on the field, thus allowing the law of averages less of a chance of happening.

    Now, we have been a pretty strong favorite in every game so far yet, IMO, we are helping the lesser teams by essentially not letting the law of averages which is in our favor, come to be.

    Yes, we are controlling the TOP but I don't see it really helping us tremendously. I'm not complaining, nor have I since Miami and we have been in position to win every game so far, including Miami. I'm just throwing it out there for discussion.

    If we had TOP simply because our defense, which is the best, is getting three and outs every time, that's one thing but we are achieving this stat by running out the clock on offense. Also, our defensive stats would be outright unreal (in theory) if we played more.

    Then again, I guess it COULD be argued that we are getting those defensive stats because they are well rested. I'm not purporting that though. I think we should be playing more and running the clock out less.

    Real excited about our Gators right now though. Go Gators!
  2. grant1

    grant1 Well-Known Member

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    Simple math, if we have ball and controlling clock, the other team is not scoring. TOP is important no matter who we are playing.
  3. gtr2x

    gtr2x Well-Known Member

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    Tend to agree with OP. Usually, the weaker team wants to shorten the game and steal it at the end. I've always thought time of possession was overrated. I get the 'wearing down the other team argument', but a TD is worth the same amount if it takes 20 plays or 1 play.
  4. 95Gator

    95Gator Well-Known Member

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    I contend that it's not simple math, but more complex math as I stated above.

    That said, if what you say is true, than why don't all teams simply run the clock as much as they can? It's all we're doing to control possession so strongly.
  5. qwghlmgator

    qwghlmgator Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I think you might be thinking of basketball where slowing the pace works in the less talented team's favor.

    In college football, since the days of Jack Pardee and the Run 'n Shoot, less talented teams have tended to want to get into scoring matches with more talented teams. This type of game maximize the number of possessions the underdog gets, and hence, speeds the game up. They therefore don't give a rodent's posterior about TOP.

    A lot of this stems from the fact that playing a slow-down TOP game requires an efficient offense (fewer opportunities to score means you better score when you get a chance), a talented defense (if you're less talented you'll probably score on a lower percentage of possessions, so stops become essential), and holding on to the ball (each TO becomes magnified). Those factors are far more likely to favor the more talented team.

    It's easier to develop talented offensive players and receivers to run specialized offenses than it is to find big-time DTs or safeties. So it makes sense that getting in scoring matches minimizes your turnovers, increases the number of momentum swinging scores, while putting pressure on big-time teams to keep up.

    Look at teams like Toledo, Nevada (heck the whole Mountain West/West Coast Conf) Houston, Baylor, Okie State, Texas Tech, UK under Mumme, the proliferation of the Air Raid at places like WVU and Wazzu, Purdue under Tiller, etc. UK is running that kind of offense again, and wanted to run 80-90 plays against us minimum.

    The more powerful you are and the better your defense, the more you stand to gain from playing a TOP game.
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  6. gatordavisl

    gatordavisl Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the opening premise is absolutely accurate. Teams might scheme to control TOP when the opposing team is a high-powered/high-scoring offense (play keep-away) and your defense is very strong. Therefore, "the law of averages" does not play (or only plays under particular scenarios) due to the variability of offensive/defensive strengths of both teams. The Gators are not helping the lesser teams. They are playing to their strengths (defense and run game). You claim that we have TOP because we are running it out (true), but seem to lessen the degree to which the 3rd down defense is influencing TOP ("that's one thing but we are achieving this stat by running out the clock on offense"). I don't know about the three-and-out stats, but we had the best 3rd down defense in the nation heading into the Ark game.
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  7. 95Gator

    95Gator Well-Known Member

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    Again, and I agree with you. I don't think our time of possession is indicative of wearing down the other team, we are simply running the play clock down on every play. If we were scoring with 3-4 yard per play drives (in essence a drive that is naturally long), that would be wearing the other team out. As it stands, by my view, were simply shortening the game. To what purpose is my inquiry.
  8. 95Gator

    95Gator Well-Known Member

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    Excellent! Thanks for that. I can dig this explanation.
  9. 95Gator

    95Gator Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I'm on board. :)
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  10. jisgator

    jisgator Active Member

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    ^^^this^^^ plus the fact that offensively we just aren't built yet to "open things up". We will never be a fast paced team under Muschamp but that doesn't mean that as we get more and more of his recruits in place that we won't become a more potentially explosive offense. We will. People don't want to admit this but Muschamp does want to recreate at Florida what Saban has done at Bama. So all you have to do is look at their offense to see what our future is supposed to be with 1 exception. Brent Pease was not hired to run a pedestrian offense so I would think that the eventual goal is to be more creative in design.
  11. rserina

    rserina VIP Member

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    Well, Muschamp is on the record as saying TOP has nothing to do with wins and losses, so it really isn't some broader coaching philosophy with him. In certain situations, such as against tempo offenses (Toledo, UK), we want to give the defense sufficient rest to play at the pace for however long the drive lasts. Against other teams (UT, Arky), we had sufficient leads late in the game and saw a greater benefit in limiting late possessions. Other than that, there is no real strategy of winning time of possession or anything like that.
  12. gatordavisl

    gatordavisl Well-Known Member

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    There used to be a smiley with two dudes clinking mugs. Cheers to you!
  13. grumpy_gator

    grumpy_gator New Member

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    This has without a doubt been the best TOP thread ever!

    Cheers to all of you.
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  14. MaceoP

    MaceoP Well-Known Member

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    Our strategy is like a boxer who throws (successfully) alot of body punches. When you get into the later rounds, your opponent is gasping for air and starts to drop his arms.

    We are playing a style that is not in vogue now. We are playing tough, suffocating D.. We are playing ball control O. (limiting turnovers), and we are trying to establish a very physical run game.

    When your team can limit turnovers, limit 3rd down success of your opponent, and string together a couple of long scoring drives... It usually results in an opponent who is spent nearing the end of the game.

    TOP, in context of our strategy, is an indicator of our dominance.

    Maybe Coach is onto something, because very few teams in football are playing our type of game right now. All the games we lost this year and last were because of one failing aspect of our ball control, the inability to limit turnovers.
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