Alabama Crimson Tide: Nick Saban Hopes to Slow Fast-Paced Offenses

By Tim Letcher
Thomas Campbell, USA TODAY SPORTS
Thomas Campbell, USA TODAY SPORTS

Nick Saban, head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, is tired of hearing about the up-tempo, ho-huddle offenses in college football. Saban was a proponent of a rule that would prevent offenses from snapping the ball early in the play clock, allowing the defense to substitute, stay fresh and prevent injuries.

When asked about these hurry-up offenses, Saban downplayed his disagreement. Saban pointed out that the final score in last season’s game against the Auburn Tigers was not indicative of how his team played. He also noted that his team shut out the up-tempo Ole Miss Rebels last season.

While Saban may downplay the effect that these offenses are having on the college game, he would like nothing more than to devise a scheme to slow them down. Saban is one of the game’s best defensive minds and he will work on such a scheme until he finds something that works.

Of course, there are two simple things that Alabama, or any other team, can do to slow down those high-tempo offenses. First, keep those teams from making first downs. That’s when the up-tempo kicks into high gear. If a team can keep moving the ball and making first downs, it keeps the defense on its heels and wears them out. That’s one of the points of why teams employ that system.

The other thing that teams can do is keep the ball in the hands of their own offense. If Alabama, or any other team, can control the ball and control the clock, it gives the fast-paced opponent less time and less plays. Controlling the ball also allows Alabama’s defense to rest for longer periods of time.

Saban will keep working on a game plan to foil the plans of up-tempo offenses. And, despite downplaying their effect on the game, Saban won’t stop working on that plan until he has a solution.

Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

Under Saban the Crimson Tide have become a modern day dynasty in college football and making Alabama Football tickets some of the most coveted in all of college football.

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