Air Raid vs. Spread

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RxCowboy

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#1
Florida and Auburn have both won recent MNCs running the spread offense. We had some success in 2011 and Tech won part of a conference championship. But no one that I can think of has won an MNC running the Air Raid. Divorce the discussion from our current offense... Would you want to run the Air Raid even if we can't win an MNC with it, or would you prefer to win an MNC even if the offense is the spread?

I have long thought that the Hal Mumme offense puts too much pressure on the defense and you essentially make every game a shootout. TCU and Baylor yesterday is a pretty good example. I would rather see us be rock solid on defense and special teams and don't care what offense we run as long as we win. But I get the sense that some people here care more about running the Air Raid than winning.
 
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#2
The air raid is a spread offense with an emphasis on tempo, passing, and audibles at the line of scrimmage. If you want to debate whether the air raid version of the spread or a read option version of the spread is better, both have merit depending on a particular schools personnel. I think the link between air raid and bad defense is artificial. The air raid is good when going against a physically superior team which is why Leach and others had success with it at schools that aren't recruiting juggernauts. Unfortunately there is no equivalent system for the defense. One area it does effect the defense is time of possession, but if you have talent and are good at forcing turnovers the defense can still be good,
 
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#4
Good question. I think the air raid is great, and we would have a better caliber had we beat ISU in 2011. The thing I will say is it doesn't matter if you have LSU/Bama talent on D, I feel like if your guys get tired, they get tired.
 

AshlandFlash

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#5
Florida and Auburn have both won recent MNCs running the spread offense. We had some success in 2011 and Tech won part of a conference championship. But no one that I can think of has won an MNC running the Air Raid. Divorce the discussion from our current offense... Would you want to run the Air Raid even if we can't win an MNC with it, or would you prefer to win an MNC even if the offense is the spread?

I have long thought that the Hal Mumme offense puts too much pressure on the defense and you essentially make every game a shootout. TCU and Baylor yesterday is a pretty good example. I would rather see us be rock solid on defense and special teams and don't care what offense we run as long as we win. But I get the sense that some people here care more about running the Air Raid than winning.
Something to think about. Coming into yesterday's game, baylor had run 216 passing plays, and 217 rushing plays. Thus, the term "air raid" might not be as descriptive as, oh, say the old (now probably politically incorrect term) "fire drill."

So, really what you're asking is, do we take our own sweet time, or do we hurry up and try to put more pressure on the opponent defense. I'd prefer to hurry, because that means we have the depth, experience, and talent to hurry and still get the plays right. This year, we don't have that luxury. We're green, young, and thin.
 

RxCowboy

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#7
The air raid is a spread offense with an emphasis on tempo, passing, and audibles at the line of scrimmage. If you want to debate whether the air raid version of the spread or a read option version of the spread is better, both have merit depending on a particular schools personnel. I think the link between air raid and bad defense is artificial. The air raid is good when going against a physically superior team which is why Leach and others had success with it at schools that aren't recruiting juggernauts. Unfortunately there is no equivalent system for the defense. One area it does effect the defense is time of possession, but if you have talent and are good at forcing turnovers the defense can still be good,
Name an Air Raid team that has ever had a top 10 defense. Top 15? Top 20?
 
Oct 30, 2007
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#8
Auburn:
Gene Chizik & Auburn went out and bought one of the most dominant collegiate players in the past decade. He combined with a dominant Nick Fairly to lead Auburn to the MNC. After Cam Newton left, the program crumbled and Chizik was fired. I wouldn't want to try to mimic a program that falls apart when you don't have an all world Heisman winner behind center.

Florida:
Everyone points to the Tim Tebow led Florida Gators as an example of a program that won a national championship without having a great passing QB. But what they neglect to understand is the fact that Tebow had a wealth of talent around him. The Pouncey brothers on the offensive line, Aaron Hernadez at TE, Cooper at WR & Harvin as a slash back. If you have that much NFL talent on the offensive side of the ball, you can run whatever system you want & you're going to have a great deal of success.

If we were a traditional powerhouse program that could consistently recruit NFL talent across the board like Alabama or LSU, running more of a basic offensive system might be in our best interest. But I don't think Coach Gundy will ever be able to recruit at that level at Oklahoma State.

To me running a wide open spread offense is a great equalizer when facing defenses full of NFL level talent. Take our games against FSU & Texas Tech as an example. FSU has 7-8 starters on offense that will play in the NFL including a heisman trophy winner. Tech has a few fringe NFL guys that might make an NFL roster. But when you look at what both teams did against our defense, Tech scored 5 more points despite having an extreme inequality in talent. The difference was they ran a better system.

I don't care if we run an air raid like Holgorsen or if we run a wide open rushing offense like Malzahn. The main thing is I want to see us spread WR's all across the field and make DC's wet their pants trying to defend our attack. Whatever approach we take, the main thing we have to concentrate on is recruiting and getting the overall talent level back to where it needs to be. Regardless of what system you run, if you don't have a good offensive line, you're going to struggle.
 

RxCowboy

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#10
Actually, only 1 of Floriduh's MNCs was with Tebow at QB. The other was with Chris Leak at starting QB. Leak was not an NFL talent. Nor did he have the kind of talent around him that Tebow did, who was a freshman at the time. Tebow was brought in to run the Wildcat in goalline situations. But Leak ran the show, and pretty doggone effectively.

I treated it as a dichotomy because people on here are treating it as a dichotomy. "We're not running anything remotely recognizable as the Air Raid." Indeed, it's a false dichotomy. Good coaches make the system fit the players to best utilize their talents.
 

RxCowboy

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#11
And Auburn's collapse had nothing to do with the offensive system. Ask yourself, exactly what are they running now and who was their OC when Newton was there?

That's right, it's the same system. Malzahn was the OC in 2010 when they won their MNC with Newton. Things fell apart for Chizik when Malzahn left. So, basically what you're saying is that you wouldn't want to run the offense that has won 1 MNC and played for another. Which is stupid.
 
Sep 22, 2011
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#12
The only coach who runs an air raid offense is leach. For normal coaches, "the air raid" is a set of passing concepts based on overloading one side of a defense and using pre and post snap reads to take advantage of a defensive player.

The spread is once again a concept not an offense, it is a concept, it is based on spreading a defense out and taking what the defense gives you, every offense in CFB takes advantage of this (except the triple option teams Bama and LSU)

To answer your question, Bama uses air raid passing concepts, auburn uses spread concepts and FSU used both.

The terms "air raid offense" and "spread offense" make me cringe almost as much "energy independence"
 
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#13
Air raid style attack should have won MNC in 2011. Wasn't the d that kept that from hapenning. Extenuating circumstances but wasn't handled well. Leaders were flat, took foot off the gas and resulted in losing to a team that had no business beating them.
If ur gonna run air raid u need to commit to doing it and couple it with a super aggressive d that focuses on turnovers. Looks like they have made that change on the defensive side of the ball.
 

RxCowboy

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#14
The only coach who runs an air raid offense is leach. For normal coaches, "the air raid" is a set of passing concepts based on overloading one side of a defense and using pre and post snap reads to take advantage of a defensive player.

The spread is once again a concept not an offense, it is a concept, it is based on spreading a defense out and taking what the defense gives you, every offense in CFB takes advantage of this (except the triple option teams Bama and LSU)

To answer your question, Bama uses air raid passing concepts, auburn uses spread concepts and FSU used both.

The terms "air raid offense" and "spread offense" make me cringe almost as much "energy independence"
From ESPN SEC blog:
Unlike many teams in college football that are strictly ground-and-pound or run-and-gun depending upon who is calling the plays, Alabama's offense has been more adaptive, more fluid based upon the strengths of its roster. There's never been an "Air Raid" type of offense under Saban, and there's never been much of a "three yards and a cloud of dust" attack, either, no matter what the national perception has been in the past.

<snip>

Though the coaches running the offense have changed multiple times (seven coaching changes to be exact, including three different coordinators), the offense itself has never shifted dramatically. As Saban said upon hiring current offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, "this is Alabama's offense" and that means a power running game, controlling the clock and passing enough to keep the defense honest.

<snip>

Under Saban, Alabama has never thrown the ball more than its passed. Sixty-three percent of plays were runs in 2008, and that number barely changed over the years to where last season the Tide ran 63.5 percent of the time. The only time UA ever broke the 250 passing yards per game mark was in 2010 when the Tide started off the season as title favorites only to lose three games and wind up in the Capital One Bowl.

Saban may use a stick-draw or two, but they are definitely a run-oriented attack.

My original question was "what do YOU want" which you didn't answer at all.
 

VENTRINO

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#18
I'd rather run whatever helps us get to and win an MNC.. but it seems the teams using pro style/run heavy offenses are more successful in doing that.
 
Sep 22, 2011
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#19
From ESPN SEC blog:
Unlike many teams in college football that are strictly ground-and-pound or run-and-gun depending upon who is calling the plays, Alabama's offense has been more adaptive, more fluid based upon the strengths of its roster. There's never been an "Air Raid" type of offense under Saban, and there's never been much of a "three yards and a cloud of dust" attack, either, no matter what the national perception has been in the past.

<snip>

Though the coaches running the offense have changed multiple times (seven coaching changes to be exact, including three different coordinators), the offense itself has never shifted dramatically. As Saban said upon hiring current offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, "this is Alabama's offense" and that means a power running game, controlling the clock and passing enough to keep the defense honest.

<snip>

Under Saban, Alabama has never thrown the ball more than its passed. Sixty-three percent of plays were runs in 2008, and that number barely changed over the years to where last season the Tide ran 63.5 percent of the time. The only time UA ever broke the 250 passing yards per game mark was in 2010 when the Tide started off the season as title favorites only to lose three games and wind up in the Capital One Bowl.

Saban may use a stick-draw or two, but they are definitely a run-oriented attack.

My original question was "what do YOU want" which you didn't answer at all.
I want an offense that chooses the concepts based on the strengths of the personnel and the ability to practice it enough to execute well. The only people who give 1 or two word names for offenses are fans and commentators.
 

RxCowboy

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#20
I'd rather run whatever helps us get to and win an MNC.. but it seems the teams using pro style/run heavy offenses are more successful in doing that.
It is my contention that the pass heavy "air raid" puts more pressure on our own defense because it flips the time of possession. One of the reasons that Alabama has been so successful is because of the emphasis on time of possession, which keeps the defense off the field.

I want whatever offense we can win with. If that is air raid, spread/option, single wing, I formation or all of the above I don't care. I just want to win and I want the offense to run the system efficiently. But others seem to want air raid no matter what. I blame x-box.