No wonder head coach Gary Patterson said the offense looked so shaky in the spring and had him worried.
He wasn’t letting it look good.
“When you go through the spring against Gary, he’s not going to give you an inch,” said co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham, who Patterson himself brought in, along with Sonny Cumbie, to install a new uptempo offense.
Patterson gave them no chance to impress him.
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“We’re trying to run basic plays, just to get film, so you can teach off the film, and we’re just getting hammered all spring,” Meacham said this week at the Peach Bowl, smiling a a wry smile has he remembered. “They do a really good job. So it was kind of difficult, really. It kind of expediated the learning curve. You learn how not to do it.”
But with the 15 spring practices out of the way, and a summer of study for quarterback Trevone Boykin, the offense began to roll in the August practices and eventually started dominating red-zone work against the first defense.
“Yeah, there’s some learning curve in terms of tempo and how we go fast,” Meacham said. “I think that was a little bit different for them. Of all the concepts we run now, they kind of touched on some of them. So it wasn’t like flying to the moon or anything.”
It just felt like it for a while. The head coach made sure.