Aggies working to add more plays per game

In terms of offense and defense, Utah State football coach Brent Guy keeps his eye on the number ’74’.
For him it’s a tell-all figure.
‘That’s been the magic number for me for a long time, especially on defense,’ said Guy, who was the defensive coordinator at Arizona State before coming to Utah State in 2005. ‘Anytime I’ve had a real good defense and had a good season our defense has averaged less that 74 snaps. Anytime we have to play more than 74, we get in trouble.’
Defensively, the Aggies were on the field an average of 72.4 plays per game, while offensively they were on the field for 61.9 plays ‘ down nearly two plays from the year before and six in 2005.
‘It’s kind of funny how it works the same way with the offense,’ he said. ‘Once you get over 74 or 75 snaps on offense you’re going to be pretty productive, probably with yardage and with points. We need to add 12 or 14 more plays a game to our offense.’
The ability to do that rests not only on the offense to sustain more drives, but it also defense to stop drives.
For the last three years, the Aggies have allowed over 400 yards per game (450.3 last year), while the offense has averaged over 300 yards per game on one time in the last four seasons.
Last year alone, the Aggies averaged 277.9 yard per game and had 102 less first downs than their opponent, while scored 13.2 points less per contest. In 2006, they ran 471 rushing plays and 272 passing plays, but that disparity is a deceiving.
‘As we looked in the offseason and really studied it, we ended up running the ball only seven more times a game than we called pass plays,’ Guy said. ‘It didn’t seem like that always because there were scrambles and breakdowns or sacks. Our real problem was we averaged only 62 plays per game on offense.’
The 471 rushes is the most since 1990 when the Aggies ran the ball 472 times. The 272 pass attempts are the fewest since 1975 when the Aggies threw the ball just 174 times.
‘(We need to average) 74 plays on offense which means we need to finish more drives or add more drives to ball games,’ Guy said. ‘That’s where I think people keep talking about are you going to open the offense up more. I think the offense will open itself up if we execute and stay on the field longer and have more plays.’

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