Tony DeMeo

2009 Football Season in Review

The UC football team had an outstanding season in 2009 finishing with 9 -2 record. We were ranked 23rd in the nation in the final AFCA poll. This is quite an accomplishment for a private school of just over 1000 under grad students.

Defensively the team ranked #1 in our conference in rush defense, total defense, pass efficiency, red zone defense and score defense. Our defense was a dominant force that continually put our offense in great field position. A good defense is always a good offense.

On offense we ranked #1 in our conference in rush offense, pass efficiency, 3rd down percentage, red zone scoring, and time of possession. We also finished 2nd in the conference in scoring offense, 2nd in turnover margin and 3rd in total offense. Our offense was ranked #1 in the nation in pass efficiency, #4 in rush offense, #7 in scoring offense, #4 in fewest sacks allowed, #6 in red zone offense, #15 in total offense and #1 in time of possession. We averaged just under 40 points a game while holding on to the ball for over 35 minutes per game. The time of possession kept our defense off the field. A good offense is always a good defense.

It’s obvious that a good defense and good offense go hand in hand. Our formula for winning was this:

1. Play Great Defense – you can’t win if you don’t
2. Control the ball on offense. ( time of possession & 1st downs)
3. Score when you get the opportunity ( red zone offense)
4. Win the kicking game. (field position & kick points)
5. Win the turnover battle.

Offensively our Triple Gun Offense continued to evolve. The Gun Triple was as usual the hub of the attack. Its efficiency and productivity sets the table for the rest of the offense. The Jet Sweep series was a good compliment and produced some explosive plays. The Zone Read was also nice change up to the Gun Triple. These series from multiple sets gave us the 4th best rushing team in the nation.

Our pass game centered around our Quick game to control the ball and the Play Action Pass for big plays. Our drop back game was also effective. The play action pass had a much better completion % than in previous years. Screens, bubbles and flashes were consistent gains all year. Using multiple formations, motions and personnel packages added variety to the offensive game plan.

The best way to improve your offense is to master the details of the scheme. It isn’t what you preach – it’s what you can teach. SIMPLE IS ALWAYS BETTER. The fewer the schemes the more you can focus on the details of the scheme and the more reps you get at the scheme. Also you’ll be able to ADJUST to all defensive alignments. We prepare for each game as though we had no scouting report (Except for personnel match ups). Our call sheet could fit on a postage stamp well maybe a post card. The Gun Triple is a running game in itself so everything else is a compliment. There is no substitute for reps. Coach on the run, they learn more by doing than by listening. Listening happens before we get on the field – if you need to talk to a player pull him out of the drill to coach him up. Minimize the plays – maximize the ways.

The next way to improve your offense is to practice STRESSFUL SITUATIONS – goal line, red zone, coming out, 2 minute offense, kill the clock offense, milk the clock, and 3rd downs. Never run plays to run plays in team situations. Always practice a stressful situation. Our offensive coordinator, Ralph Isernia scripts every practice to put us in as difficult situations as possible. Make your team execute under stress. Remember you get what you emphasize.

Finally, surround yourself with good people – I’m blessed with a great coaching staff & good kids. If you are a head coach get optimistic upbeat coaches that you enjoy being around, and who love the game. If you are an assistant coach, work on a staff with those qualities.

Get in our bowl contest, and Have a Merry Christmas.