Tony DeMeo

The Complete Book of Clock Management by Homer Smith

The word genius is one of the most over used words in football, but when talking about Homer Smith it is very appropriate. Homer Smith has knowledge of football that would qualify him to be called a “Master of the Game” which is the highest compliment I can give. Homer has 40 years of experience under his belt and is football’s Yoda.

Homer’s book on Clock Management has been revised in 2009 to reflect the new clock rules. Hopefully the NCAA is finished trying to shorten the game & Homer won’t have to revise this outstanding book again.

Like everything Homer has written The Complete Book of Clock Management is detailed, packed with information and provides concepts that are crucial to winning football.

Coach Smith starts the book teaching basic understanding of the role of the clock in football – what stops it & how to use various tempos during the course of a game. The Two minute drill or playing fast is the 1st speed covered. Some key points:

1. Have a basic formation & be able to vary it without changing personnel.
2. Have a way to snap the ball on the ref’s whistle.
3. No subs unless the clock is stopped.
4. Know the difference between a paused clock & a stopped clock.
5. Have Passes that are either going to get the ball out of bounds or a first down with little chance of a sack.

Coach Smith also provides ideas for specific “Two Minute” passes. His method of organizing protection during high speed offense by pointing out blocking assignments is excellent.

The use of time outs is also interesting. Homer believes you use time outs to add plays & you can add more plays by using your time outs on defense not offense. You can gain 3 times as many plays per time out used on defense as opposed to using them on offense.

When to use a spike – basically Homer says a spike should only be used to get the Field goal team on the field.

Some other interesting situations covered are::

1. When to punt or go for it based on the amount of time left
2. When to take a safety
3. When to kick a field goal or go for a TD
4. When to go for two

Coach Smith also does a great job of explaining how to keep the clock moving when you can take knee, or when you have to get one more 1st down.

Homer Smith covers every aspect of clock management in every situation. He gives a logical decision making process that reduces the stress of “crunch time” choices. He leaves no stone unturned. This book is an invaluable resource to every football coach and a must read. It’s in paperback & available at Coaches Choice.