Posted: 6:14 a.m. Monday, April 15, 2013
By Bill C.
So yeah ... let's just forget this weekend ever happened.
KC Star: MU looks to increase offensive tempo
For the Tigers this spring, getting it done right means getting it done quickly. Henson has put an emphasis on increasing the tempo of the offense and decreasing the time in between snaps.
"We're getting so many more plays off right now than we were last year," Evan Boehm said. "That's one thing as an offense that we like cause the defense gets tired from it. The tempo's so fast, they don't get time to sub out, they don't get time to rest."
"We just want to go out there and wear teams out as soon as we go on the field," Dorial Green-Beckham added.
Henson said he has a certain time on the play clock by which he wants a play run (however, he did not share that time). He has seen his offense at times be waiting at the line of scrimmage for the officials to set the ball.
"Tempo's been one of our focuses," Henson said. "I think we're getting to where we want to be from that standpoint."
The adjustment has largely been simplifying things for his players. The Tigers say the signals to send plays in have been simplified quite a bit from last year. In addition, the receivers are staying on the same side of the ball from play to play, reducing the time and energy they spend running across the formation between snaps.
Henson also hopes the tempo change will help him coax more from a talented group of receivers that features several tall, fast, experienced players like Dorial Green-Beckham, Marcus Lucas and L'Damian Washington, Bud Sasser and Jimmie Hunt.
"We have a lot of talented receivers that, I think, some people don't really understand how talented they actually are," said senior quarterback James Franklin. "We're excited to exploit that and move guys around and see what happens."
So far, the receivers seem to like it.
"We've been doing a lot of two-minute stuff — we want to go out there and wear teams out," said Green-Beckham, who shined on Saturday by catching eight passes for 135 yards and a touchdown. "We have the receiving group to beat any team out there."
The past season was not idle time, either. Clarkson used it to get stronger and work on many aspects of his game, primarily under the supervision of associate head coach Tim Fuller and assistant Rick Carter.
He weighed in at about 180 pounds when he arrived last June but has added 12 pounds of muscle to his 6-foot-4 frame. He aims to be between 195 pounds and 200 when the season tips off in November. The extra weight and strength should help him deal with the increased physicality of the Southeastern Conference.
Clarkson also worked on refining his point-guard skills.
They were already somewhat developed after sharing ball-handling responsibilities with another transfer from Tulsa to the SEC, Eric McClellan of Vanderbilt. But he got a chance to work against and observe Pressey, who led the conference in assists.
"He really pushed me to my limits in practice, just going at him every day and him going at me," Clarkson said. "I learned a lot from him."
He's expected to see plenty of time in Pressey's former position, along with incoming freshman Wesley Clark and any other ball-handler the coaching staff might add with one of its three open scholarships during the spring signing period that begins Wednesday.