No Denying the No-Huddle

May 3, 2013

Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Fast-paced, no-huddle offenses are becoming more popular in college football and the University of Iowa is the latest program joining the party.

“The change gets you more plays, which is what you want offensively,” said sophomore Jake Rudock, one of three players vying for the team’s starting quarterback position. “You want to stay on the field, keep the defense off the field and keep them rested.

“Having more plays helps the offense because it gives you more plays to get the ball into the end zone.”

Iowa averaged 66.1 plays per game in 2012 under first-year offensive coordinator Greg Davis. The team’s 793 total plays were the fewest in the Big Ten; Nebraska led the conference with 1,040 plays in 14 games, while Northwestern was second with 964 plays in 13 contests.

UI sophomore quarterback Cody Sokol says the transition to the no-huddle attack was exactly that — a transition.

“We will work our butts off. The whole team has to get a little better each day. If we’re not getting better, we’re probably getting a little worse. We have to take that approach and get better.”
UI sophomore Jake Rudock

“With the offense reverting to a little more speed, we had some trouble in the beginning,” said Sokol, who is in his second year on campus after transferring from Scottsdale Community College. “We did a great job progressing as a team and getting better.”

During the Spring Scrimmage, presented by Coke Zero, the Hawkeyes rolled out the new offensive scheme to the public in a 61-37 victory by the Iowa offense. Rudock finished the scrimmage 18-of-29 for 174 yards, leading three scoring drives for 17 points; Sokol was 13-of-18 for 183 yards with a rushing touchdown, and freshman C.J. Beathard was 10-of-20 for 110 yards and a touchdown.

“The no-huddle offense is great,” said Sokol. “We can get down the field in less than two minutes and put one in the end zone, and we can slow it up when we want to. We had a great outing at the spring game as an offense.”

Junior wide receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley says nearly every repetition throughout the spring was geared toward the move to the no-huddle, and he anticipates the Hawkeyes running the offensive variety 80-90 percent of the time this fall. That is possible from the progress the unit has made over the past 12 months.

“Around this time last year, we were still learning the playbook,” said Martin-Manley, who paced the team with 52 receptions for 571 yards and two touchdowns in 2012. “Now when we call plays, we’re lining up, we don’t have to think about it, and we’re going to a no-huddle type deal. We can play faster and don’t have to think too much.”

Rudock says the offense has come a long way over the course of 15 spring practices, but it’s where the Hawkeyes go during summer workouts that will define where they will start once fall camp resumes in August.

“We will work our butts off,” he said. “The whole team has to get a little better each day. If we’re not getting better, we’re probably getting a little worse. We have to take that approach and get better.”

Iowa opens the 2013 season Aug. 31, hosting Northern Illinois inside Kinnick Stadium.