Coach, if your offense is anything like what you ran at Valdosta State's, FSU DBs will get a good workout on Saturday.
"We like to play the high tempo and of course we hope to be able to score a lot of points this year.
"It's the same offense I learned when I played at Valdosta State for Hal Mumme and Mike Leach. And it's basically the same offense that Mike Leach ran at Texas Tech. Dana Holgorsen (now West Virginia Coach) was a student coach when I played. It's all the same, but we play at a higher tempo than those guys do. We try to play fast break a little bit more, but the plays are all the same. It comes from that air raid, Hal Mumme, Mike Leach type. Then of course I've got a few wrinkles in there. But it's pretty much the same offense we ran at Valdosta State. We had a good run there, won a national title.
"So on Saturday we're going to try to throw the ball around the field as much as we can. But going against FSU in that first game with the great defense they have will be quite a challenge for our football team."
Has your version of the offense evolved much since your Valdosta State days?
"When we were at Valdosta, we were very fortunate to have Dusty Bonner and a lot of big time players playing Division II football. Then we got here to Murray State and they'd only won 13 games in five years. We were trying to piece things together and felt that going to that high tempo would kinda neutralize some of the deficiencies we had. So we've been fortunate. We've recruited well. But we stuck with the fast paced game, and that's the only difference people would see if they remember the Valdosta State days."
Is your fast tempo offense similar to Clemson's, with a goal of running 80 to 90-something plays a game?
"Our first year here I think we averaged 91 plays a game, and that was first in the FCS. Last year we averaged 89 plays a game, which was second in the FCS. So we like to run a lot of plays. We go for it on fourth down a good bit and try to keep the ball in our hands as much as possible."
So is part of your strategy, like Clemson's, just to tire the other team out?
"Yeah, it's no secret. You try to go fast and limit what the defense can run against you and things of that nature. You know, we're up here in basketball country, and we like to say we play basketball on grass."
Talk about your QB, Casey Brockman, who was fourth in passing in FCS last year, and fourth in total offense.
"Casey's a fine player, a former walk-on and a local product who's really thrived in our offense and made it go. He's an extremely accurate passer. Great leader. And he can beat you with his feet, too. I mean, he's not going to choose to run first, but he's got great pocket presence. He's really good at extending the play. So he's got all the intangibles that we look for. And this will be his third year in the system so we're hoping this is gonna be his best year yet."
What do you think Casey does best?
"I think he does a good job of extending plays with his feet. I wouldn't consider him a dual-threat quarterback, just because we're not going to run him a whole lot. But he's able to get himself out of trouble and continue plays and be able to make big throws downfield. But I'm sure with that great defensive line FSU has that unfortunately we'll have to rely on his feet a little more than we'd like to."
Playing high tempo, do want your quarterback to have it in the air in about 2.5 seconds, or what's your benchmark?
"We don't time it. We just tell the line, you block as long as he needs you to, and throw it to the guy with your color jersey on. And that's pretty much how we coach it up."