A few years back, the Phoenix Suns changed the NBA with a philosophy of “seven seconds or less.”
A football team can’t match that, but for South Carolina in the early going of August practice, the plan isn’t to allow for much more than that.
“They say they want a play every seven seconds,” running back Rico Dowdle said. “That’s what we’ve really been focusing on is getting a play every 7 seconds. We’re doing tempo things every practice, getting our pace picked up.”
Going up-tempo has been part of the promise from Will Muschamp’s staff since he arrived. He talked about bringing it from Auburn when he was first hired, and after changing offensive coordinators from Kurt Roper to Bryan McClendon, the dream of reaching that goal begins anew.
The issue is South Carolina has spent the past two seasons as one of the slowest teams in the land.
Based on a pace metric from SBNation’s Bill Connelly, USC ranked 106th and 127th the past two seasons. Those numbers about matched the plays run per game.
USC showed the pluses and minuses of the scheme against Michigan in the bowl game last season. The Gamecocks had a slew of extremely fast three-and-outs in the first half, but also seemed to wear on a top-flight Wolverines front seven.
The question remains, will the Gamecocks become efficient enough to truly make it work?
After recent practices, defenders lamented not being able to substitute.
And it’s something the offensive players seem to be enjoying, even if it means extra time after practice conditioning and working out the finer points.
“It gets better each and every day,” Quarterback Jake Bentley said. “The more comfortable that we get, the faster we go. We were flying around.
“Every day, the defense comes in, talking about how difficult it is to keep up with.”