Durham — Duke head coach David Cutcliffe doesnt tote a can of Red Bull. But hes all about playing fast.
Im a torried pace guy, Cutcliffe said earlier in camp. We call it tempo, and Im always going to be a tempo guy. I dont believe in dissertations on the practice field. When youre on the grass, its about work. We have meetings. We have to go to the next play. Thats my impatience.
Duke has run a no-huddle offense for several seasons, and last year the Blue Devils set a new high in the Cutcliffe era by running 990 offensive plays. Thats an average of 76.2 per game, third-most in the ACC (Clemson tops the league with 81.7 plays per game, and N.C. State is second at 80).
Theres not a strong correlation between plays per game and wins Florida State, for example, ran 67.2 plays per game, 11th out of the 12 ACC teams but it does indicate that the Blue Devils are coming closer to running Cutcliffes ideal offensive system.
Dukes up-tempo offense does demand players to be in optimal shape, which can make the adjustment tougher on incoming freshmen.
Its a big challenge with our offense, with how fast its going and how conditioned everyone has to be, said senior running back Juwan Thompson. Were going to need depth.
Cutcliffe has said several times that this Duke teams summer workouts in preparation for this season were at a new, higher level than previous teams.
This was the most conditioned team wever put out here, which was good to see, he said. And its what you would expect with as much time as weve invested into this.