JSU notebook: Facing own team's up-tempo offense helps defense get used to it
by Jordan Smith
Special to The Star
Aug 22, 2013 | 1869 views |  0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JACKSONVILLE -- The Jacksonville State defense has felt firsthand what opposing defenses will experience while playing against its new up-tempo offense: exhaustion.

The goal of an up-tempo offense is to do just that, run plays in rapid succession to tire out the opposing defense.

“It’s been rough,” said junior safety Pierre Warren. “You’re just always on the move. It wears you down.”

However, that's worked to JSU's advantage. While the offense pushes the pace, the defense has learned to adapt, which should prove useful when the Gamecocks face other up-tempo teams.

“It pushes us to work fast and think fast," senior linebacker Brenton Tolson said.

Fighting through exhaustion while trying to learn your own new defensive system makes practice even more of a challenge. Urgency has become a necessity to complete the task of relaying signals and making calls.

“Sometimes we have problems, but most of the times we get it fast from the sideline,” Warren said.

He went on to add that the up-tempo practice serves as the team’s conditioning program.

“When we’re not at a water break, we’re always running, running, running.”

The up-tempo offense is something that the Gamecocks will see during the season.

“I know Murray State and Eastern Illinois run it. We’re just going to be ready for whoever runs it because we know they’ll be good for it,” Tolson said. “If a team comes out with slow tempo, we’re ready for it. If a team comes out with fast tempo, we’re ready for it.”
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