What to know about Eddie George's new no-huddle offense for Tennessee State football
Tennessee State football is picking up the pace with the installation of its fast-paced offense.
Coach Eddie George and new offensive coordinator Theron Aych introduced the offense at the start of spring practice and were happy with the way it performed in the Tigers' third scrimmage Saturday at Hale Stadium.
"The offense came out with a much better vibe than they did a week ago," said Aych, who was receivers coach at UTEP last year and at Arizona the four years before that. "Now that we've had a couple of scrimmages and with all the practices we've gotten in I like where it's at. We made some plays but we also left some plays on the field."
The up-tempo attack is being run without a huddle in an effort to prevent the defense from getting set.
Aych credited Chayil Garnett, a transfer quarterback from Auburn who started for TSU in the last game of the 2021 season against Mississippi State, for having a solid handle on the offense and doing a good job getting it into the red zone several times in the scrimmage.
"At Auburn we had a no-huddle type of offense so I'm a little more comfortable with that," Garnett said. "It gives me more of a competitive edge because of the experience that I've had. Our biggest challenge this spring is being more consistent with it. That's what we're working on now and I think we were more consistent today."
In the first series, Garnett tossed a 28-yard pass to Cam Wyche, who made a one-hand catch at the 2. Garnett scored a touchdown on a keeper on the next play.
"I like the no-huddle offense because it gives you an advantage," Wyche said. "It keeps the defense on their toes but it also keeps the tempo up for the offense and that can help if you've got some momentum going."
Edwin Rhodes III, a sophomore quarterback from Miami, Florida, ran the No. 2 offense, and junior quarterback Deveon Bryant, who started the first two games last season, was with the third team.
George was never part of a no-huddle, up-tempo offense as a player at Ohio State or in his nine-year NFL career. He did, however, say that former Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair was at his best when he ran a similar hurry-up, two-minute offense.
"Actually, Steve got going faster in the up-tempo, two-minute," George said. "When the offense was kind of stagnant and needed a jumpstart we would go five-wide and no-huddle. That's how we would get into a rhythm."
The no-huddle, George said, is more popular than when he played and why his players are catching on so quickly.
"As a player the huddle gave me time to reset because I needed to catch my breath because I was getting the ball so much," George said. "But now these kids are used to the no-huddle. College football has evolved into that and really the NFL has taken elements of it as well"
Reach Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or on Twitter @MikeOrganWrtier.