There's some kind of conventional wisdom in Big 12 country that the pace of teams' no-huddle offenses hurt the effectiveness of their own defenses. Simply put, teams score faster, which puts the D back on the field sooner. Eventually, the defenses stay out on the field longer and wear out, or so the theory goes.
I think there's more to it than that – like poor coaching in plenty of cases, yanno. Even so, we are talking about a lot of snaps. That can take a particularly tough toll on the guys in trenches.
In fact, a study by Pete Roussel of CoachingSearch.com paints a pretty clear picture of how much of a strain the no-huddle offenses put on Big 12 defensive linemen. Nearly half of the 15 defenses that have played the most defensive snaps in the last four years are or were members of the Big 12.
Former defensive line coach Jackie Shipp had a reputation in his 14-year stint at Oklahoma as a demanding perfectionist who used a small rotation of players up front. If last season's dismal performance didn't give an indication of why that approach won't work, Roussel's study should.
To avoid a repeat of last season's defensive collapse, Jerry Montgomery needs to have a bunch of guys prepared to play this fall. Frankly, I'll take that over developing a couple guys into studs.