Dana Holgorsen and the Mountaineers experimented with a fast tempo last season, but as Holgo put it " it looked like crap so we quit doing it."
Through the first six games the Mountaineers went 5-1 and were averaging 76 plays per game, but after Big East losses to Syracuse and Louisville the staff decided to slow things down so that players could get the most out of the plays being called in from the sideline.
In the final 3 games of the regular season, the offense averaged 67 plays per game and went 3-0 in that span against Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and South Florida. In the huge bowl win over Clemson, the offense ran an impressive 89 plays on the way to a 70 point performance.
Quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital said "the difference between the Clemson game and the rest of the year was our thought process coming in was to play as fast as we can".
"We think changing the tempo is probably as important as the playing fast part of the offense," said new receivers coach and offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson. "Think about this...if we play extremely fast and go three-and-out twice and they have long drives, our defense is probably gassed. It's not smart to go out and play fast and go three-and-out again."
Dawson went on to say that they'll likely use the tempo to their advantage against blitz heavy teams to force them to simplify what their doing and make them play more of a base defense.