First-year head coach Tim Mathis and the Phoenix have practiced 3-4 times per week over the last month, installing a new option offense under offensive coordinator Paul Pitts as well as Mathis. In addition, new defensive coordinator Chris Elliott has implemented his version of a 3-3-5, similar to what former CU head coach Donnie Suber ran during his tenure.
“We’ve come a long way with the offense. The offensive line thinks they’re on Mars right now because it’s totally different from the spread they have run the past few years,” Mathis said. “The biggest thing we’ve tried to get across is the pad level for the offensive linemen and the speed at which we want to run the offense both for linemen and backs.
“The footwork for the quarterback is different and for the running backs, it’s about hitting the holes, expecting something to be in that spot, rather than running and reading in a zone blocking offense.”
The offense will start possessions at the 30-yard line and the offense and defense will also work on red zone and goal line situations as well as the offense backed up deep in its own territory, coming off the goal line. Points will be awarded for the offense and defense for touchdowns, explosive plays, takeaways and 3-and-outs.