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July 1, 2011

Golden Eagles expecting to display the "Fastest 60 Minutes in Football"

Story by Thomas Corhern
Cookeville Herald-Citizen

COOKEVILLE -- When Watson Brown says that the Tennessee Tech football team will be the "Fastest 60 Minutes in Football," it's not a goal, it's a promise.

After seeing what the Golden Eagles were capable of against then-Football Championship Subdivision No.6 Jacksonville State in the team's 2010 finale, Brown knew it was possible. After all, Tech rallied back to score 28 unanswered points against the Gamecocks to end their bid for the Ohio Valley Conference championship. Tech trailed by 10 points at the beginning of the fourth quarter and won by 11, topping JSU 35-24.

If they could do it once, they could do it again.

"In layman's terms, we want to speed up the game," Brown said. "We think our plusses for this team are depth and experience. I don't think anybody in the conference is deeper than us, there may be some better players at spots than us maybe, but they're not deeper. We're going to try to make the game longer by just going like you saw in the fourth quarter against Jacksonville State, just a real fast pace. We're going to do that offensively, then we felt like we had to speed up on defense.

"Watching us play, we didn't play fast enough to me. We didn't react quick enough. We didn't chase the ball as fast as we needed to. It's just a lot of little things like that. The combination of that is where 'the Fastest 60 Minutes of Football' comes from."

Tech isn't the first team to try to change its philosophy in that way as Brown cited Oregon, Texas Tech and several other schools who have adopted this method.

"We're going to play the Oregon style," Brown said. "That's what you'll see, especially in conference play. This isn't unique to us and college football has changed in a lot of ways. Basically, people are using two philosophies -- shorten the game and try to win it in the fourth quarter, or lengthen the game. We're just changing the philosophy we've been playing with. The first few years, when we were really young, we tried to shorten the game -- try to keep the ball for long periods of time and try to get to the fourth quarter with a chance to win. But now, we're going at it at a completely different way.

"Texas Tech started this a few years back and were really the first, I thought, that really did this. Murray State has done this in some ways. It's not something unique to us, but it fits us and it may fit us for the rest of the time. If we do a good job recruiting, we're always going to be able to do this by having a lot of good players and a lot of depth. Play to what your strengths are. Every school has got to be different. Tech's different than everybody else in our league and we have to play to our strengths."