Tuesday, April 4, 2023 | 2 a.m.
If there was one lesson new UNLV offensive coordinator Brennan Marion wanted his players to learn during spring practice, it was speed.
They’re almost there.
In Marion’s super up-tempo “Go-Go” offense, pace is everything. The goal is no wasted seconds between snaps — it’s a race to the line of scrimmage to get on with the next play.
“We want to play fast,” Marion said. “It doesn’t stop. It’s every day. We don’t ever take a break. We’re always gas.”
It’s a system designed to leave opposing defenses gasping for air, but Marion understands his offensive charges may be in the same position until they get acclimated to the breakneck tempo.
With 11 spring sessions in the book, they’re making big strides in that regard.
Saturday’s practice featured more than an hour of full-contact intrasquad scrimmaging under game conditions, with referees, substitutions and play clocks, and the Go-Go offense was in full effect.
Marion praised how quickly his players got in and out of the huddle during live action.
“I think our guys are really starting to get that and starting to understand how fast we want to play,” he said.
Marion wants UNLV to run at least 70 offensive plays per game in 2023, which would be a significant increase from the 63 the Rebels averaged last season under former head coach Marcus Arroyo. With the way players were zipping around during the scrimmage, 70 seems attainable.
The key will be the quarterback. If the QB doesn’t fully grasp the offense, that will slow down the proceedings on game day. But if he’s got full command of the Go-Go system, Marion will be free to fully unleash his playbook at top speed.
Returning starter Doug Brumfield took most of the snaps during the scrimmage and appears to be entrenched as the No. 1 QB heading into his senior season. Senior Harrison Bailey and redshirt freshman Jayden Maiava also piloted their share of drives.
Marion said the quarterbacks have been consistent behind the scenes in their efforts to nail down the playbook.
“I’m really proud of those guys from the standpoint of, they’ve really worked every day,” Marion said of his quarterbacks. “They’ve come in and been the same guy. They haven’t changed.”
UNLV has three more practices set for this week, then the team will conclude the spring window Saturday with a scrimmage at Allegiant Stadium.
The roster is almost certainly not complete yet. First-year UNLV coach Barry Odom has said he was open to adding talent when the transfer portal opens April 15, and that likely includes any explosive skill-position players who become available.
If and when UNLV brings in any newbies on offense, the first thing they’ll learn is speed.