USU football: Kevin McGiven looking to fine-tune Aggie offense in first year as offensive coordinator

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, April 2 2013 11:50 a.m. MDT

“They’ve got a really, really strong work ethic. You don’t have to coach that very often with this group, so that’s a key for me. When you go out there, you can focus on the technique, fundamentals and execution of the scheme and not coach the guys to play hard. That’s always a good starting point. With the guys that are veterans, being able to get out there and pick up where they left off in execution and running the system has been nice. Some of the younger guys have had to keep up with that. To have guys that understand it and can set the precedent for them has been really good to see. Through five practices we’ve continued to progress in a lot of areas.”

What must happen in 2013 for Utah State to be successful on offense?

“Well we have to score points. We just have to control what we can control, that’s something coach Wells tells them all the time. We have to control our effort and our attitude. We have to worry about us and the execution of our offense and the things we’re asking the kids to do. We just need to be consistent with that throughout the year. It’s a long season. They’ve got to be in good shape physically and on top of their game mentally. They need to be able to put the preparation time in and commit to that, as well as commit to their academics and their workouts, all the things they have on their plate. It’s just going to take consistency in all of those areas, as well as us as coaches really focusing on all the details. Sometimes the difference between a winning season and a losing season comes down to just a couple points or really small details that become a big deal when they’re not addressed and handled the right way.”

Are there percentages or goals that you will set for the offense this year?

“Obviously our goal as an offense is always going to be to win the game. We kind of break it down into specific areas. We want a 60 percent efficiency on first down run or pass. That just entails what we gain on the first down. We want to have a 50 percent third down conversion ratio, an 80 percent touchdown ratio when we’re in the red zone [and] obviously having less turnovers and more explosive plays than the other team. There are a lot of little categories that we use. We use a formula that entails dropped balls, turnovers, sacks and penalties. We add those up and divide it by the number of plays and that’s what we call our ‘Winning Formula.’ If we’re under 12 percent of the total plays, then we have a really good chance of winning the football game. There are some little things like that where we break the game down. What it boils down to is playing disciplined football.”

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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