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July 1998

July 1998


Keep the Chains Moving

Illinois' 3rd Down Attack
by: Ron Turner
Head Football Coach,University of Illinois
© July 1998

Achieving results on third down is one of the biggest keys to winning any football game. Third-down situations are often pivotal in determining the outcome of a game. A key stop for the defense can change momentum or significantly alter field-position advantage. Conversely, a conversion by the offense can keep a drive alive, eat up clock time, and keep scoring opportunities available.

For the offense, the objective is simple: keep the football by making the necessary yardage. Several factors make this a challenge when facing today's defenses.

First, third down is a possession down. The offense has only one opportunity to make the necessary yardage. Since defenses know this, their tactics are tailored to the specific distance.

Second, defenses today play a variety of looks and coverages on third down. On any given thi....The full article can only be seen by subscribers.
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