Goff to bring a new brand of football to McNeese

Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 10:12 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - New McNeese coach Gary Goff made the promise.

“Get ready to fire that cannon!” Goff said.

The Pokes identity change into an offense-first team has begun. Goff is a disciple of Hal Mumme and Mike Leach— the founders of the Air Raid offense. The system is a pass-heavy one designed to spread out defenses both vertically and horizontally. While at Valdosta State, Goff-led teams averaged over 500 yards and 40 points per game, but unlike some of his mentors, Goff’s brand has utilized dual-threat quarterbacks and the running game.

“Coach Leach is still going to drop back and throw that thing 80 times a game if he can,” Goff said. “Dana Holgorsen over at Houston, he does things a little bit differently, he throws the ball a good bit but runs it as well, Lincoln Riley over there at USC spreads them out and runs the ball and utilizes the tight end a good bit and we are probably somewhere in between what Dana and Lincoln do. They are going to sit there and drop eight sometimes 9 all game long and dare you to run it so if we do that we’ve got to take advantage of it.

A suspected challenge for Goff would be the difference between Divison II and FCS competition. Having previously coached in Division I football as an assistant, Goff believes talent-wise Division II won’t be so different.

“I don’t think there’s a big gap. Now depth is— obviously,” Goff said. “There are more scholarships, but really as far as talent there’s not a big gap at all. I think it starts in the trenches, you must recruit the trenches on both sides first that’s how you build a great team and you’ve probably got some bigger guys in there or some bigger guys with better speed but really overall a starting lineup in the Gulf South Conference and a starting lineup in this conference there’s not a huge difference.”

Goff knows when it comes to recruiting Louisiana— it’s a hotbed of talent, but he also understands the changing landscape of college football has shown transfers are just as important as high school recruits.

“The good thing about recruiting in South Louisiana is you don’t have to spend one night in a hotel,” Goff said. “We can recruit within three hours of our campus and have all the athletes we ever need. I do believe that. I enjoy recruiting high school students and developing them and building that culture with them. My concern is if we live strictly out of the portal and get one year guys, are you ever going to get the guys you need to create that culture and have a dominant program year in and year out. Look we are kind of behind the eight-ball right now because we missed the early signing day so no 100% we have got to get in the portal and find some guys that will be able to help us win and we will be able to do that.

Goff will spend the next couple of days rounding out his staff and meeting with players including those in the transfer portal and he looks to put the pieces of his new program back together.

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