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Q&A with Rock M Nation: Dave Christensen & RUNNING THE DANG BALL


"And that, gentlemen, is how you run the dang ball."
"And that, gentlemen, is how you run the dang ball."
Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone's excited about the prospect of a new run game coordinator with a solid background in running the dang ball. He was the long-time offensive guru at Mizzou and helped Gary Pinkel propel them into national relevance over the last decade as they became a major contender in the Big 12 North when that was such a thing. We visited with our pal Jack Peglow from Rock M Nation to get his thoughts on DC's days at Mizzou.

Let's get the important one out of the way first. The biggest problem people had with A&M's offense last year was a hesitancy to RUN THE DANG BALL. What is DC's approach to RUNNING THE DANG BALL?

Christensen runs a fast-paced, wide open style of offense. He wants to spread out the defense and create mismatches across the field. Know what happens once he has that defense nice and taught? He RUNS THE DANG BALL through the holes created by the stretched out defense. Will he throw some passes? Sure. Will he throw more than he runs? Probably. But that's only to keep the defense honest so that he can get back to RUNNING THE DANG BALL.

We have a couple of big backs in Tra Carson and James White, along with a pretty solid OL unit coming back. Does this fit into DC's style of RUNNING THE DANG BALL?

Let's go through a quick check list: Do you have a player physically capable of holding a football while running? Do you have five different players of large stature willing to push people around a bit? If you answered yes to both of these questions, congratulations! You have the required ingredients to make Dave Christensen's famous RUNNING THE DANG BALL pie! Now, that pie will certainly taste better with higher quality ingredients – and it sounds like y'all have some real primo stuff here – but Dave will be making that pie regardless.

What kinds of formations and personnel did DC use at Mizzou to have success RUNNING THE DANG BALL?

As I said earlier, Christensen is all about spreading his players out. Especially on the offensive line. At Mizzou, he had his wide-bodies line up in two-point stances with splits wider than the Grand Canyon. Personnel-wise, he made use of such RUNNING THE DANG BALL champions as Jeremy Maclin, Martin Rucker, and Danario Alexander. Wait, no. I mean, he wanted players that excelled at RUNNING THE DANG BALL. Players like Chase Coffman, William Franklin, and Tommy Saunders. GAH, that isn't right either. Well, Chase Daniel and Brad Smith RAN THE DANG BALL pretty well for quarterbacks, at least.

Jokes aside, Tony Temple ran for over 1,000 yards twice under Christensen, and he fits the mold of what Dave likes in a running back. Small, powerful, and sneaky quick. The ideal Christensen running back is good, but maintains a low enough profile to surprise folks when he RUNS THE DANG BALL.

DC coached some shifty quarterbacks there, like Brad Smith and Chase Daniel. What do you think he'll do differently with a pocket passer like Kyle Allen in regards to RUNNING THE DANG BALL?

For as effectively as Chase Daniel RAN THE DANG BALL, he would usually choose to pass when given the option. The reason Daniel was able to have success RUNNING THE DANG BALL was because of his passing ability. Christensen will likely want Kyle Allen to operate similarly. Exhaust your reads, then RUN THE DANG BALL to make something positive happen and keep the defense honest.

Say it's third-and-one inside the five and we really need a TD. Does DC do a rollout throwback pass or will he RUN THE DANG BALL?

The first time? Fade route to the corner. Second time? Tunnel screen. Third? Rollout. But the fourth try? THAT'S WHEN HE RUNS THE DANG BALL. Gotta keep 'em guessing.

While at Mizzou, did DC ever adopt the phrase "RUN THE DANG BALL" or use it in everyday conversation?

Only in private would he utter the phrase, and even then he would speak it in a hushed tone. Words carrying that amount of ancient, uncontrollable power are not words to fling about carelessly. "RUN THE DANG BALL" was something that Christensen would chant into the darkness of the athletic complex when the rest of the staff had gone home. It was only then, as the monotone repetitions of the mantra lulled him into a trance, that he would be able to conceive that week's opening script.

Is it true that DC has a chest tattoo that says "RUN THE DANG BALL"?

Not quite a chest tattoo, but:

Finally, if A&M and Mizzou were to meet in Atlanta in 2015, how scared would you be of us RUNNING THE DANG BALL?

Absolutely terrified. Immobilized with fear. So scared, in fact, that A&M wouldn't even need to pass the ball. I wouldn't even try, if I were you. Nope, no need. Just go ahead and run the entire game. We'd all be too busy shrieking to stop you. Seriously, don't even bother bringing a quarterback. Please. Just run the ball. I promise.

Thanks again to Jack for giving us insight into Dave Christensen's approach to RUNNING THE DANG BALL. We're all looking forward to football season and all the joy that will bring us.