An old coaches perspective posted on

I don't know if I can post this or not but it is very enlightening.

As an old coach... 

I went back this evening and broke down the (defensive) game play by play. I could give you, literally, a play by play analysis. However, It all came down to three basic things.  And  some of you will not agree...
Number one misconception, their line was blowing ours back. I would debate that...late in the game, maybe. But, not early.

(More after the jump)

Their running game was based on two principles.
1.  When they brought in the extra linemen and went unbalanced, UW Nose (Alameda) and defensive tackles were not adjusting down one man.  Stanford  (Luck) walked up and attacked the  "bubble."  That left our linebackers in a TOUGH position and our smaller 'backers were not physical enough to fit and fill the big "bubble."  They all need about 10 - 15 lbs of more muscle.

2. When they did not attack the "bubble" created by the unbalanced (and non-adjustment) they were simply down blocking and attacking UW weakness at the Defensive end away from E. Thompson.  Power, and Counter non-stop at Shirley/Crichton.  DeCastro and Co. destroyed our 225 lb defensive end - and, again, our linebackers were catching the pulling guards.

3. All hell broke loose.  In a common occurrence, players began to panic and "do more than their own job."  Corners, jumping routes that linebackers were responsible for, leaving WR's open.  Defensive linemen leaving their gaps to "help" and getting gouged  where they should have been...etc.

But, it all came down to two things.   We did not have the personnel needed at one of our defensive ends to match up with their power game and we did not adjust to their unbalanced in a way that did not create "bubbles' to attack.

The thing that frustrates me in watching this defense is the continual appearance of the defense getting lost in basic alignment.  Usually, its the perimeter guys. Safeties, Corners, OLBs. Yesterday, it was the Defensive tackles.  I don't understand this.

In one of my early years of coaching, i was working at Central Washington University.  CWU was ranked 3rd in the nation. We had an opening game (meaning no film exchange or scouting) with LInfield.  LInfield was ranked #1. Our offensive coordinator was sharp.  He had worked at WSU and Cal.  He and coach Parry put together a game plan that used MULTIPLE formations with attempts to create mismatches.  When we came out, LInfield, every time, adjusted defensively exactly as they should have.  It was impressive.  Linfield beat us that day.

After the game, I met up with a friend of mine that was coaching at Linfield.  I asked him, "how did you know we were coming out in those formations."  He said, "we didn't. We set aside a major portion of our fall camp in doing nothing but formation recognition.  We call a defensive play and then quickly adjust as the offense jumps in and out of formation."   I adopted that as I coached over the next 25 years.  EVERY Monday during the season we had a L.U.S.T (Line up straight) period.  I did not care if the opponents game film showed all those formations or not.  We would be prepared if they did.

You can not play full speed and with confidence if  are not even sure if you are aligned correctly.  UW still acts as if they do not know how to align correctly. Stanford took advantage of hesitation on the side of UW.  I called it the ART of football.  Alignment, Responsibility, and Technique.  Every play, every member of the defense must have confidence when they get in their stance that they are 100% sure.  ONLY then, will they play full speed, with reckless abandon. UW defense is not there....Yet.

Posted by EastForkTiltonRiver on

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