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Am I the only one worried about the Defense?


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37 minutes ago, aztecskin said:

yeah this is why I don't like looking at total defense or even the S&P+ stuff. Those metrics are useful for some things but not others. 

NT got sliced up by SMU and UNLV (and later Boise) and that did a lot for their total yardage ranking. They did very well vs WKU, and had a good 2nd quarter vs UAB and a mediocre second half but was absolutely not helped by the offense at all in the final period like @Glory to the Greenwas getting at. 

The defense got lucky vs UTSA in the October matchup (Harris missed some wide open dudes on some important drives early) but also got an interception, forced some QB hurries and surprised the protections. I asked Frank Harris about that after the championship game. "You looked more prepared, was that something on film or what?" 

"Well, UNT did a lot of cover 0 pressures and to be honest we weren't ready for that. I was ready for it this time" 

I thought the pass rush that was there in October lost a little steam (FIU went to a quick pass game, Rice was able to max-protect, and UTSA did a combination of both plus had a better QB with mobility) and that contributed to the results (2 Ws 3 Ls, with that Rice win being ugly). 

I think the defense could have been helped by a better offensive performance. Three straight games of sub-400 yards for NT after the championship game. Asked about it, Seth said "well we can't expect one phase of the team to do it all. Its a team game." That's true but I mean, come on.

The defense was getting worked over in the title game, but they got a stop and NT had a lead. The NT offense just couldn't go score-for-score like they would have needed to. Sure, a better defense would have changed things but I felt like this defense was close to good enough to win a league title.. All things considered, that is not terrible.

Next year? Well we at least need to get stops vs the bottom half of the league and the high-powered scorers of the top half will easily put 50 on us if we don't match talent and scheme. I'd like to see one more pass-rusher. 

Thanks for putting context to my post, @aztecskin.  Your explanation was MUCH better than my “crapped on the defense.”  

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On 1/18/2023 at 8:26 PM, Side.Show.Joe said:

This won't be popular, but.... The Leach coaching tree has a reputation for fielding weak defenses. So, it is fair to be concerned until we see evidence that staff will contradict the stigma. We have added a few defensive players, but more are certainly needed. 

Knowing that Leach historically had weaker defenses is why I believe Eric decided to install the Iowa State 3-3-5.  It's also why he brought in a coach who has four years experience in that defense.  I really believe that this is the answer to our rather porous defense of last year.  

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51 minutes ago, GrayEagle said:

Knowing that Leach historically had weaker defenses is why I believe Eric decided to install the Iowa State 3-3-5.  It's also why he brought in a coach who has four years experience in that defense.  I really believe that this is the answer to our rather porous defense of last year.  

Didn’t we run out of town the last DC that used a 3-3-5 scheme?

How is this scheme different, and why shouldn’t I be concerned?

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3 hours ago, GrayEagle said:

Knowing that Leach historically had weaker defenses is why I believe Eric decided to install the Iowa State 3-3-5. 

I hope it works out, but my experience watching the 3-3-5 is not good.

You need, bare minimum, really good play at the nose tackle.  Most people know that.  But I also think about some of the more successful 3-3-5s and notice they had an all-world guy roaming in the back.  Urlacher @ UNM comes to mind.

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3 hours ago, Hookset said:

Didn’t we run out of town the last DC that used a 3-3-5 scheme?

How is this scheme different, and why shouldn’t I be concerned?

Per his Iowa St Profile: Caponi has helped the Cyclone defense rank third (25.9- 2019), second (21.4- 2020) and third (20.5, 2021) in the Big 12 in scoring defense in each of the last three seasons, all totals among the top-50 nationally

ISU’s total defense numbers have been just as stout. ISU was second in the league in 2020 (340.4) and 2021 (310.5). The Cyclones’ 2021 defensive effort ranked ninth nationally and was the lowest output by a Cyclone defense since 1984.

There is a lot of good information here.

From our board's scout @GMG24:

Iowa State 178 Passing ypg, 20 Passing TD, 107 Rushing ypg, 8 Rush TD

UNT 262.5 Passing ypg, 24 Passing TD, 197 Rushing ypg, 26 TD

 

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On 1/18/2023 at 11:11 AM, 97and03 said:

At LB keep in mind that we don’t know if we need another true LB or if it will be a hybrid pass rusher like in the last defensive scheme. If we have three true LBs, that makes us a little thin there. Wood and Brown are solid and experienced but we recruited that third LB spot to be an edge rusher primarily who had some LB responsibility.

I think that linebacker will be our strongest defensive position this year.  In addition to Brown and Wood I believe that both Nixon and Richards have another year of eligibility.  So, in spite of losing an All-American linebacker in Shark Davis, we're still in pretty good shape.

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9 hours ago, GrayEagle said:

I think that linebacker will be our strongest defensive position this year.  In addition to Brown and Wood I believe that both Nixon and Richards have another year of eligibility.  So, in spite of losing an All-American linebacker in Shark Davis, we're still in pretty good shape.

I sure hope you are right but losing KD will hurt.  That guy is a first ballot HOF in my opinion.

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