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Joined: 08/30/2013 Posts: 724
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Defense was not well prepared

As Coach M stated in the press conference. Many players frequently did not seem to understand responsibilities. Both the second and third TD's given up were very simple pass routes, but assignments badly missed every defender involved in the play.

Strategy is questionable. The approach is not aggressive, does not attack. Playing six in coverage against three wideouts and a tight end does not make sense. Defenders giving too much cushion leaves enormous spaces on the field for receivers to catch, turn, and run past tacklers. If we insist on playing cover 2 w/man underneath, we must press the coverage to at least slow down the QB's reads. Too many plays with Howell taking a quick look downfield finding a wide open player within 10 yards of scrimmage line, and popping a short pass that turns into a long run.

Talent? We learned vs. W&M that last years cornerbacks were really safeties by the moves of both starting 2020 starting CB's out of the position to newcomers. We learned vs. UNC that these same safeties are not fast enough to stay close to receivers on deep routes, nor fast enough to close on a receiver in front of them to make a tackle.

Is the strategy driven by the talent gap, or is the strategy asking too much of the players? Either way, there does not appear to be much hope that this year's defense will be much different than last years.

P.S. Conditioning? Supposed to be the foundational element of the team. However, many, many defensive players left the game with what appeared to be cramps. By the end of the game, all the safeties in the normal rotation were gone, although one via the dreaded targeting call. We simply have to be physically prepared to play four quarters. If Saturday's game is the litmus for conditioning - the standard needs to be raised.

(In response to this post by hoomanchew)

Posted: 09/20/2021 at 12:58PM


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