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October 17, 2013

Changes in defensive approach?

I'm working on a fairly in-depth piece on defensive scheme that probably won't be out before we get to Vandy, but I wanted to note something about our defense from Saturday against Missouri. We were much more effective when we set our defense and didn't wait for a call from the sideline.

At halftime, Coach Richt took his interview opportunity to note we needed to do things better on the defensive side of the ball. We came out at half time and only allowed one drive of longer than 35 yards or 5 plays (remember one score came off an interception). Compared to the first half were they had three drives of more than 50 yards and 4 of their 6 drives were more than 5 plays. I think that was a direct result of running pre-set defensive formations, and getting the coverage calls from the side line, as opposed to getting the formation and coverage calls from the side line.

Granted, I have no idea if that was something that was discussed at the half, but when you see Missouri gaining 1.5 yards per play less in the second half than they did in the first, you have to think something they did worked. As Blutarsky mentioned, we should plan on seeing plenty of the 4-2-5 (which is what got me started looking at schemes in the first place) with Moore and Mauger. If we have found something that allows us some confidence in (or advantage from, to put it another way) our formations by setting up before hand, that'd make me pretty happy.

When you consider so much of Grantham's defense is predicated on DB-LB communication and cooperation, the talk about communication breakdowns earlier in the nearly all season, and the slightly improved numbers we saw against Missouri in the second half, the same slight improvement can be a difference maker going forward. We know we won't see a change in personnel, but are we seeing a difference in approach that will make a difference?



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