Tuesday, September 2, 2008

ECU Reaction: Defense

I finally had a chance to re-watch the ECU game and take down some notes.

- It's been mentioned ad nauseum, but the whole team had trouble tackling. It wasn't just the new guys, either. I caught Kam and Cam failing to wrap up a couple of times.

- It wasn't just that the Hokies were failing to wrap up, it was WHEN they were failing to wrap up. When the Hokies would bring pressure, ECU QB Patrick Pinkney would either scramble back to the line of scrimmage or for a short gain or get dump the ball off. When you blitz, you're going to leave defensive backs or linebackers in coverage on an island. If the ball is caught, they better make the tackle because help isn't going to be very close to the ball. That's when the Hokies failed to tackle most often. When they absolutely needed to bring a guy down for a short gain.

- Our defensive tackles aren't very good. They got worked by ECU's offensive line a number of times. This will probably cause me to drink heavily throughout the season.

- The Hokies didn't bring a lot of heat late in the game. This may have been a reaction to the poor tackling and the need to have help when guys failed to wrap up.

- Rock Carmichael is lightyears away from being an option at cornerback. He knows the defensive scheme well enough to be on the field, but his vision and ability to react to the quarterback are poor. He rarely reacted to the route a receiver was running and was often late getting to the ball after it was thrown.

- Dorian Porch was better at rover when playing underneath on zone coverage, but Davon Morgan was better covering the middle of the field and playing over on zone coverage.

- The tackling will improve. It can't get any worse. The coverage on defense will get better when Macho steps back on the field. Virgil can play, although the ball was thrown toward Carmichael's side of the field more. There may have been a reason for that.

- What concerns me most is the run defense. We were dominated up front, weren't tough and seemed to lack the fire the defenses of the past few years have brought. If that doesn't get better, our opponents will be able to control the tempo and take their games to us week in and week out.

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