Defensive philosophy

Sit back in coverage (D’onofrio)

Attack, aggressive blitz packages --> you’ll occasionally get burned on a blitz, but it takes a really good opposing quarterback to make those throws. Especially when you stay in his face the whole game. When you constantly get to the QB, whether it be sacks, hurries, pressure… that’s when they start making mistakes. A few years ago, we EXPOSED Lamar Jackson… basically everyone found out that the guy can’t make the throws. But the main reason was that we pressured him the entire game… and sacked him 11 times.

A good, patient quarterback (like a Keenum) might be able to sit in the pocket and make a throw under pressure… in which case you’ll potentially get burned on a blitz. But there aren’t a tremendous amount of college QBs that can do that on a REGULAR basis, especially when they are constantly under pressure.

D’onofrio relies too much on Oliver. If it weren’t for Big Ed, I’m pretty sure that D’onofrio would have been exposed for what kind of coach he is during his first season. He gets away with so much, because we have a fantastic player in Ed Oliver.

I think we need to make a change after this season… especially since Big Ed will be heading to NFL


I agree he can be more aggressive. After rewatching the game most of the plays were he rushed 3 were last series first half after offense turned over on downs and in 2nd and very long situations. The majority of rushs were 4 or 5 guys.
TT was also holding rediculously. A lot were called…2 on Ed…but a lot weren’t. And obvious ones…hands outside shoulders and full grasp jersey. You could see the jerseys stretched and numbers pulled.
Where I disagree is that he relies too much on Ed. He’s letting him play his position…many here want him lined up in different spots every play…that would be relying on Ed too much. I agree a change every once in a while is worth try.
Don’t get me wrong he benefits from Eds talent, motor, sideline to sideline hustle without question.Ed played hard in 4th quarter and made few tackles on hustle plays. But he had to sit in 3rd qtr.
But you have to balance that with trying to compensate for the numerous inexperienced/underperforming players on field .
After losing Davis first series…he’s got Roman Brown who was to be 3LB…before D Owens went down in 1st qtr vs Rice…playing a lot more snaps than expected as he played few snaps last year. Hes been good vs run but liability vs pass. Robinson has made great strides at LB but first year as starter. He’s got Stuard and Sprewell who had little experience and despite being aggressive and showing flashes, make a lot of mistakes…based on film.
I Johnson is a problem. He’s got 3 or 4 PI penalties and keeps getting beat. Kadarian Smith has been playing more as IJ is playing worse…and he hasn’t been very good. Blew big 3rd down coverage late 3rd with score 49-42, he had coverage and fell down trying to pivot to defense pass. TT scores two plays later. We should have ball with chance to tie. No experience either. Myers is former walk-in who tries hard, tackles well but limited in ability in coverage. He made nice 3rd down pass break up on short pass…was in zone but read QB and got there to knock ball loose. Man to man he’s ok and big WR are tough for him.
Anderson and Watkins first year in new system. Watkins has made some plays and been beaten and has few PI penalties as well. Joell Williams is tough kid. Got reps last year as edge rusher/blitzer but limited in coverage man man.
And tthe other 4 star Chambers appears to be mainly a pass rush specialist at this point…I guess he isn’t that strong vs run or he would be playing over P Turner.

So if you take Ed out middle and say put him on edge…offense can audible too. Go away from him.
Teams that aren’t heavy run to begin with aren’t going to run majority of their plays into UH strength.
Also you know Ed is human and gets tired. He can’t play all 90-100 plays and when he’s out for 25-30 plays Fleming is a big step down although the looks much better than last year where he go pushed around. He’s holding his gap much better now but not dynamic. Just some ramblings…but I watch every play over several times…especially bad ones to see what went wrong.


That’s how A&M beat down Andre Ware and the run and shoot back in '89 in College Station. They blitzed the crap out of us with that damn linebacker Thomas. Terrible game.


Not every play, just enough to add an additional variable. Him being in one spot is one less. As far as relying on him too much, there are other ways to get the other players on the defense involved. They don’t have to do what they’ve been doing.

Could not agree more with your D scheme. High risk high reward. Create some turnovers, stops for losses and get your D off the field. I don’t how many plays our defense was out there for against TT but it was a lot! By 4th quarter we are spent…don’t have enough depth for that. Most of TT drives took a ton of plays before they would score…and they did score almost every time. That’s our bend but don’t break soft D…of course we broke so it’s pointless. I’ll take an aggressive, fun to watch defense anytime over what we do…I really miss Coach Orlando.

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I think it’s easier to move Ed on first play of series…because once starts vs no huddle you only have few seconds to make call. Once drive starts it’s challenging enough I assume to get all your guys to get call and lock in on their keys. But then you would be fussing about what personnel group the offense would come out in. And you might get bad matchup etc. If team huddles then have plenty time. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing it…but offense can always audible away from him…all these QBs look to sideline for everything

True. I do believe that’s whenever a chess match is about to start. Based on context, tech had a freshman QB; there are only a few plays they could audible to, and that’s when you disguise and setup for a take-away. The DC would show them a look (from watching film) that they would want to audible out of, and based on the play they tend to audible into (tendencies), you can design a play to beat it. That alone should be good for 1 stop, 1 turnover, or maybe just keep them from running to that play call(dictating what the offense does). Being too exotic might be an issue but some of the best DCs in the country keep it simple but can set you up because they can teach many( multiple) options to their players. Gibbs was(is) one of them. Some other names that come to mind that run the same scheme are Venables and Elko. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying CMD is or can be that good, he’s not even as good as Gibbs; he can at least be a fraction of that. Hopefully.

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At the CMA show now and he said they blitzed 45% of the time. :thinking::thinking::thinking:


Interesting numbers. lol

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My thoughts exactly!

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How did that blitz thing work out for us even with their freshman QB?

Proves he was not a math major !


This is what I found .

I don’t know what CMA calls a blitz…since we play a 3-4…he might call rushing 4 a blitz in certain situations. Maybe a player lined up on a slot but blitzes etc.
So let me explain…Bowman threw 59 times and included in that were a sack and some holding calls etc.

There are some downs that wound up as passes…where I couldn’t get a rush count because TT was running counter play action and pulling it and quick release so our D was reading run keys. QB never drop back so couldn’t tell who would have rushed…hope that makes sense. Also a bunch quick throws…so

I counted 4 Rushers…21 times
5 Rushers…14 times
3 Rushers…8 times…all in 1st half, 3 of which were 2nd or 3rd and more than 15 to go(3rd & 20, 2nd & 27, 2nd & 16). Another 3 were in last drive 1st half after Offense was stopped on downs @TT 40. Maybe D gased and we had bad quarter so trying not give up big play and limit to FG try

So thats 43 Rush downs and 5 rushed 14 times =33% blitz

If you counted 4 or 5 rushers as a blitz=35 of 43 downs or= 81% blitz

*****Again didn’t rush 3 in 2nd half*******unless i missed one

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Depends how he defines a blitz. Technically with a 3 man front if you rush 4 it’s blitzing. However, I think most of us would not consider a 4 man rush as heavy pressure


How about we find one blitz package we are good at and fine tune it to actually get to the QB? Rushing 3+1LB who may not even be good at getting off of blocks is not a blitz! Open it up!


Glad you went back and counted that. I guarantee you if you asked most of the ones complaining how many times we used a 3 man rush, they would have said 90% of the time.

As far as what is considered a blitz, I’d go with counting anytime someone rushed that was not in a 3 or 4 point stance before the snap. It might be over simplistic but at least it sets something objective to look for.


Given that there are 5, sometimes 6 blockers… definitely not s blitz in my book.

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I don’t have the replay, deleted it from my DVR, so I’m relying on internet highlights.

Check this long TD play in the 4th…I would not call this a blitz at all. Its a 3 man rush all the way.

UH #8 isn’t blitzing. He’s covering the blocking WR. He only goes after the QB after play is fully developed. #22 doesn’t cross the LOS until 3 seconds after the snap of the ball. For all intents and purposes we rushed 3. That’s all. But if we had blitzed I’d lay money this TD does not happen.

Side bets there are a lot more plays like this you can point to the 4th guy not really blitzing and thus we’re just ‘bringing 3’ after all.

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Since we employ a “rush end”, who is basically an outside LB, he will rarely have a hand on the ground.

And this is another part of the problem. Egbule being our leading “Buck”, so far has had the same issues as last year. When he does (and rarely) blitz linemen tend to get hands on him and he goes nowhere. He needs to be taught counter moves and be able to disengage, reset, and get up field. We can blitz him all we want but if he doesn’t land home, he’s better off staying if coverage, or being subbed out for that down. LBs coach, where you at?

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