Our defense

I don’t have any confidence in our defense right now nor in Coach D’Onofrio’s defensive play calling. I think a big part of the problem is that the defensive playbook is too complicated, meaning players are thinking too much instead of reacting. For sure, all the exotic, delayed blitzes we try rarely work. In fact, I don’t recall the Rice QBs being sacked other than maybe once the entire game. Finally, it would be better if Big Ed always lined up on at defensive end to rush the passer on obvious passing downs to better utilize his explosiveness. The bottom line is that we’re going to have to depend on Coach Briles’s offense to carry this team against better competition unless something changes drastically on defense.


Last year it was that he played too soft…now it’s complicated. He played a lot of press man today…and our corners got beat. Don’t overthink it…go back and watch it. Johnson, Myers, Joel Williams…take your pick. These guys have had 2 sets of DB coaches and still can’t cover. That’s why Myers was a walk on and IJ converted WR…they aren’t good. Every team in America throws fades on goaline…guys who can cover it go to NFL. Guys who can’t get a job like the rest of us


This is true, the dbacks are not as advertised.


We’re going to be that has to outscore whoever we play.
Man the 3rd qtr reminded me of some years gone by.
We ran 5 plays and scored 14 points.
Our defense was on the field 13 minutes.

I also have real concerns about the defense, especially the defensive coordinator. We’re not Alabama, but we have an upper-tier SEC quality DL and two first-rate safeties. Isaiah Johnson and Nick Watkins are better than average FBS corners; in fact, Johnson is supposedly a potential draft choice. Egbule and Godfrey are at least solid OLBs. I’m not sure how stout we are at inside LB, but unless you’re shooting for the CFP, you’re not going to be loaded everywhere. Rice exploited us, getting Cephus isolated on Joeal Williams and always seemingly dialing up the perfect call on 3rd and 7 or 8. Gotta do a better job.

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All of that is true.

And yet we only allowed 3 points in the second half. And one of their TDs was the result of Bryson Smith trying to catch a punt with boxing gloves inside the 10 yard line.

We’re probably even saltier on run defense than we were last year. Pass defense appears not to have improved.

And we aren’t going to lose many games when we score 45 points.


Yep. Cephas ran right by our corners a couple of times… That kid is good no doubt but I thought Johnson runs sub 4.4.

Rice played lights out on third and long. Kept our D out there a long time.
Ed Oliver had at least 3TFLs in the first half. DL really did well against the run (except one long run in the first half).

Did you watch I Johnson today? He is a better than average CB? He was toast. People have decided that he is a “potential “ draft pick because he runs well and is long…he had zero ball skills. No instinct for the position.and panics in EZ and holds every time they throw fade going back to last year. Joell is the NB and has to play slot…apparently he’s the best we got. Burnt twice on 3rd down. Now you know why CMD played soft zone last year. Re Egbule.,…he blew coverage on goaline. Re our great safeties…blew coverage on seam TD by TE. In order to blitz more you need to have confidence in your cover people imo


I’ve seen Johnson cover receivers pretty well. Today a couple of the balls to Cephas were pretty tough to defend. Not that I’m saying he’s an All-American. The guy they seemed to pick on was Joeal Williams.

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Rice’s first TD was blown coverage by number 20…who didn’t even bother to chuck the TE at LOS.

20 is slow and apparently has been at UH for 4 years, coaching maybe ??

I’m not saying that Johnson never covers anybody…but he gets beat too much. If you get thrown at 10 times and give up 2 TDs…that’s not good. Just an example.
He was bad today. He got away with pass interference in 1st qtr. he got called on him in EZ. He was beaten numerous times.
Joell was beaten twice. He was used last year as a blitzer on 3rd down and pretty effective but can’t cover. I guess we have nobody better

That’s Roman Brown. He was the second leading tackler on the defense today with 10 total. Ed had 13. It’s also his first year to really play so give him a break. He’ll only get better.

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I wonder about Stuard. He’s fast and hits with an attitude. I wonder if the staff would consider a switch for him at this point?

Idk. Man coverage is a different skill.

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Agree, I think he gets too hard on himself if he misses a play and it gets to him. See his body language. Hope his confidence and technique gets coached better. He has a fantastic upside.

You are correct . He was in on 11 tackles. To me, he just looks too slow to play MLB.

On the other hand, he played on all special teams. He is in shape.

In order to win, all teams have to outscore their opponents. That is a given.


The defense will have to be more disciplined. Two touchdowns passes by Rice were on blown coverage and had little to do with the scheme or the defensive coaching. Another touchdown pass could have been called offensive pass interference for a pushoff by the Rice receiver. However, I will admit that it would have been a close call had offensive interference been called.

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