It seems like our Defense throughout the year has gone from aggressive and very active in the Utah game - to hesitant and extremely re-active this past game. How much of this do you guys think relates to giving up big plays and just trying to prevent that? I think if I were a DC on this team...and obviously our offense did play well this past game...but normally you would think if the D gives up a touchdown the offense can't come back from that. Going forward when we get more confidence in the O I think it will allow the D to become much more aggressive because we will know our offense can always put up points if we give up a big play or two. Unfortunately right now and this season, it's been a question of when is the offense going to sputter and have a few quick 3 and outs - causing the defense to just purely be backed up and playing soft.
Does it really benefit a weak offense to play passively on D and repeatedly concede first-down yardage, even if it doesn't give up huge plays? One could argue that a weak offense really would benefit from a defense that is designed to make big plays itself and force turnovers and 3 and outs, to give the offense better field position to work with. As it is, we force very few 3 and outs, and when we do manage to force a punt, we're regularly backed up very deep in our own territory. We also force very few turnovers (especially interceptions).
Regardless of whether it makes sense in theory, in actual games our defensive schemes result in our opponents repeatedly going on long, clock-eating drives that regularly end in points (or else short drives that also end in points), and opposing QBs consistently having career days. Anyone think the Purdue kid will perform anywhere near that level the rest of the season?
Well it does not help when....
1. Your DC decides to run a 3-3-5 stack three days before the game. (a defense they have not played all year)
2. Your oppenent has a 2 to 1 advantage in TOP.
3. Your defense consistantly gives up 3rd and longs!
all these = a recipe for giving up 48 points!