Early on this season we celebrated the fact that our defense was no longer giving up multiple 70-yard TDs each game, because this was seen as progress for our young defense, and because those long TDs last year had put pressure on an offense that was not quite ready for prime time. However, since our offense is much stronger and since we now seem to be playing a bend-and-then-break style of defense, would we be better off getting hyper-aggressive on defense and hoping to offset the big plays with a few turnovers? Defensively the results would probably not be dramatically different, but it could help our offense in a couple of related ways:
1) Our offense clearly operates best when playing in rhythm. You can see when we get in a zone and get defenses back on their heels. Sitting for 5-10 minutes while our opponents grind out a 14 play TD drive kills all of our offensive momentum and rhythm.
2) This would put opposing defenses out there for bigger chunks of the game, and our defense out there for smaller chunks of game. It is not really about time of possession, per se, as much as it is about getting out their and running at such a pace as to have their defense gassed for the entire second half, while giving our depleted defense a chance to stay fresh. Once our offense started clicking against both MSU and Iowa, their top players like Jones and Clayborn had to go out for extended breathers because they couldn't keep up. I want to see that every week.