Saturday, September 02, 2017

East Lansing: The Defense

So, now let's think about the defense.  MSU did roll up some numbers, but after the game Coach Jinks said that "the defense did everything we asked them to."  And, I'd say that captures my view.  It wasn't a commanding defensive performance, but it was what you would ask them to do.

To put it this way, if you had a team that had an offense that made 9 first downs and only had the ball for 22 minutes playing against a team from the Big 10...and lost a starter to an ejection and another to injury...

and then you knew that same team forced three turnovers, allowed only 28 points and scored the team's only touchdown....

You'd think that was OK.  Did what we wanted them to do.  Coach says we "matched their physicality."

So hats off to the defense.

Again the numbers aren't great but aren't awful.  MSU had 4.7 yards per rush, which is good but it isn't fantastic, and then they were 22-36 passing for 250 yards, which is 6.9 per attempt and 11.4 per completion, both of which are OK but not great.  There were three turnovers--and a fourth forced fumble and MSU recovered.

There were a couple weaknesses.  The first was what Coach referred to as "silly penalties."  I know this is the big debate about targeting, but good teams are making the adjustment.  After the game, Coach said that he wanted the players going for the ball instead of that hit.  I would also agree with that.  It is very hard to not hit a guy in the head, especially when he is moving, and therefore you shouldn't make unnecessary hits.  Anyway, Garth was out for the second half and will be back Saturday.

The other issue was the QB getting loose and running for first downs.  BG definitely needs to address that.  Coach says that the South Dakota QB will do the same thing.  Anyway, you need to get pressure and keep containment.  Lewerke was their leading rusher and the rushes came (as Coach said) when they were looking for answers on offense.

BG also played most of the way without Aaron Banks.

Individually, BG got a huge game out of Nate Locke.  He was all over the place, with 15 tackles, a TFL, a hurry and was in on the first MSU fumble, though Wade got the credit for forcing the fumble.  Cam Jeffries had 10 tackles, 1 TFL and a FR for BG's only TD.  Robert Jackson and Brandon Harris both had 7 tackles and 1 TFL.  Konowalski was in on some plays, so was Posey (in place of Banks) and Wade maybe some plays in Garth's spot.

Here's the final thing....Coach said, "we are a work in progress, but I assure you things are moving in the right direction."

1 comment :

NOEL said...

I am far from a football coach or expert on the matter, but to my eye the Defense just looked more sound. They were taking MUCH better pursuit angles than last year and getting a hat to the ball much quicker. Locke continues to impress, Cam Jefferies got to the ball as did David Konowalski. I don't know if the scheme has changed or the players are buying in or what the deal is but they just looked much more focused with players in the right spots to make plays and more often than not they did- there was rarely a ball caught and a missed tackle as so often happens against the big boys. Suffice it to say I liked what I saw on D.