Thursday, September 30, 2010

Clawson Presser--Half Dead Edition

Coach Clawson did his weekly presser yesterday...

First, Matt Schilz practiced some on Tuesday.  At that point, he was looking like a game day decision.  He felt better the next day, which, Coach feels, make it less likely there will be a relapse.  Ben Bojicic also practiced and appears to ready to go.

Buffalo's defense is much different, according to Coach Clawson.  They used to be a four-down front, but now they are a "30" (ie, a 3-4), with more zone coverage than they did last year.

There was a lot of talk about Davonte Shannon, their S who might well be the best player in the MAC you never heard of.  He's been All-MAC three times, and Coach says they are moving him around to make him hard to account for and even put him up with the LBs on some run plays.  He is their "free hitter" and they like to "spill" plays to him.  Coach said our guys have to account for him, which means the WRs, TEs and lead backs need to look for him to block.

Coach thinks last year and this year are ALMOST EXACTLY the same in this respect.  Both years we were 1-2 and went into a game with a big-time opponent (Boise and Michigan) and got smoked both times.  Surprisingly, he says that this year's team was about as good as September as last year's team, but that last year we took a big jump in October.  This year's story is yet to be told.

If you want to ask if this is a "must win" game, Coach wants to know what you mean.  Because if you mean that half the team is going to die, he doesn't agree.  But, it is an important game.  We identified it as our most important game early in the season.

My note.  This is absolutely true.  With our schedule coming home, and with games against OU, Temple, Toledo and CMU on the road, we really do need a win in this game, because it only gets harder.

Buffalo has some outstanding WRs.

He was asked if they were practicing tackling any more this week.  He appeared to find the question a little irritating, which is surprising since he said on Saturday his guys looked like they thought they were tackling JV Players.  In fairness, after reviewing film, the issue sometimes was not wrapping up, but poor body position that superior athletes took advantage of.

Coach has "live tackled" during practice for the first time in his career.  Some of our guys reverted to old habits after a couple of good weeks.

In "large" space, he says the better athlete can win, but in "tight" space when we got a body on them and didn't wrap up, that was frustrating to Coach.

So that's the weekly presser, with the cliches removed....

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