If BC makes one stop, we win the CSU game. As we know, that didn't happen, primarily because BC had another coverage breakdown at a critical time. In this case it was 4th and 10. Unfortunately that breakdown wasn't an anomaly. While this becomes a bit of one blogger echoing another, BCI's Dan Rubin saw the same thing in his game review. While pressure and aggressiveness have been hallmarks of Don Brown's BC scheme, so have those blown assignments. Why is this still happening? Statistically the defense is improved from last year, but these breakdowns are still killers. If BC just fixed them, they would be that much better defensively (and probably 4-1).
Usually when there are issues with one particular unit, I blame this position coach. However, BC has a little history with Defensive Backs coach Kevin Lempa. This is his third go-around at BC and while he's never been the best recruiter or Mr. Personality, Lempa has always been a solid teacher. When Lempa coached under TOB, his DBs were not always the most athletic or speedy, but they were well positioned and knew their assignments. I don't think it is a Lempa-Brown issue either. Lempa worked under Brown at Maryland. At this point he should know what Brown wants and what works.
The players certainly deserve some blame, but not all of it. We've lost DBs to injuries, transfers and attrition yet there are still blown assignments. This is not about talent. If anything our DBs are more talented than they were last year...or at least more talented than they were in the final Spaz years.
The front seven is a factor too. Many of our defensive issues are related to lack of pressure up front. Think back to the last CSU play. That is essentially a broken play. If the three downlinemen get to the QB -- and not just force him out of the pocket -- there is no pass to the endzone. Every missed sack or failure to get to a QB, gives him a few more seconds. Each additional second puts that much more on the shoulders of the DBs. Those extra assignments are when guys get free and coverage is blown.
So the short answer to what's causing the breakdowns is everything. Ultimately this is Don Brown's Defense. If he cannot get the pressure upfront or his players cannot learn their assignments or don't have the talent to stay with their receivers, than he has to alter his gameplans. It is the same sort of adjustment that Day had and has to make when his passing game cannot execute. Brown was the known of the two coordinators when he arrived at BC. He's taught and coached this scheme for years. Now we need him to figure out these breakdowns so that BC can hold on during the next 4th and 10 with the game on the line.