Sunday, October 05, 2014

What's causing the coverage breakdowns?

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.


mod34b said...

Good post ATL. Yes, agree that coverage problems are multi-factored.

Two other points worth mentioning are conditioning and lack of depth.

In the second half, our Defense was on the field 2/3 of the time. That was not the game plan. BC was supposed to be hogging the clock.

As a result, the DL, DBs and LBs were gassed by 4 and 12 with the game on the line. The DL and LBs could not bring pressure and the DBs could not hold coverage for long.

Unknown said...

I dont think the final play of the CSU game is really indicative of a coverage breakdown, more a representation of Brown ditching his philosophy and not applying pressure.

When you give a QB that long to sit in the backfield with no pressure, WRs are going to get open, its just life. Good cornerbacks can only cover receivers for so long, people are going to get lost. As McIlwain said, BC had the original play pegged (the pass to the left side), but when Grayson had that much time and the play broke, its almost impossible to watch everyone.

NEDofSavinHill said...

A timeout was in order before CSU scored. A four or five man rush was too. That game was a tale of two halves. BC dominated the first but only had a seven point lead. The D was on the field too long in the 2nd half because the offense didn't generate much. One won't win many games in nice weather by scoring 20 or 21 points. But all of that is spilt milk. 2. The NCST game may be the biggest for BC this year. A win opens up all possibilities. Hope that the o-line is healthy and intact. They will need to control the game on the ground. Need to use all assets on offense. The entire college football landscape is in flux after last weekend. Opportunities exist for many. Hope the Eagles are one.3. Why is the NFL so upset with Peterson of the Vikings. He employed the same disciplinary technique( hickory switch) on his child that IKE's father used on him in Texas over a century ago. It certainly worked in the future general's family.

JBQ said...

@NEDofSvinHill: Have you seen the picks of the 4 yr old? The NFL is not mad. It is law enforcement. How old was Eisenhower? In regard to d backs and not the back side, this same issue happened at Syracuse last year. A great effort against FSU went for naught on the 50 yd pass just before halftime. Addazio needs to tell Brown to get it right or go away.