Saturday, November 23, 2013

Wildcats 3-3-5 not built to defend Oregon's Ground Attack

Wildcat Defenders Commit 11 in the box versus UCLA's Rhino Package.
The play resulted in a 66 yard touchdown. 

Based solely on Scoring, The Arizona Wildcats Defense isn't a bad one as they've only given up 22.2 points per game, which is good for 29th in the nation.
What is lost in those statistics is the defense's numbers versus teams with equal - or better - talent.
@ Washington - 31 points
@ USC - 38 points
Vs. UCLA - 31 points

Under these circumstances, The Wildcats surrendered 33.3 points per game and went 0-3 in these contests. And the competition doesn't get any easier this week. 

In those games I outlined, Arizona, simply put, could not combat a team from imposing their will on this defense. In layman's terms, they CAN'T stop the run. And they honestly won't against UO. The Washington Huskies rushed the ball 61 times for 262 yards on this defense. Southern Cal rushed for 259 yards on 45 attempts. The UCLA Bruins amassed 282 yards on the Wildcats' Odd Front on 49 attempts, including a 66 yard touchdown run.

See a trend here or no?

I went back and reviewed the tape of that very game between the Bruins and Wildcats to see just how they gashed the Arizona Defense. Alignment issues and Failure to assist the 3 down lineman were what stood out to me the most. 
Allow me to explain:

Offensive Formation: Gun (Invert) Doubles
The Arizona defense has properly accounted for each Bruin skill player that is stationed outside (Bralon Addison & Josh Huff will be salivating over the spacing they'll get against this defense). They appear to be in Cover 4 or Quarters, as both OLBs intentions seem to be Flat/Hook Zone coverage during the snap. That is 6 players removed from the box on first down, this is simple misplacement. 
The box is in the offenses favor as they can simply choose 'out-flank' the defense to playside or simply get a hat on a hat and allow the tailback to chew yards up. Mark Helfrich and Co will feast on these mishaps.

Offensive Formation: Top: Gun Trips (Left) -- Bottom: Pistol Trips (Right)
Let's start at the top. 
It's 3rd down here and the Wildcats appear to be in Man Press 2. They have 2 deep and have declared man on the skill players. Lets again do the math, 6 defenders away from the box means only 5 left. These are free yards and free first downs to Oregon's rushing attack.
The way Arizona over commits to 3x1 sets, set to wide side, is an offenses dream. In the bottom illustration, The Wildcats have 4 defenders to the wide side, all of which are aligned 6-10 yards off of their assignment. We ALL know what happens when you give Oregon's skill players this much room to run. 
Oregon doesn't do the Pistol as illustrated but the Ducks will equally have their way when they get into their own Trips Packages.. There is very little resistance.

Offensive Formation: Gun Doubles (Invert Right)
Play Call: Outside Zone Read
Good example of good defense - better offense here. 
Arizona, again, has 5 in the box. The OLB on the short side has partially opened his hips, therefore not attacking the run. The QB is essentially blocking the DE by reading him and this gives UCLA a hat on hat advantage to playside. 
The Oregon Wideouts know how to block downfield and Oregon backs know when and where to cut off of their hips. This run only went for a minimum gain but it was due to path the RB took. This is a free 15 yards if this Byron Marshall or DAT.

Defending The Ducks and their potent ground attack is a tough task. One missed call, one extra inch or yard given is almost surely 6 points. Oregon will take advantage of these mishaps.   
The Oregon Ducks are currently ranked 10th in the nation in rushing yards per game, yet aren't in the top 20 in total rushing attempts. They are second in the nation in rushing TDs (40), 4th in yards per carry (6.47) but rank outside of the top 20 in attempts per game. 
They know how to capitalize on your mistakes. They will 'Win The Day'.  It should be a long one for BearDown nation. 

College Statistics via CFBSTATS.COM

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