Will State ever have a good pass defense?

I said something in passing on the last podcast about defense and Coach Doeren. I brought up the fact that since there was no defensive coordinator change then maybe this is what Coach D considers good defense. I didn’t mean numbers as much as the actual scheme we’ve been running. I didn’t think that an OC change was near as necessary as mixing up the defensive side and was completely stumped.

While Coach Drink definitely brings a fast paced offense that can be high scoring, I’m not as quick as lot of people in thinking it’s the second coming. We’ve played W&M and ECU. Let’s see it against a Florida State (or any P5) defense. I like to see the ball ran down team’s throats and I’m not sure we’re going to see that but I guess it doesn’t matter as long as points are scored.

Let me get back to the topic at hand (before I go down a “back in my day” rant.) We scored points last year and made a change offensively while giving up points last year and not making one defensively. Could it be because this is what’s considered good defense by the staff? I made the comment that we should go back and look at numbers from the Wisconsin days. Last night I got a message from James (@JamesIV1978) about some things at Wisconsin and then R&R’s James (@JamesCurle) sent us some numbers he had found as well. I dove in a little deeper and found some stats that could be considered as disappointing to say the least.

First, let’s look at Coach D’s numbers at Wisconsin –  

wisky2You can see in his first year that he had a fantastic defense. The staggering numbers to me are the total defense and pass defense with rankings of 5th and 2nd. Only one other team did it better against the pass that year. The upsetting part is the downward turn that they seemed to take after that. You can break down other numbers if you want but I’m going to concentrate mainly on pass defense. After that first year the rankings were 49th, 44th, 55th, and 26th. I guess you can consider 26th acceptable but the other years were pretty much trash.

How about Coach Huxtable? I pulled numbers from years pre-NCSU where Huxtable was a DC. Let’s take a look at those –

hux2

I didn’t mean for this to be so depressing. My deepest apologies. Anyway, it’s hard to get a basis from one year stints so I won’t worry too much about the 2002 season in Chapel Hell (MY GOD THAT DEFENSE WAS TERRIBLE) or the 2012 season at Pitt. The three year stint from 2008-2010 really gives the best outlook on his defense. For those three years Coach Hux coached pass defenses ranked 58th, 113th, and 41st. I consider 58th and 41st the definition of mediocrity and 113th on par with Evan or myself playing corner. The run defenses all those years were fantastic but the pass defense wasn’t.

Looking at both sets of numbers should seem somewhat familiar. What’s this State defense known for? They should have a fantastic line (which SHOULD stop the run) while having a suspect secondary. It’s pretty easy to see why there wasn’t a coaching change on the defensive side of the ball. By and large the numbers were probably seen as acceptable because they’re pretty much on par with the career numbers of both coaches. A decent run defense with a serviceable at best pass defense is the norm. That’s what they’ve put on the field in the past and that’s what they put on the field now.

Why should we expect things to change? History always tends to repeat itself.

Go Pack.

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