The DLine

Discussion in 'On The Field' started by Your Wrong, Oct 3, 2022.

  1. Your Wrong

    Your Wrong 100+ Posts

    Some prognosticators and one knowledgeable football guy I hold in high regard said this was the number 1 one group that needed improvement for the defense to show great strides. We’re going to include interior guys and edge guys in this discussion because they serve similar function - rush the passer and close down running lanes.

    As a team, we have 125 total pressures thus far in 2022. Last year, we had 148 for the season. We have 23 hits on the QB. Last year, we totaled 27. Of those pressures, the LBers contributed 31 last year versus 19 thus far in 2022. This year DMO likely has a few as an edge so I’d say LB production is not that different from this year. Sacks are only about half that of last year, but I believe our sack total versus WVU exceeded any conference game total from last year.

    Coburn, Sorrell and Ovie have all exceeded their pressure totals from last year and at least equaled their sack totals. Our top 4 interior guys have PFF grades of 73+. Coburn is in excess of 83. Last year our best upfront (all interior and edges) was 72. Overshown has some impact rushing the passer, but we get cleaner looks when DBs come. All Dline guys have better pass rush grades this year. Coburns pressure rate this year is at 16% versus less than 2% last year.

    The run game. PFF grades have Ojomo down 4 points from last year. Sweat down 5-6. Collins about the same but everyone else up. Murphy up almost 20. Of particular note is that DMO is up 50 points. Jerrin T is up 40+. Ford is up about 15.

    My personal observations for whatever that may or may not be worth to you are as follows. I’ll give you a little confirmation bias too. To date, we’re not creating more negative plays necessarily but often those negative plays are for bigger yardage. We had quite a bit last year for very little lost yardage - all of Fords were for 1 yard, sacks in back to back games for 1 yard each.

    To provide a little context here, I’ve watched every game of Sarks tenure at least twice with some more than that. Many of those I’ve watched live in addition to the broadcast. With that being said, it is a completely different effort from the front 4 in the run game. We reset the LOS pretty well. There are fewer instances of the Dline getting knocked back. Gap integrity is far better. The LBers job is much, much easier. They aren’t significantly better at taking on blocks, but they are less hurried to find the ball carrier because of the guys upfront. The DBs also are helping with gap integrity a great deal, which was my #2 defensive priority for the year. There are few running lanes to be found. Many tackles are being made because the RB is forced to get upfield to get as much as they can. In run defense, you’d be hard pressed to convince me everyone is not playing better than last year. Opposing Olines are getting to the 2nd level far less often and when they do it is not as quickly.

    As to the pass game, there may be questions of rush lane integrity, but it’s better than last year. The push up the middle is tremendous compared to last year. The numbers reflect that. This has resulted in a great deal of underneath throws but has limited downfield opportunities. Assuming we continue to have success getting after the QB, one of my biggest concerns is a lack of patience at the second level when a previously dropped LB decides to rush the passer because we aren’t getting pressure. Tech had a big conversion due to that. Bama hit a TD pass because of it. There were issues last year too. It’s more big impact plays than huge chunks of yards.

    Our biggest challenges may be yet to come. TCU presents potentially more of a challenge than Bama with their WRs and Duggan’s willingness to run plus it’s a long season so someone else will get us when our energy is not so high. KState will pose a big challenge to run lane integrity and quite possibly physicality. I’ll probably never feel comfortable against OU until the final scoreboard reads Texas Wins! There’s a long way to go.

    Defense always starts upfront. Recruit these positions like crazy. Lots of bodies are needed. One or two physical freaks are great, but they still need to do their job and play with discipline. These guys make the back 7s job easier.
     
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  2. dukesteer

    dukesteer 5,000+ Posts

    Nice assessment, and much appreciated. For these eyes, it seems like every defensive position is playing better and smarter than they did last year. So if that’s the case, what the heck happened in Lubbock? If the players are playing better and the talent in certain positions has improved, how could Tech have run 100 plays and had their way with us? It has to be a scheme issue and also a lack of cohesion between the front line and the back seven. What a disappointment.

    Tech is the reason that I am not yet sold on this defense. While the numbers are significantly better, the record doesn’t reflect it.
     
  3. SabreHorn

    SabreHorn 10,000+ Posts

    Duke,

    It appears to my uneducated eye we have lots of beef up front, but no speed and lacking in strength. Color me Unimpressed with the DL.

    Maybe that's why Patterson was pacing so much and had that "what the f**k" look on his face. Did he ever enter the defensive huddle?
     
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  4. Your Wrong

    Your Wrong 100+ Posts

    That is a good question. And I’m not sure. It is a bit odd actually. Tech didn’t make mistakes on offense. BAMA and WVU dropped some passes. UTSA missed a few opportunities too. Techs 4th down strategy was quite impactful. We’ve scored two defensive TDs, both good fortune versus great plays.

    In my opinion, last years talent was down played and really it was a few plays per game that made the difference. They were solid a lot of the time. OU made a number of great plays last year. We were close on BU quite a bit, but they made a number of clutch plays. The pick 6 versus OSU was the killer. We were decent on 3rd down outside of KU and WVU. We had some injuries and very little good luck (drops, turnovers, penalties that should have been).

    If we’re questioning scheme, it was scheme last year too.

    What we lacked last year and the same this year is a defensive playmaker. Our hope this year may be Coburn and Murphy.

    In looking at the grades from PFF, Jahdae is interesting. He seems to be involved a lot but doesn’t always score well. He might be one that can become that needed play maker.

    In the end, there’s a lot of wait and see this year.
     
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  5. Pomspoms

    Pomspoms 2,500+ Posts

    well they got a hundred plays because they dinked and dunked with short passes, getting first downs and played fast pace. exactly the way I would like to see us play.
    dontae foreman got 2000 thousand yards in a similar offense except he had more running opportunities.
     
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  6. NRHorn

    NRHorn 2,500+ Posts

    As the expert here , my thoughts are over and over I have emitted an evil yet joyful laugh as the DL is consistently collapsing the pocket.
    That didn’t happen last year.
    Guys and gals…. The opposition is releasing very quick 10 yard passes, yet still Snacks, Sorrell, Moro are in their face.
     
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  7. NRHorn

    NRHorn 2,500+ Posts

    You beat me to it.
    Short passes over and over.
    Then open up the run game, then play action deep.
    Repeat.
    Dad gum I am giddy to see a TE catch passes.
     
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  8. Pomspoms

    Pomspoms 2,500+ Posts

    Sanders got 5 but if he averaged 8, I would be gruntled. it's money when the ball comes his way.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 4, 2022
  9. ProdigalHorn

    ProdigalHorn 10,000+ Posts

    It seemed to me that the issue with Tech wasn't really them "having their way" with us - the defense made a lot of good stops and seemed like they put Tech in third and long or at least third and medium. The issue was that one, any time you play with the mentality of four downs to get 10, it just adds something to your effort on offense and it starts to wear on a defense. Second and more importantly, we were just a step short on a lot of plays - maybe fatigue, maybe hesitance, not playing with confidence. It seemed like in a lot of those key third downs and fourth downs, it wasn't so much that we were out of position or were beaten, we just didn't get a guy on the ground when we had the chance.

    It was a far cry from watching guys slash through wide open run lanes and sit back in the pocket for five and six seconds against four man rushes. It was frustrating but it looked more like a sub-par performance on key plays than it did a systemic issue. At least that's how it looked to me.
     
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  10. Horns11

    Horns11 5,000+ Posts

    We've had WAY worse defensive performances against Tech than the 2022 edition. Like the 2021 game. Those 4th downs snowballed into something that made a close game tough to manage. If it was the 90s, they would have punted on probably 6 of those 8 attempts.
     
  11. Your Wrong

    Your Wrong 100+ Posts

    It’s not that I’m not letting this thread die, but I guess I’m not.

    My purpose here is to throw out a few more numbers from PFF.

    Our Edge guys last year played in the slot 130 or so plays. That’s sitting at 4 this year. Our LBs (top 3) have already exceeded plays in the slot versus last year. Jerrin T in roughly 200 fewer plays has lined up in the box 1 more time this year than last.

    It was a very small sample but watched a drive versus WVU last year. TD. Only two guys with their hands on the ground. Watched two drives from this year. Only on 3rd and 12 did we have two guys with hands. Most plays had 3 guys.

    I do recall versus Baylor last year thinking our EDGE guys were lined up as awfully wide 9s.

    It does seam as though the defensive alignments are considerably different this year.

    Sharing is caring.
     
  12. Chop

    Chop 10,000+ Posts

    Murphy has brought an "A" game to the interior. Coburn and Sweatt have both stepped it up noticeably from last year. Sorrell is getting pressure frequently. The delay blitzes are generally working. Overall, a lot better than in recent years.
     
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