Coach Golden tells Cincy to pound sand

08:17 Cholis Back 0 Comments



No better time to turn the two Josephs and John Haley loose on the QB than now.
John Haley Photo by Ryan Porter, courtesy Porterhouse Productions

Enemy Quote of Day
"I hear Temple runs the ball a lot. ... They're like 23rd in the country in rushing, I hope they run the ball every play. I'll be waiting."
_UCLA linebacker Reggie Carter in today's Los Angeles Times

Somewhere between the time coach Al Golden told Cincinnati to pound sand (well, sort of) and now, Temple's football team first practiced at the Eagles' facility for two days last week to get away from the inclement weather.
"The Eagles were good enough to let us do that," Golden said last week at the bowl party.
Hopefully, defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio rifled through Sean McDermott's drawers on the way out and stole the book that the late Jimmy Johnson wrote on blitzing.
If the Owls are serious about winning and not just making a good showing on Dec. 29, they will blitz UCLA from the opening introductions until the closing gun. Coach D'Onofrio had a reputation as an aggressive, crazy, no-holds-barred linebacker at PSU. I like that trait in my linebackers and my defensive coordinators. This year, though, for some reason I don't understand, D'Onofrio has orchestrated a conservative, bend-but-don't-break approach on defense.
UCLA has a very capable quarterback, freshman Kevin Prince, who is battling a shoulder injury right now.
Go get him and put him down hard and often.
Bring violence to the football.
People who read this blog know my philosophy of defensive football is a mind meld of Johnson's.
If you can't get to the quarterback with four, send five. If you can't get to him with six, send seven. If you can't get to him with seven, send eight.
Blitz early and often to send a message to UCLA offensive coordinator Norm Chow that we're not staying back in our base defense and getting picked apart like we did against good quarterbacks from Villanova, Miami and Ohio.
Surely Chow, a smart guy, will be dissecting Temple film and come to the conclusion that the Owls like to sit back in coverage rather than come after the quarterback.
What he won't see is a whole lot of blitzing.
Even though rush end Adrian Robinson leads the MAC in sacks, he'll need all the help he can get against UCLA.
I'll stop only at sending eight, because I believe Dominique Harris, Marquis Liverpool and Kee-Ayre Griffin have the talent to keep anything that breaks in front of them.
I believe a blitzing scheme is perfectly suited to the personnel Temple currently employs on defense.
The Owls have terrific run-stopping linebackers in Peanut Joseph, Alex Joseph and John Haley specifically. But those guys also have the speed and the nastiness necessary in chasing down a quarterback and either making the tackle, stripping the ball or forcing an interception.
They are not great at pass coverage, so why not sic these dogs on the quarterback instead?
That's what I'm talking about.
Hopefully, D'Onofrio smells meat and goes in for the kill on Prince, changing the Owls' scheme to where nine guys line up at scrimmage and either fake the blitz or go for the kill on every passing down.
I vote for going for the kill.
Think about it.
D'Onofrio had a reputation as an aggressive, crazy, no-holds-barred linebacker at PSU. I like that trait in my linebackers and my defensive coordinators. This year, though, for some reason I don't understand, D'Onofrio has orchestrated a conservative, bend-but-don't-break approach on defense
Over your years of watching football, what decides games more than any other factor?
Turnover ratio.
You can hope the other team fumbles or throws the ball between the two numbers on your jerseys or you can force them to do it.
Nothing puts fear in a quarterback's eyes and the ball up for grabs more than a collapsing pocket.
Nothing collapses the pocket like a blitz.
"I've tried (throwing) but I'm not at the stage where it's really comfortable," Prince said.
The whole idea is making Prince feel uncomfortable. His stats are the best of any UCLA quarterback (157 completions in 277 attempts for 1,827 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions). There's a huge dropoff in his backup, Kevin Craft (60 for 107 for 722 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions).
The game plan shouldn't be that complicated to develop and put into practice the next couple of weeks.
It's one word.
Blitz.
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