Pregame: Illinois at Michigan State, Saturday, November 9th, 2:30pm CT, FS1

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Carbondale, IL
With the backers, sure. With the safeties, there's a lot going on that you probably don't see.
You're right, it's hard not to zero in near the LOS as a viewer before the play. What kinds of reads are going on with the safeties pre-snap (besides run vs. pass obviously)?
 
Lovie's D starts up front. The back 7's primary responsibility in the Tampa 2 is limiting explosive plays.

1. Generate turnovers.
2. Make the offense work for it.
 
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MSU is a better team in a better situation than Illinois going into this week.

That being said, this game is the definition of winnable. They looked bad against all their good competition, with the ASU game being the exception. They took care of business when they needed too, but I don't see some immovable object.

I expect and wont be all too disappointed with a loss, but I think this is the perfect game to at least show we are meant to be a 6 to 8 win team.
 
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While I've grown to respect your perspective and knowledge over the last few weeks, I still have to disagree. I definitely agree that not as great athletes (Jake HAnsen has done well but is too slow to drop back when up at the line) hurts this, but we really do not dial up many blitzes with the two LBs up in the A gaps. In addition, if they were to run a stretch play or a QB rollout, they are out of position for both. I did like some of the blitzes they ran (Ayo was about to drill the QB when he threw the pick to Dele--I definitely think the pressure made him choose a bad throw) and have been happy with the ball hawking that continues.

Still, I have my reservations of how they will do against mobile QBs or heavy passing teams. MSU is such an interesting game. I'm glad I am not a betting man, because that is a tough one to figure out what will happen.
Hm. Hard to respond, this is more situational football (Which is what coaching is all about. Situational football) and the correct response will vary based on the formation and what your opponent has shown you on film. Is this an offense that runs stretch from a spread or say Pistol looks to the wide hash? If so, they're probably track blocking in which case I would agree, we need to more aggressively attack the "A" gap which we do with only slight regularity. Or is this a team that combo blocks vertically to drive downhill or to set the back up for the cutback lane? In that case, our backers are fine. Our DL needs to do it's job. Too many variables to say I guess but in general, you will be both right and wrong and so will I if we make these statements universal. It's more about what the specific play and formation looks that offense will give you. The way Scott Frost runs the ball will never match the way Paul Cryst runs the ball, right?

Haven't seen them plan enough in 19 to say but in general, this is Wisconsin type drive scheme offense. It'll be a physical football game.
 
You're right, it's hard not to zero in near the LOS as a viewer before the play. What kinds of reads are going on with the safeties pre-snap (besides run vs. pass obviously)?
First, let's all hold hands and sing together "We do not run a Tampa 2 Defense". Feels good, doesn't it?

In the cover 4 we're running, we rely almost solely on combination coverage in the back half which forces the QB to process the positioning of the CBs and S as the play develops and not before. This can be difficult to execute (See my post prior about the struggles we have in the first half of the season vs. our recent 3 game stretch) but when done properly, it's a tough defense to attack. I can break this down even further, with specific examples and screenshots but I'm a little pressed for time today.
 
Lovie's D starts up front. The back 7's primary responsibility in the Tampa 2 is limiting explosive plays.

1. Generate turnovers.
2. Make the offense work for it.
All due respect, that is not remotely close to what we do/are doing.
 
First, let's all hold hands and sing together "We do not run a Tampa 2 Defense". Feels good, doesn't it?

In the cover 4 we're running, we rely almost solely on combination coverage in the back half which forces the QB to process the positioning of the CBs and S as the play develops and not before. This can be difficult to execute (See my post prior about the struggles we have in the first half of the season vs. our recent 3 game stretch) but when done properly, it's a tough defense to attack. I can break this down even further, with specific examples and screenshots but I'm a little pressed for time today.
Quarters Coverage!!!! We are finally in the Modern Era! Looks similar to a Cover 2 shell but that is where the similarities stop. I could talk quarters coverage all day.
 
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All due respect, that is not remotely close to what we do/are doing.
Well we generate turnovers and have been making offenses work for it, at least lately. So I stand by my analysis even if the coverages are different schemes. ;)
 
Michigan is giving up 117 yards rushing per game and 195 yards passing per game.
To be competitive need to pass more effectively and force a couple of turnovers.
Peters need to get rid of the ball more quickly and get out of the pocket when necessary.

To
Michigan St Illinois.jpg
be competitive need to pass more effectively and force a couple of turnovers.-
 
Well we generate turnovers and have been making offenses work for it, at least lately. So I stand by my analysis even if the coverages are different schemes. ;)
The premise and idea of the entire defense is different. Turnovers will stop pretty quickly if we play as described.
 
Quarters Coverage!!!! We are finally in the Modern Era! Looks similar to a Cover 2 shell but that is where the similarities stop. I could talk quarters coverage all day.
My kind of guy.

The constant Tampa 2 talk is a gigantic pet peeve. In order for any of us to understand what our coaches and/or players are doing wrong, we must first understand what right looks like. Our defense is nothing like what many describe. World's different in both theory and execution, actually.
 
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My kind of guy.

The constant Tampa 2 talk is a gigantic pet peeve. In order for any of us to understand what our coaches and/or players are doing wrong, we must first understand what right looks like. Our defense is nothing like what many describe. World's different in both theory and execution, actually.
It doesn't help that people who should know better(coverage)keep calling it the Cover 2/Tampa 2 then.
 
My kind of guy.

The constant Tampa 2 talk is a gigantic pet peeve. In order for any of us to understand what our coaches and/or players are doing wrong, we must first understand what right looks like. Our defense is nothing like what many describe. World's different in both theory and execution, actually.
Everyone thinks Lovie Smith and the Tampa 2. Don't blame them, but no cover 2 allows safeties to play this down hill.
 
Rule #1 Never listen to Matt Millen
Not quite his fault. He's got a couple split seconds to try and call each play, he's going to keep it rudimentary as opposed to someone like me who has blocks of time to clearly spell out each coverage. This is why, usually, he just calls out coverage as man or zone. That's what he did Saturday. "Looks like they're playing zone". That's as deep as he gets.
 
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From the sounds of it, MSU is trying to run a lot more spread and RPO. That explains their ugly offense, their OL isn't build for that.

My gut still says to blitz but I'm unsure now.
 
We also need to keep tabs on Darrell Stewart's progress. That kid is very, very good. If he can't play, their offense will change drastically.
 
I have nothing really to say, but I'll say it anyway.

A favorite Rodney joke of mine: His wife asks him: "Why don't you grow a mustache?" Rod replies: "Dear, must we do everything together?!"

But as long as Lovie is looking for a bowl game, inciting Illini after Rutgers game, then so be it. Please let it happen. I'm on board.

P.S. That Micron Bowl slaughter of VA in 1999 featured a tight end by the name of some guy named Josh Whitman.

This is fun until things go haywire again. I certainly hope they don't.

Always, the Fighting Illini.
 
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Great question. Assuming these last three games are truly who we are, the best case comparison I can make are the Pat Narduzzi defense’s during his time at Michigan State (He runs basically the same scheme now but isn’t recruiting the same type of athletes, unfortunately) which were, obviously, fantastic. Heavy Cover 4 over scheme, they finished 3rd in the nation that season in points allowed per game, 5th in yards per play. That team didn’t have a premier pass rusher but still had a sack total in the mid 30s if I remember right, they had lots of guys who could pressure the QB and were somewhere in the top 5 of the nation in INTs. They averaged an interception and a half per game that season, crazy.

We are, by my count, a good 4 players away from being in a position athletically to play to that standard but if this is what we are, those defensive units are the ceiling for us. How exciting is that?
Man, can you imagine our dline with Roundtree right now. I would say our d is about 2 good players or one elite pass rusher and depth away from being good.
 
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