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A Change in the Defense
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steve4840 Offline
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I Root For: EMU
Post: #5
RE: A Change in the Defense
(11-30-2022 12:33 PM)RussH Wrote:  In the last eight games, the Eastern Michigan D has held opposing quarterbacks to a 49% completion rate, 172 yds/gm, and just as many picks (9) as TDs.

To throw these numbers into relief, three notes of context:

1. The best pass defense in the country is the University of Illinois. Statistically, it’s not even close; the Illini’s pass D efficiency — 89.77 — is 15 points better than the University of Michigan. They’ve picked off 22 balls and are second in the country in turnover margin. They’ve scored eight touchdowns. As a defense. Eight.

2. In the last eight weeks, Illinois has allowed 53% pass completions, 174.5 ypg, 7 tds, forced 16 ints, and recorded 17 sacks.

So the takeaway here being: EMU, in the last eight weeks, is performing — statistically — on par or better than the best pass D in the country.

Just look at those numbers for a second. 49%, 172ypg, 9 INTs, 9 TDs. Eight games.

3. In the first four weeks, the Eagles D allowed the following: 67%, 285ypg, and a 11-1 ratio TD/INT.

The transformation — resulting from a revision of both scheme (playing cov 1) and personnel (Q, for starters)— has been astounding. From the very bottom of the country in a host of statistical categories to one of the very best.

Side by side, if you put the first four weeks alongside last eight weeks, you get something like this:

67% to 49%, 285ypg to 172 ypg, 11-1 to 9-9 TD/INT.


In the first four games, the D had a total of two — two! — sacks. They have 21 since then. They generated three total turnovers in the first month. In the next two, they created 13.

And Jose Ramirez broke the school record for sacks in a single season and he didn’t even record one until week 5. That’s true. Look it up.

So what happened? I think it’s maybe too simple to think it’s JUST playing man, though playing man has triggered a cascading series of Good Things, the biggest one being QB pressure which brought turnovers.

And it got Scandrett on the field. Q has turned into such a good player — long and tall, fast, super reliable tackler, flashes all the time. Fun to watch. I also think two of our best players benefited — Shine went into lock-down mode (worth every yard of the PI’s), and Sparacio (so fast) I think was allowed to play faster toward the running back.

Suddenly, that side of the ball began to get swaggy as **** and aggressive as **** and extremely fun to watch. There is now a sort of full recoil feeling to the squad— of something held back and then let loose. There are players everywhere.

Let us pause and make some room for Mr. Shine — one of the true premiere defenders in the league -- who pissed off opposing coaches so much they’ve excluded him from the all-conference team. There are how many corners better than him? Twelve? Absolutely not. No way. An omission that invalidates the rest. Jose should give the trophy back.

Speaking of Jose, the D-line play all-around has been ferocious and determined, Kline is a beautiful thing in the middle, and we play like 150 other people who -- all of them, each of them -- have looked good enough to also feel totally and fully disrespected by the opposing coaches of the league. Like: what a bad list! Damn!

Anyway, I don’t have the right subscriptions to dig any deeper but I would pay good money to read a pre-bowl-game profile in The Athletic or The Detroit News regarding the nature and scope of the defensive adjustment. Like an oral history type thing. How it was installed. How they’ve built it over the course of the season. Must have been insane. I think it also maybe helps further understand the perfect storm of the NIU game: it's hard enough to face a surprising situation at QB when you’re not totally re-working your defense.

My final, emphatic point --

If you’re looking at the season stats and deciding from the looks of it which teams get to populate your all-conference list, you’re doing it all wrong and you’ve missed one of the key storylines of the 2022 MAC Football Season:

The EMU pass defense has become one of the best in the country.

Damn, Russh just came through with the post of the year. Fantastic post which provides stats to back up argument.

I was very harsh on our defense at the beginning of the season and you're right, it seems like after the Buffalo game, Neathery realized his scheme sucks and we made a change. I'm thrilled we played the way we did and the best part is that I believe we return a lot next year. Ramirez either graduates or goes pro I would assume. I pray Sparacio come back as he is an absolute difference maker. I'm a broken record that the guy he replaced and would have started is really, sadly not good at football. We get almost all of our secondary back, Merrit and Haney, Melvin, Peyton, Carter Evans and Kline. Wow that is good. Easily the best returning defensive group I've seen. If Sparacio is back, this is a PHENOMENAL group.
11-30-2022 03:45 PM
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Messages In This Thread
A Change in the Defense - RussH - 11-30-2022, 12:33 PM
RE: A Change in the Defense - cidbearit - 11-30-2022, 12:39 PM
RE: A Change in the Defense - RamyEMU - 11-30-2022, 02:20 PM
RE: A Change in the Defense - truEMU07 - 11-30-2022, 02:49 PM
RE: A Change in the Defense - steve4840 - 11-30-2022 03:45 PM
RE: A Change in the Defense - cidbearit - 12-05-2022, 10:42 AM
RE: A Change in the Defense - Jerry Weaver - 12-05-2022, 06:27 PM
RE: A Change in the Defense - steve4840 - 12-05-2022, 06:34 PM
RE: A Change in the Defense - Jerry Weaver - 11-30-2022, 06:28 PM

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