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gaps in the D

by Jay ?, San Diego, Monday, June 17, 2013, 08:37

It's a hallmark of the Diaco defense to keep the ball in front of you and make the tackle, and that shows in how few big plays we give up. Overall we were great at preventing big plays in 2012: we gave up just 36 plays of 20+ yards all year, which was tied for 2nd fewest in the country. We gave up just 10 plays of 30+ yards, tied for 2nd fewest as well. In pass defense it was even fewer: just 16 passes completed against us of 25 yards or more.

Navy completed three long passes (in a game where Russell was probably still figuring out the position, and where passing was truly a surprise given the opponent). After that, it was

Miami (2, but a couple more dropped)
Oklahoma (2)
Purdue (1)
Pitt (1)
BC (1)
USC (1)
Michigan/Michigan State/BYU/WF/Stanford (0).

It has nagged me since the championship game that after giving up so few long passes all year long, Alabama was able to hit us for five of them: two to Norwood, two to Cooper, and one to Jones. Does this speak to superior scouting and play design by the Bama staff? Were we so worried about the run that we neglected better pass protection? Did we just have some mental errors? Were McCarron and his receivers simply better athletes than other teams we faced?

I'll clip each play and we can talk about it.

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