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Defensive deficiencies easy to diagnose

Oct 8, 2009, 7:30 AM EDT

As I talked about earlier in the week, the Irish defense has some problems. While most of the videos we’ve done have been rainbows, lollypops, and smiles, we decided to take a look at some of the defensive issues that have ailed the Irish.

Here’s a closer look at the tackling “challenges” the Irish had during the Washington game. I’d try to give the defense a free pass and blame the sloppy turf and rainy conditions, but wasn’t raining against Michigan and Michigan State.

The video guys also put together a look at some of the combination patterns that the Huskies ran against man coverage in the Irish secondary. (Combination pattern is a nice way of saying “pick play.”)

The Irish were beat the first time the play was ran, but the Huskies failed to execute when the pass was slightly under thrown and dropped. So Sark went back to the well and tried it again, this time executing it for a big gainer.

While the refs could call an illegal pick on both of these plays, there
needs to be better communication between the DBs to make sure big plays
don’t happen.

  1. Jan - Oct 8, 2009 at 9:32 AM

    Thanks, very enlightening. The silver lining/good news is that this seems to be an issue that can be addressed/coached. Probably what Charlie means when talking about “fundamentals”. I’d be more concerned if the Irish players lacked the size and athletic ability to cleanly make the tackles before additional yardage is gained. Any sense of whether the officials were consistent in not calling the picks on both teams? If not, perhaps this is a topic for Charlie to send to the Pac 10 on tape for an “explanation” before the Pac 10 officials return to South Bend next week.

  2. TLNDMA - Oct 8, 2009 at 10:35 AM

    I hate to single out one player but, #22 Harrison Smith seems to be in most of these clips. Hard to believe he played LB last season, he misses tackles on 3 of 6 clips. On both pass plays he was the deep help, though late getting there it seems.

  3. pbabs - Oct 8, 2009 at 10:41 AM

    I noticed that all of the poor tackling clips were in the second half. I haven’t watched it again in detail, but I actually think the Irish did a decent job in the first half against Polk. I wonder if somehow the defense just lost focus and were trying to go for the “big play”.

  4. sweeney66 - Oct 11, 2009 at 3:29 PM

    I agree. I said that after the game. Harrison Smith leads the team in missed tackles, not just this game but for the season as well.

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