Guy Cites Preparation as Root of Success

The Sun Devil defensive coordinator and linebackers coach told DevilsDigest that the work put into off the field, paid quick and hefty dividends in the Iowa game.

"We had a real good beat on what they were gonna do," said coach Brent Guy of the 44-7 victory over the Hawkeyes. "They have a lot of tendencies in formations, like the depth of the back…we started off playing fast and really well. We got to the quarterback and frustrated him. They didn't have the same running game like last year – they lost a lot of players to the first round of the draft…when they weren't able to run the ball and we were able to frustrate the quarterback, it just all compounded on them. We ‘three and out' them a lot, and they lost control on the game. It's not their style of game to get down 17-0 early – they don't have the style of offense to come out of it."

According to Guy, simplifying schemes is one reason for the improvement on this side of the ball from last year. Nevertheless, there's one other factor that has been instrumental in the defense's play. "I think more than anything we have great senior leadership, and they have taken charge," stated Guy. "They have set some goals, and it's not just talk, they're following up on it. We have a lot of guys that have played a lot of snaps. We have got guys like Jamar (Williams) and Justin Burks that a year ago were first year starters. Now they're second year starters, and we added Dale Robinson. He's a playmaker and probably makes the most mistakes, and the others try and help him as much as they can."

"The other thing is that (defensive tackles) Jimmy Verdon and Jordan Hill are playing very well inside, and we have a little bit of a rotation there," Guy continued. "Our front four is controlling the line of scrimmage. When those guys control the line of scrimmage, it means that it takes two guys to block them, and it allows Jamar Williams, Justin Burks, and Dale Robinson to make those plays. Last few weeks, there has been some great play in the linebacker position. There are some guys that allow those plays to happen, and that's a team thing. That's a part of our success. These guys don't care about the recognition as much as much as they care about doing their job and winning games. That's the big attitude change we have."

Guy was naturally pleased with the success of Williams who is fresh off his Pac-10 defensive player of the week honors. Williams' position coach isn't surprised that the 6-1 243 junior is excelling at a Devil back position that usually calls for a more safety-like position player. "We have played that (style), and I had him in space before," remarked Guy. "There's a lot of stuff he'll get better at doing, but he's a good blitzer, and is very good at being prepared and knowing what will happen. He understands the game plan, and puts himself in position to make those plays. That's what he did the other night – he didn't make any mistakes. He made the first sack of the game; he made an interception right after Iowa had an interception. He should have scored with it, but he didn't and he's been catching hell for that all week (smile). He makes the hits when he's suppose to and that's how you win those awards."

In previewing his team's next opponent, Guy mentioned several key players that make the Oregon State team a very dangerous squad. "Derek Anderson, if he gets hot and starts to throw balls down the field, he can find the open person and make the play," said Guy. "So, he's obviously the first guy we're worry about. (wide receiver) Mike Hass is playing very well now. He's very competitive with the ball in the air. The running back who scored on us a year ago, isn't the same style runner as Stephen Jackson. They're were more of a stretch team, running the ball to the edge, and now they're more of an inside running team, and they're doing a lot more play passing than a year ago."

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