“They run a 3-4 defense very similar to what we run here where they run a lot of zone,” said Lasike. “It’s kind of going back to fall camp with how we ran our offense, and I think we generally do better against a 3-4 defense because we’re so used to it from fall camp where we run against our defense in fall camp every day.”
Facing the versatility of the 3-4 is nothing new to Lasike and his Cougar cohorts. They’re expecting an aggressive defense, much like their own, and one that plays very physical.
“They’re going to be really physical,” Lasike said. “They’ve played some really physical teams in the SEC and so forth, so it’s kind of just like everyone. We’re going to expect a physical defense from them, and it’s going to be a challenge for us but we’re looking forward to it.”
The undisputed leader of the Memphis Tiger defense is 5-11, 227-pound middle linebacker Tank Jakes. He received the John Bramlett Defensive Player of the Year Award following his initial season at Memphis in 2012, and was also named Conference USA Honorable Mention as a junior.
“Number 13 on their defense is a beast,” said Lasike. “He’s a really physical player and then there’s one of the defensive backs that’s really good too. I think it was one of their cornerbacks or a safety that was named a Defensive Player of the Year or honorable mention or something like that.”
On film the Cougar offense has taken note. Jakes is the heart and soul of a Tiger defense that ranks among the tops in the nation; 24th in rushing and 21st overall.
“Yeah, he’s really physical,” Lasike said of Jakes. “I’m trying to compare him to someone. He’s like Harvey Langi and is just a real physical, aggressive linebacker. He’s going to be a beast to tackle.”
Cougar Cam: Paul Lasike
Paul Lasike talks about the backwards pass mistake he made against Cal. He also talks about many subjects such as team preparation, the upcoming bowl game, past bowl game experiences, the success of the running backs following Jamaal Williams’ injury, and much more.
Paul Lasike Video