Defensive Pressure becomes focal point

Two sacks in two games. Good for an individual player? Yes. Good for a team trying to regain a Lynch Mob mentality? Not exactly, but in regards to improving their general ability to get after the opposing quarterback, the Wildcats bye week came at the perfect time.

Coach Bill Snyder said pass rushing was a focus during the "off-week," but said he couldn't assess where the team now stood without seeing them in game conditions. "I would say we've made a little bit of progress, but how much? We'll define that on Saturday."

Senior defensive end Tearrius George is one player being looked upon to get after the quarterback on a more regular basis. George tallied three sacks last season.

George said he's begun working on some new moves and counter-moves for pass rushing within the past two weeks. "Coach (Joe Bob) Clements showed us a couple new moves and counter-moves because he had been looking at film and seeing what was holding us up at the top of our rush," George said.

George said he doesn't see a major concern in the lack of sacks for the Wildcat defense. "We've been facing a lot of screens, and a lot of quick three-step drops," George said. "At the same time, I think (getting a pass rush) is important so we can help out our corners in making plays and ease up on our linebackers."

George said sack totals were definitely not what matter most to him. "I honestly wouldn't care if we had zero sacks for the whole season," George said, "as long as we keep on winning."

Snyder did say that he had seen some encouraging things in the one-on-one drills, matching up top defensive linemen against top offensive linemen. "The individual pass rush, and that's a major concern, made some improvement during the course of last week," Snyder said.

Junior linebacker Maurice Mack also said the pass rush improved in the off week. "Our pass rush last week during practice was probably the best I've seen it all year, since camp started," Mack said. "Things are looking up for us right now."

Mack, who has the Wildcats only solo sack on the season, said he's enjoying the opportunity to get after the quarterback more than he had at safety.

"It's always fun, going in and blitzing because sometimes the quarterback won't see you, and you just get a good shot at him," Mack said.

Quarterback Allen Webb agreed that the pass rush has improved, but said that what shows on Saturday is what matters. "(The defensive players) are just going to have to give their all on Saturday to show everybody that they are improving," Webb said.

Granted, North Texas is a run-first team, but pay special attention to the pressure on the Mean Green's young quarterback in passing situations. A good pass rush goes a long way once conference play comes around. Just ask Darren Howard, Monty Beisel, Nyle Wiren….



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