After further review (The D-Line)

Going from 2 quarterback hurries and 7 sacks last week to just 1 sack and 3 hurries against Southern Miss., along with the problems with holding onto the ball, you had to wonder if there was just as many putting pressure on those with it when USM was on offense. Was the lack of pressure on the QB because of what they D-line didn't do or did USM have a plan? Well, upon further review we find out.

smith tackleS.jpg - 84814 Bytes
Le Kevin Smith finished 2nd in the
game with tackles on defense,
totaling 6, including one of those
for a loss.
After looking at the film, while the D-line wasn't super duper, they weren't as bad as those stats might indicate.

The one thing I wanted to look at the most was how long Almond had the ball back there and so I went through it, play by play and timed each passing play or attempting passing play.

Almond had 3 total plays throughout the entire game where he held onto the ball for more than three seconds. And, two of those plays resulted in an incompletion out of bounds and the Bullocks interception.

Almost every single play Almond ran from under center that was a pass was two seconds or under and some that were a bit longer than two seconds came out of play action which they didn't utilize a lot.

One thing I also noticed is that they very rarely ran anything inside. Some plays that were possibly meant to go outside the running back took to the outside and had decent gains twice.

There was one draw play that netted quite a few yards and in that instance, Le Kevin Smith got caught up-field on the outside of the right guard, the play going inside of him, Barrett Ruud missing the tackle which would have stopped the run for about a four yard gain.

The touchdown pass from Almond was a play action rollout where Moore was literally in Almond's face when he let it go, but still, Almond barely topped three seconds even with all that set up.

They must have a hearty respect for Titus Adams, because I saw him get triple teamed on more than a few

carriker beats the double teamS.jpg - 74927 Bytes
Adam Carriker finished with 1 solo
tackle against the Golden Eagles.
USM QB, Dustin Almond very
rarely held onto the ball for more
than 3 seconds, giving the D-line
fits as they tried to keep pressure
on the Southern Miss QB.

The D-line actually did quite well in lateral pursuit, especially Le Kevin Smith. That guy has wheels to get side to side for someone his size.

Southern Miss was able to hit a couple good runs that were improvisation by the running back who had to bounce the play outside, but the biggest passes outside of the touchdown were still done with less than two seconds after the snap was taken out from under center.

As a D-line, you simply can't do much when you have that little time to get to the QB, especially a QB that was ready to handle the blitz. Almond was able to pick it up quite well most of the game and get rid of the ball.

There's a lot of reasons for the lack of sacks, but I don't think that overall you can put it totally on the D-line.

They had a good plan, Almond wasn't great, but handled the blitz well and didn't kill his team, well, at least as much as his opposition killed themselves.

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