Chalk Talk

With the Missouri offense in the rear view mirror, people might think they can finally brreath a sigh of relief, Nebraska finally getting away from those darn spread offenses. Not so fast, as someone might say, because the Aggies do a few things similar. Defensive back coach Phil Elmassian talked about that and just what makes the Aggies go. Enjoy this round of chalk talk

What's unique about the Texas A&M offense?

They are like Missouri, but a different style of empty. Everyone has a different personality when they empty their backfields out.

It's funny, because it's like a time warp. They even have a series of the old split back veer plays.

Did my heart good, taking me back coach Holtz

With everything different they do, can they do all of it good or just certain things?

That's the amazing things about offenses nowadays. I started out coaching offense my first six years and it was sacrilegious to run option and throw a drop back pass. That was never going to happen.

It's amazing nowadays, though, how much kids can handle and how much they handle and what they do.

When they run option football, it's an equalizer and you are forced to play 11-on-11 and have that extreme of spread offense, throw it and different launch points and drop back pass and all that screens that go with it.

All of a sudden, they are in a one back motion into a two back running an inside veer. Then you have to have option accountability and responsibility for the dive quarterback and the pitch. It's the triple option concept.

You had talked about the two types of spreads last week in that Missouri was spread to throw.

Yeah, that's right. Texas A&M is spread to run, but the similarity Texas A&M has to Missouri is that their tight ends are detached from the core of the offense. They usually play with A tight end in the game. If there is one back and one tight end in the game, if he (the tight end) is out of the core, it's pass. It's been pass. That's what they have shown.

If he is inside the core then they have more of a run tendency.

The Aggies seem to have a true Thunder and Lightning package in Lane and Goodson. What is your take on that duo and how do you defend them?

They're something else. That freshman (Goodson) is outstanding. When we had Ron Dayne at Wisconsin, you just have to wrap him up. I used to laugh, because I would read in the newspapers how coaches said of defending Dayne that you have to cut tackle him.

That's the worst darn thing you can do with Dayne, because he could make you miss. I'd tell him before the game ‘You are going to get 200 yards today, I promise you.'"

I don't know if he (Lane) is as elusive as Dayne was, but he's similar in that at the first contact, you need to hold onto your butt and hope that help is coming. You have to have help. This guy, one-on-one, he'll win all those battles.

There has been a label applied to the defense you used against Missouri as a bend-don't-break style, in that you were willing to give up the yards, just not the points.

I hate that, because it's not bend-don't-break. You do what you have to do to stop someone. Is Oklahoma a bend-but-don't-break defense, because we did the same thing they did (against Missouri).

All I am saying is that, when you hear about bend-don't-break – when you have a team spreading the field, three receivers on one side, two on the other and they don't let us use 12 defenders, there are just a lot of variables in terms of the spacing of the routes. And you only have so many bodies.

It's a simple axiom in football: If you've got one offensive player, I need two defenders in a four man rush. You have to play the numbers game – two receivers, three defenders, because if it's one-on-one in a four man rush, they are going to win. It's not fair to the coach or the player. We can't recruit good enough and I don't know if the coach will be good enough.

Now, if I go seven rushers to six defenders, I'm winning. I can play the one-on-one game. Suddenly, you got two receivers here, three there, and you can say it's bend don't break, but if you don't have three on their two, they are going to win.

It's toss and catch, It's get it out. It's spacing – get open. As someone would call it a monkey in the middle – it's keep-away. That guy is here, throw it there.

Talk about Stephen McGee

He's a really good player. He makes them go. He competes. He's a coaches' kid. He's a coaches' kid. I hate (defending) coaches' kids.

When these guys lose and they go home, the parents will tell them everything is ok. When this kid (McGree) goes home and the team has lost, it's one of those ticked-at-the-world-kicking-the-dog deal. It's a whole different scenario. So, when you go against a coaches' kid at quarterback, hold onto your butt.

Because he's seen his dad all bent out of shape out at home, kicking the dog, ticked off – it's not ok. It's a different mentality. It's just like Zac Taylor. Coaches' kids fight their rears off. They don't come home after losses and say that's ok. That's what this kid is. He's a great competitor. He leads that team. He is the leader of that team. Make no mistake about it.

You can see him. He rallies them, he doesn't slide, he looks for defenders and he tries to run them over. He plays for them. He'll give that body up. As he goes, that team goes. He's the man.

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