Eye in the Sky: D-Line and ILB

A full film review of the Irish key defensive linemen and inside 'backer from Saturday's win over the Broncos.

Junior DE Ethan Johnson earns the IrishEyes' game ball for his consistent effort, hustle plays, and pass rush presence over the course of the contest.

Inside Linebacker Manti Te'o

Absolutely destroyed RB Tevin Drake on a stretch handoff to the right; assist to Calabrese who made the ‘back spin in the backfield and Te'o came in to clean up the ball carrier. Te'o added a finishing blow on the ensuing 3rd down stop – a short curl to the left…Appeared to cover the wrong underneath option, allowing a 14-yard pass on 2nd and 12. Te'o was beaten by a well-designed pass route more than anything else on the play…Shoved back the guard, then took on the runner on WMU's first down carry from the shadow of their own goal. Nice stack up hit by Te'o to keep the Broncos on their own 1-yard line.

Allowed Winchester an easy catch and run for 13 yards (teamed with Dan Fox on the tackle)…Later in the drive, timed a blitz perfectly up the gut on 3rd and goal, forcing Carder to throw harmlessly into the end zone. The Broncos were forced to kick a field goal, cutting the Irish lead to 20-10…Another well-time blitz, this time on 2nd and 10 on the following series but Carder completed an impressive near side comeback. Te'o destroyed Carder after the throw…Looked tired on a 20-yard run by Carder at the end of the half. Te'o had man coverage but easily saw Carder in front of him running for his life and never moved to cut off the sideline…Nearly broke up the ensuing crossing route but his slightly tipped ball was caught by Jordan White.

Second Half:Tore up yet another WR screen, this time on 3rd down to force the Broncos' first punt of the second half. Te'o has nullified this play consistently since the season opener…

Inside Linebacker Carlo Calabrese

Lost his feet/balance a bit on an underneath route in the right flat (Calabrese bit too far inside on a gain of 5 to set up 3rd and 3). Nice cleanup hit with help from Blanton, however…Controlled by the tight end on a stretch handoff to Tevin Drake that took the ball from the Irish 9 to the 4-yard line. Te'o was taken out by G/T double team on the same play…Teamed with Te'o to pop Carder on 4th and G from the 1-yard line but the athletic sophomore QB twisted off the hit (no wrap-up) for a game-tying touchdown (7-7)…Kelly was correct in pointing out Calabrese's Saturday struggles in zone coverage; he allowed an easy 3rd and 7 behind him but was bailed out by Gary Gray's forced fumble on the play.

Just missed coverage on a short wham route (in, then out) vs. the nearside slot receiver. Gray was there to make the stop behind him but my guess is most slot receivers can get open in short zones vs. inside linebackers…Took himself out of the flow of the play but shed a block and teamed with Harrison Smith for a stop of Winchester after a 13-yard gain…

Big hit in a run fill but the Irish were offsides on the play; Calabrese really popped the ball carrier…Sprinted to the sideline to get in a good lick, albeit on a 7-yard flat route late in the half…Lost sight of Carder on a 3-yard QB draw TD to end the half. Calabrese needlessly turned to put a hand on the slot receiver who was covered by Harrison Smith) and Carder high-stepped into the end zone unmolested.

Second Half: Had quality coverage on an incompletion to the near side flat early in the second half…

Backup ILB Dan Fox: Fox dropped into the deep seam (correctly, I believe) then came up to cover for a Te'o mistake on a 13-yard dump to the running back…Fox got in on the action to limit Juan Nunez to five yards in the flat late in the 3rd Quarter…Had he reacted better, could have intercepted an ill-adivsed backfield flip pass: Fox, who can run a bit, then had 90 yards of green to go (the pass was completed for a minimal gain).

Defensive Ends Ethan Johnson and Kapron Lewis-Moore

Finished a second series sack of Alex Carder after teammate Kapron Lewis-Moore stayed home and took away Carder's boot action to the left side. The first of several hustle plays by Johnson, the IrishEyes' lineman of the day…Lewis-Moore again applied pressure later in the drive but Carder escaped to find a receiver in the flat for a first down…Johnson hustled upfield to stop a Carder QB draw from the 4-yard line; assist to Te'o who shed a block late to grab Carder's ankles…

Johnson recorded hustle play No. 2, trailing a completion 12 yards downfield to pounce on a fumble by Jordan White (forced by Gary Gray)…Johnson fought off a 3rd and 9 double team block to allow Fleming/Williams a stop well short of the marker (WMU was running from its own end zone to set up room for a punt)…A bull rush by Johnson off the left edge resulted in a breakup at the line late in the half…Johnson helped stuff a 1st and G run (with help from Cwynar, it appeared) forcing the Broncos to use their final time out with 2nd and G at the 3-yard line.

Second Half: KLM began the half by shoving his left tackle into the backfield , allowing Neal to come down the line for a 1-yard stop…Johnson added late pressure and a QB hit to force the Broncos into 3rd and 5 (and yet another second half punt two snaps later)…On the following series, Johnson recorded another QB hurry and hit but Carder completed a 7-yard cross at Te'o's expense…Lewis-Moore rejoined the festivities with the

NG Ian Williams and backup DL Sean Cwynar and Hafis Williams

Fought off a block and benefitted from a blowup hit of the left guard immediately to his right by an aggressive Manti Te'o…Teamed with Darius Fleming for a 2nd Quarter sack of Alex Carder. Just a bull rush by the powerful senior while Fleming took care of the edge.

Cwynar and Williams teamed to stop Carter on a 3rd and G sneak from the 1-yard line on the Broncos second drive…Williams blew up two players (low man wins) on the ensuing 4th down snap but Calabrese and Te'o failed to wrap up a clean shot vs. QB Alex Carder and the Broncos tied the contest at 7-7 late in the 1st Quarter...On the third series of the second half, Williams teamed with a run-blitzing Te'o to stop RB Brian Fields for no gain…Cwynar applied late pressure in the red zone to force a 2nd down incompletion inside the Irish 10-yard line...Hafis Williams applied backfield pressure on the following play, helping to shut down a reverse inside the 10-yard line.


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