Expert Analysis

We're starting a new feature at Irish Eyes called "Expert Analysis." After each game, we've lined up to speak with some coaches and former players to get their thoughts on each game. Here is the first installment of that series as we speak to two people about their thoughts on how the Irish played on defense on Saturday night.

Our first conversation was with a coach who's spent a number of years coaching on the defensive side of the ball. Here are his thoughts on the game.

"I thought the front seven are more than adequate against even good running teams. However, the nose tackles need to be a little more active. In my opinion, Pauly is the best defensive tackle and played well."

"Derek Curry is a big time liability against the pass. I would like to see (Chinedum) Ndukwe come in and play that 9-technique OLB (TE side) plus bringing in the nickel back. I think he is big enough and fast enough."

"I saw lots of zone blitzes and good blitz schemes. I think Baer is a pretty good defensive coordinator and was impressed with how he attacked BYU's offense."

"I think Abiamari should start at strong side defensive end. He's much more active than Budinscak."

"The Irish corners are a liability. I don't think they can play man-to-man at all. We'll certainly find out this week against Michigan."

"I was impressed with Zbikowski and how he played considering he hadn't had much practice time at the position. Zbikowski will be good. "

"On the first long passing play, BYU had a good play call against 2-deep zone and the QB threw a good ball. This happens. Every defense has a weakness. An inside and outside vertical route holds the safety on the hash just long enough to allow a throw over top."

"Having said that, if Carlos Campbell is one of the two best corners, they have problems."

We also spoke with a former player about his thoughts on the game. Here is what he had to say.

"I thought the defense played pretty well, actually. They gave up some big plays, but overall, they played well. They've got to limit those big plays, though."

"It's tough when your new and playing out there and your trying to gain confidence and bad things continue to happen. They have to has some success before they'll start playing more confident back there in the secondary."

"I thought they did a nice job of shutting down the run. I thought Greg Pauly did a nice job in there stopping the run. I also was impressed with Trevor Laws and his quickness. (Derek) Landri did some nice things, but I think he's hurt."

"One thing I did notice was they were tipping their hand with how they were lining up. They were tipping off their stunts that they'd run. The defensive end was way too far off the ball, usually Abiamiri, showing what he and the tackle were going to do."

I thought Justin Tuck was moving better than Kyle Budinscak out there. Kyle usually bull rushes to set up the outside move, but I didn't see him make many outside moves. It's his first game back from injury, and it's the first time he'd really be testing it, planting on that foot to get outside. Tuck looked good, he looked to be moving fine and not limping after plays."

"I think they should use Kyle more against the run and Victor more against the pass. Mattison had a good rotation going out there so that should keep them fresh. He usually has a good rotation going."

"It seemed like some of their blitzes were out of control, especially in the fourth quarter. They were behind, so they had to make things happen, but they seemed a little out of control at times. The linebackers weren't keeping their feet under them."

"It also looked like the linebackers were worried about what was going on behind them so they'd cheat back and there was a lot of underneath stuff that was open. BYU had a lot of underneath stuff open."

"I was surprised because it seemed like the linebackers were two steps back. I thought they'd be more on the ball and trying to press more. I thought they should be at the line of scrimmage jamming a bit more because this team was undersized—slow them up a bit."

We want to thank both men for giving us their expert analysis on the game, and look forward to hearing their thoughts after the Michigan game. Top Stories