From The Coordinator: Defense Still Has Fight

I believe Glenn Spencer when he says it, and I believe it when I hear it from defensive tackle James Castleman, linebacker Seth Jacobs and safety Jordan Sterns. Each of them professed on Monday at the news conference what they showed on the field Saturday night when they recovered from a rough start before showing the biggest spark of the night with their play to start the second half.

"We need to go out each and every game trying to win the game," Jacobs said when asked specifically about playing to still try to be bowl eligible. "It's important for everyone to make a bowl game, not only the seniors, not only myself, not only the defense.

"Everybody who's part of this organization throughout the office and who works the field, it’s important for us to make a bowl game, but we’re trying to go out and win each game we go into. We haven't been as successful as we want to, but we go out each game planning to win."

"I'm playing for my brothers because I only have a few more times to play on the same field with these guys and they mean an awful lot to me," Castleman experessed as a senior. "I look into the eyes of Ofa, of Ryan, Seth, Kevin and I know they are playing the same way for me."

Spencer said he is quite sure they are still engaged, still fighting. The defense calls it dogs, as in having the fight of a dog. Spencer says it's heart, and the hearts are still in the right place even if they are broken.

"If their hearts weren't broken, it would be an issue," said the emotional defensive coordinator. "They're hurting, but the resolve is still there. They're disappointed in some performances and disappointed in some technique issues. We can be a lot better than what we are. They want to get it right. They don't want to let each other down."

The task this weekend is monumental as Baylor leads the nation in total and scoring offense with that gaudy 585 yards and 50.1 points per game averages. Bryce Petty at quarterback can really throw the ball to a myriad of explosive receivers but Spencer, like most defensive coordinators, believes stopping the Baylor monster attack begins with the run game.

"I probably said this last year, but I'm very impressed with their run game," Spencer said. "Here I am again saying the same thing because you don't see that. You don't see the 10-yard runs and the 15-yard runs over and over again because they have so many highlights.

"In the 15 or 20 seconds that you're going to commit to them on a news show, it's going to be the big chunk plays. You can't show the 15 or 20 explosive plays that we see that are 10-yard runs. That's where they decimate you too. If you play aggressive, you're going you give up some big plays, but you'll stop something."

Let's hope the heart, the resolve, and the aggressiveness is all there come Saturday in Waco as they will need it all and more.


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