We’ve often pined for the days of the ’06 App State defense.
(Just 14.4 points allowed a game …. sexy! /drool)
In recent years the D has had its moments. Some good. Some bad. Plenty of “just good enough.”
Last season an El Cid offense which averaged about 23 points a game went for 42 against the Mountaineers; 28 were scored in the second half.
The Swag went for three TDs within 5 minutes for a 21-0 lead. Thankfully a few App adjustments closed the end zone down (They got only three more points the rest of the way).
And the less said about Maine, the better.
This year the App State D boasts two preseason All-Americans. It’s relatively young, but with some strong veterans.
“We’re extremely deep. We’ve got like seven or eight guys who are really capable of playing at any moment,” Kimbrough said. “We’re really deep this year, so God forbid injuries happen, but if they do, I think that we’ll be extremely fine with all the players we’ve got at linebacker this year.”
Grier said it’s up to the linebacking corps to provide leadership to a young defense.
“We take pride in our defense,” Grier said. “We’ve got strong points in every aspect — our d-line linebackers and DBs. As linebackers, if the team is not going so good, we have to step up and say ‘If we want to do this, if we want to do that, then we have to step up and find a way to win. We have to lead the defense. We have the most experience other than the DBs on the field.”
Sounds promising. The coaching staff likes what it sees.
But we worry. Our inner Eeyore is obsessed with the three weeks after EZU.
First up is Montana, which appears to be a rushing power (Three runners return who combined for 1,845 yards and 19 TDs last season).
Then comes ‘Nooga, which is test driving a spread offense that has some talent to back it up.
And finally El Cid. Those dogs are now three years into their triple option system, and we saw what they did after just two.
That first month of play will show what kind of D App State has, and how it may – or may not – be able to adapt later. Cause adapt it will if it wants to be successful.
Unlike previous seasons, the annual three-team triple option gauntlet is spread out this year. El Cid comes in week 3. Wofford is five games later, with Stink two games after that.
Plenty of time for adjustments? Or potential to forget the drill?