Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UConn defense coming on strong

The Bob Diaco era did not start in a positive manner as the architect before some outstanding Notre Dame defenses watched the Huskies give up more than 500 yards in a season opening loss to Brigham Young.

The Cougars ripped through the UConn defense for 20 plays of at least 10 yards including five of more than 20 yards. However, since that game UConn's defensive numbers rank up there with just about any other team heading into tomorrow's showdown with a powerful East Carolina offense.

Over the last five games UConn ranks sixth among FBS programs have surrendered an average of 287.4 yards per game. If you look at the last four games, the numbers are even better as the Huskies are one of four teams to allow less than 285 yards of offense per game and one of three to do it exclusively against fellow FBS opponents.

Diaco has sold his players on the bend but don't break philosophy that has worked for him so well at previous stops. It may mean fewer sacks, tackles for loss and turnovers but that is a trade off Diaco can live with.

"We are not a feast or famine outfit," Diaco said. "If you watch college football yesterday, you can watch a lot of outfits that operate that way and what you see is you might see some entertaining sacks and TFLs, maybe a pick or ball destruction here or there but you also see a lot of points. Our objective, we want to keep the points down so nothing is going to compromise that so that is what we are trying to do. That is what our defense's objective is to do. As we take the next step, there were 15 plays that who unit needed to watch just from practice the day before that need to get corrected. We have a long way to go so whatever think we are, we are going to be way better."

It should be noted that during that same span East Carolina has gained the second most yards, ranking 62 yards behind Marshall through the last five games and 103 behind Ohio State over the last four games.

Here's the list

OFFENSEMarshall         2868
East Carolina 2806
Ohio State      2783
Washington St. 2778
West Virginia  2770
Baylor             2759
TCU               2671

DEFENSELouisville          1145
Alabama            1297
Michigan State  1314
Wisconsin         1351
Stanford            1378
UConn             1437
UCF                 1446
Penn State        1454
Mississippi       1468
Clemson          1476

Ohio State      2456
East Carolina  2353
TCU               2244
West. Kentucky  2174
Marshall        2163
Mississippi St. 2114
Arizona           2101
Baylor            2090
West Virginia 2076

DEFENSELouisville         940
Alabama        1034
UCF               1124
UConn           1137
Mississippi    1146
Clemson        1159
Stanford        1171
Penn State     1177
Michigan State 1179
Boston College 1184
Wisconsin     1189


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