Our "D" and 3rd Down Conversions vs WSU

A subject that has come up in several of the threads and most recently focused on by MexiBruin, is our defense and 3rd down conversions. I haven't had time to view all the games yet, but did go through the WSU game and found some interesting things.

First: WSU was 9 for 16 on 3rd down conversions and as we all agree, that's not acceptable. Of those 9 conversions, 5 of them were for 8 yards or better and were converted via the pass.

A. 3rd and 10, 5 man rush with 1 delayed(by delayed I mean that it was generally an LB and he did not immediately rush at the snap. He would delay a second and then take a pre-specified path to rush (stunt). So in this case we had 6 rushing). 24 yard completion.

B. 3rd and 8, 4 man rush with 1 delay. 9 yard completion.

C. 3rd and 13, 4 man rush with 1 delay. 51 yard completion.

D. 3rd and 12, 4 man rush. Pass interference Hester.

E. 3rd and 14, 3 man rush. 22 yard completion. (4th qtr).

I think the thing that jumped out at me was the fact that we had very little pressure on the QB on any of these plays. I am not sure what to attribute it to. Either the WSU line played one hell of a game or we were really lacking that smash mouth intensity that the guys were talking about after the Texas game. We did, however pick up the intensity and/or the WSU line was getting tired later in the second half. Another thing that I noticed, which has been mentioned in threads, is the wide open receivers in what appeared to be zone coverage, especially on the long passes.

As far as the other converted 3rd down plays, they really varied in the type of attack.

a. 3rd and 3, 4 man rush. 36 yard completion.

b. 3rd and 1, 5 man rush. Run, 1 yard.

c. 3rd and2, 3 man rush 1 delayed. Run, 3 yard gain.(4th qtr)

d. 3rd and 1, 3 man rush with 2 LB's blitzing. Swing pass 15 yards.(4th qtr).

Now on to the 7 non- converted 3rd downs. I am going to list them all because only 2 of them are under 4 yards.

1. 3rd and 4, 4 man rush. Good coverage. 2 yard gain.

2. 3rd and 6, 4 man rush. Pass completed 5 yard gain.

3. 3rd and 2, 4 man rush, pass incomplete, Larimore deflected. Good coverage.

4. 3rd and 10, 4 man rush 1 delay. Incomplete pass, some pressure on the QB from the delay man, but still got off a nice pass. Very good coverage by Price and near interception.

5. 3rd and 8, 4 man rush, good pressure from all 4 rushers to collapse the pocket. QB threw it away.

6. 3rd and 10, 4 man rush with 1 delay. Pass over thrown. QB hurried throw due to pressure from delay man, Westgate(4th qtr).

7. 3rd and 19, 3 man rush. Ayers was 1 of the 3. SACK Ayers. (4th qtr).

One thing that Bullough did quite frequently was to blitz on 2nd down. I didn't analyze any of the plays, but it seemed to be hit and miss as to whether we got burnt or it produced a good result.

All in all, I think Tuel had way too much time to pass and in many cases, had receivers that were wide open. I must say that the kid did a nice job in getting the ball to his receivers though. I may be mistaken, but I only remember a 3rd down blitz once and it was on short yardage(lower case d. above) and they obviously saw it coming .

I am not sure it gives us any definitive answers, but it does give us something to discuss. Fire away.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.

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