Stunts and overload blitzes seem to be the weapon of choice for defensive coordinators against WSU's offensive line these days.
Since we seem to be a bit light on football content around here this week -- I know Craig and Brian are incredibly busy and my eyes have already started to wander to basketball -- I figured I'd make it a trifecta and throw you a third tidbit from Cougar Sports Weekly for your consideration and discussion.
This comes from today's newsletter, which starts off with my preview of tomorrow's game (including the three keys to victory against Cal, finishing off with my previews of the other five Pac-12 games this weekend):
One of the interesting things about the Bears is that they run a 3-4 defense -- one of only two in the conference. Stanford is the other, and the Cardinal gave the WSU offense all sorts of fits. A 3-4 defense is predicated on confusion -- with only three down linemen, one or more linebackers rush on virtually every play, and the offense doesn't always know which one it is. Obviously, much of what the Cardinal are able to do is because they're talented, but I was curious if there was anything they did schematically that caused particular problems. If so, it's not crazy to think Cal would try some of the same things.
In addition to rewatching WSU's offensive plays against Stanford, I also went back and watched Oregon State and Oregon. While the line held up reasonably well on most straight rushes (Jeff Tuel's last two series against OSU notwithstanding), two clear strategies that were successful for the defense on a fairly regular basis emerged: Stunts and overload blitzes.
The overloads typically come at right tackle Dan Spitz, who was a defensive tackle until this year. Frankly, I will be shocked if Cal doesn't try a bunch of overload blitzes.
If you were Cal, what would you do to try and slow down the WSU offense?
As usual, subscription info can be found here if you're into that sort of thing.