Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Racer Football Talk with Conor: Defensive Line

If you can't stop the run, then you're going to have problems. Last year, the Racers run defense was bad, not just bad, but awful. That's why the Racers lost four games, and were left out of the NCAA FCS Tournament.

Yes, the Racer were awful last year, when it came to trying to stop the run last year. They allowed 150 yards per game on the ground in 2011. In fact, they only allowed less than 100 yards rushing, twice.

If you were an OVC running back, you wanted to play Murray State in 2011.

Jacksonville State ran for 329 yards against the Racers, that's unacceptable. SEMO ran for 328 yards when they battled the Racers, they somehow won against SEMO. You want to allow 300 yards rushing in a game, you might as well chalk that down as a loss, sometimes you get lucky though. You want to allow more than 300 yards rushing this year? Then, the Racers must not want to go to the NCAA FCS Tournament, again.

Oh, that's not all, four more teams ran for more than 175 yards against the Racers. UT Martin ran all over the Racer when they ran for 291 yards. Tennessee Tech ran for 261 yards. This year, if the Racers want to beat Eastern Kentucky, you better stop the run, because they ran for 198 yards against the Racers in 2011. Oh, and EKU running back is the top running back in the OVC. This last one may be the most acceptable out of the three, and that is when Louisville ran for 188 yards rushing.

So whose coming back from last year? Four defensive tackles are back, and three defensive ends are back. Not, the most experienced group but maybe the Racers need some fresh faces on the defensive line.

Our leading sack getter, Kevin Robinson is back. He led the Racers with seven sacks last season. This is good news, because, if the Racers want to improve then they'll need to the leadership of Kevin Robinson.

Racer Nation should be worried. This is a concern, you can score a lot of points, but if you allow the other team to score, you can't win.

If the Racers don't improve their run defense, they will lose at least three, maybe four games. The Racers have one of the best offenses in the game, but defense wins championships. The Racers defensive line may not even get them to the tournament, if they don't improve.

Just ask Hal Mumme, his teams never won more than seven games, because they did not play defense. The Hatch Attack has the same philosophy as Hal Mumme's style of play.

So if teams continue to run against the Racers, the Racers may be sitting at home again, when it comes to tournament time. It could come down to one game, and in that one game, they could not stop the run. The Racers get a D at the defensive line position.

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