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I just had some thoughts I wanted to share and that thread has kind of died down so I started this one to get your attention.
I've got no solutions for what to do with these players and these coaches to improve this defense. I think it's simply beyond saving at this point. We are just terrible and that's all there is too it.
However, I wanted to express my disagreement with your OP. We were a much better defense last year than we are this year and I believe we would have absolutely been even better this year with Wilcox than we were last year, and therefore exponentially better than we are this year with Sal. Here's why:
First of all, Wilcox improved our total defense from 69th in 2010 to 27th in 2011 and our scoring defense from 56th in 2010 to 36th in 2011. That is significant improvement in one year.
Secondly, your stats in the OP focus on only SEC opponents, and specifically, only the elite ones. I thought it fair to compare non-conference stats between Wilcox's defenses versus Sunseri's defense this year because maybe some of the most embarrassing moments from our defense this year have been against opponents that talent wise, should never dream of being able to compete with us. I'm thinking of teams such as Akron, or, I don't know, maybe Troy. Here's some non-conference (NC) stats:
2010 NC ypg: 365.2
2011 NC ypg: 309
2012 NC ypg: 433.8
2010 NC ppg: 24.2
2011 NC ppg: 12.3
2012 NC ppg: 27
Again, Wilcox significantly improved our defense from his first to second year and had our defense defending NC opponents in a fashion that we would all expect a UT defense to defend them. Sunseri has absolutely blown Wilcox's stats out of the water. We can't even keep it respectable with Sal's defense this year.
And finally, my ultimate argument to your original thread. I think you are gravely underestimating the difference another year would have made under Wilcox's leadership. Out of the 22 starters that were listed on our opening day depth chart for 2012, 12 would have been in their 3rd year in Wilcox's system (4 starters), 6 would have been in their 2nd year in the system (5 starters), and only 4 would have been in their first year in the system (2 JUCO's, 1 switch over, and 1 freshman; 2 starters, both JUCO's). Wilcox was figuring out how to make our defense work with the talent that we had and not asking our guys to do things that they are physically incapable of doing. Instead, all 22 players on the depth chart, and subsequently all 11 starters, are in their first year in Sal's extremely complex defense and they are clearly lost out there.
Our experience coming into this year would have been significant and I believe based off of my previous stats given, Wilcox had already proven that he was capable of improving our defense over time and most importantly, Wilcox never sniffed lows as low as what Sunseri has given us this year.
So to sum it all up, I disagree that we would have found ourselves in the position that we are in if we had been able to retain Wilcox. He showed significant improvement from year one to year two and had significant experience returning to this year's team.
One stat I will throw out there in Sal's defense is time of possession. Our offensive philosophy is making a historically bad defense even worse than it really is.
2010 TOP (AVG): 97th-28:30
2011 TOP (AVG): 44th- 30:20
2012 TOP (AVG): 115th- 27:05
We are simply putting our defense on the field too much this year.
Take all this for what it's worth. I just don't agree that we would be in this position with Wilcox. I think there's a valid argument to us probably being 6-3, maybe 7-2 this year with this offense and Wilcox's defense. But at the end of the day, it's all a moot point right?
This post has been edited 3 times, most recently by jcoope16 on 11/4/2012 at 5:38 PM
I will bite ..........you make a good argument and its a well thought out post but.....here is where I differ:
I will agree we would be a bit better but IMO we would not be dramatically better like those stats say and here is why:
1. The same players or very similar (i.e. we dont have any pass rushers nor good DBs and that was our problem last year and the same problem this year)
2. Teams figured out how to attack us and they have the whole 2011 tape to see what worked and what didnt. Passing anywhere and everywhere and running on the edges worked all last year and thats what they are doing and much more fo this year.
3. Teams are much more aggressive this year throwing the ball against us bc how effective our offense is and they know they have to keep scoring bc this year we have Bray and JHunter/CP and a running game/ Oline and will score and can come back which we have shown 3+ times this year to make it a game. We couldnt last year at all once Bray/Hunter went down........teams just shut it down against us when up 10+ and punted knowing all they had to do was not turn it over and give us a short field with Worley and no running game and 1 WR.
4. Stats lie sometimes. TOP for one (your last stat).....we score fast and play a hurry up offense and one of the best in the nation (no coach in America would change that as good as it is). We tried to shorten the games last year once Bray went down and had to play a true FR and even with Simms we ran the ball as much as we could with how bad it was. I broke down why I dont think we were even close to the 27th best D in the nation and teams shut it down vs us which helped our scoring D stats too.
5. Go watch UGA miss wide open TD passes, LSU and USCe run all around on us, Bama look like the Patriots, and Arkansas look like......well perfect. We were horrible in all these instances.
6. I admit we were better and I said why in my thread. Impossible to say how much better really but if I had to guess we might have 1 more win.......but we could have 1-2 more wins if our players just made a few plays vs UGA, MSU and USCe despite coaching.....plays were there to win all those games.
7. Dont mistake this for me excusing Sunseri.........I am not.........it was a huge mistake and Dooley must not think he has another alternative or ? or he would be gone already.
8. I look forward to a new DC and more players next year.....and hopefully our current players developing a lot over the offseason. GBO!
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by SamVolsam on 11/4/2012 at 9:58 PM
Just my two cents.
- I think you are correct in stating that because our offense is so much better, teams attack us more. That said, this defense can't stop anything. I don't think other teams have plays that wouldn't work against this defense.
- Teams have missed wide open opportunities against us this year too, unfair to throw that in imo.
- 1 win better seems kind of lite considering UGA, SCAR, and MSU all had their highest conference scoring outburst against us. We are making everyone look good. JMO, but I think we are 3 wins better if our D was as good as it was last year, and I do not think our D was special last year by any means.
9. As I mentioned before.......We had a healthy Maggitt and BR and we had I .Lanier and M. Jackson and we played Wagg a lot at S who while not fast didnt play the wrong coverage. The 4 DBs we used last year didnt blow coverages playing the wrong call........we dont have them this year really. Teague is on the bench, Wagg at CB and not S, BR is hurt and Lanier is gone. Could 2 of those play the same as last year....yes.....but the other 2 are 1st year starters + add in the fact that teams beat them last year at will as I explained above when they wanted/ needed to.
Wilcox is much better than Sal....I wish we had him vs Sal.....but we had a few key players too that we dont have now + Wagg at S.
Go watch the NCST game with a healthy Maggitt and BR........we were better with just those 2.
Nice discussion. Some very thought provoking points being served up. +1 to all
BUTCH IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. GO VOLS!
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