Our fabric softner of a defense

To expand upon the sentiments of Rob Gidel, and likely others to follow: It didn’t take an expert to grasp how horrific Kentucky’s defense was last night, case in point, the cute but football-oblivious girl sitting behind me: “Why don’t they just hit the white team? Isn’t that what they’re supposed to do?” Yes Sally Sorority, it is. Even after spotting UK 21 points, Central Michigan made a game of it thanks to yet another atrocious performance from Mike Archer’s unit. If you apply the term “blanket defense” to Kentucky, they would be a down comforter: soft and supple, and very forgiving. In route to tallying up 558 yards of offense and 36 points, the Chippewa’s had their way in the second half and reaffirmed the fact that Mike Archer is a joke. Now, I know that this was not supposed to be a guaranteed win, and I know that Central Michigan has played gamely against bigger foes all season; but last night’s defensive display was one of the worst I’ve ever seen at Commonwealth, and it takes a lot to say that. If you cannot stop Central Michigan on 3rd and 17, 3rd and 12, or 3rd and 10, then may Steve Spurrier have mercy on your soul…and as history would indicate, he won’t. It’s not like the Chippewa’s offense was complex: I think they ran about 4 different plays–5-10 yard outs, TE delays, and Flanker posts–so why, Mike Archer, why can you not make just one single adjustment? I’m through defending this unit until they start defending themselves. They’re young and inexperienced? Bull. They’ve had five games now to show some improvement, and that has yet to materialize. In fact, they’re getting worse. I can live with the fact that we simply lack the speed and athleticism required to have a solid D. However, this can be at least somewhat mitigated by proper schemes and physical play. Our secondary (minus McClinton) is afraid of contact. For example, when a RB or WR looks like they’re about to run out of bounds, our defense will allow them the free pass. Come on! As long as they’re feet are still in bounds they’re open game–put some wood on them and send them into the sidelines with authority! Give them something to think about! Don’t just let them tip-toe out of bunds unscathed. Also, when a pass is overthrown or behind the receiver, that’s a free shot for a DB on the WR. The play is in doubt, but the whistle hasn’t blown. That’s what good defenses do; they eagerly exercise any chance to knock you on your ass, which gets into a receiver’s head. As good as McClinton is at wrapping up, he’s equally as terrible in pass coverage. When Central Michigan scored on a fade pass in the endzone just feet from where I was sitting, you could plainly hear Wesley Woodyard barking at McClinton and Karl Booker, saying, in more ways than one, “Ya’ll knew that was coming!” It’s pitiful, it’s embarrassing, and it’s hard to watch. It would be foolish to fire a defensive coordinator halfway through the season, especially when you’re above .500. But it’s painfully obvious that Archer cannot compete with the SEC, hell, the MAC. And by the way, the ill-timed waves were started by a group of idiots in the row in front of me. Kids.

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