Will the Southern Miss Defense Bring Havoc?

Freddie Maggardabout 5 years


Aritcle written by:Freddie MaggardFreddie Maggard
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="534"] AP Photo[/caption]   Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 9.35.47 AM Matt Jones was recently a guest on a Southern Miss based podcast when the host discussed Southern Miss’ Havoc Defense. In football terms havoc refers to disruption, pressure, and forced explosive plays. I became obsessed with the football term and immediately researched Alcorn State. Why? In order to analyze new USM head coach Jay Hopson and defensive coordinator Tony Pecoraro’s schemes, patterns, trends, and production. Here’s what I found from their previous stop:

2015 Alcorn State Havoc (Explosive Plays) Statistics

QB Sacks: 46 (Kentucky-17) Tackles for Loss: 119 (Kentucky-53) Interceptions: 11 3rd Down Conversion Percentage: 28.65%

Projecting Hopson/Pecararo’s Patterns

Southern Miss will blitz, play man-to-man, and be extraordinarily daring when the Wildcats have the football. The old football saying states, “Blitz us and die” was coined during the early advent of defensive schematic evolution. Hal Mumme is credited with conceptualizing and implementing the “Air Raid” offense. However, a look back at history and real-life experience tells us that Bobby Bowden and Steve Spurrier were the modern-day sculptors of the blitz pickup. Let me explain; Bowden and Spurrier constructed sight adjustments and route conversions to counter blitzing defense. Thus, when faced with a blitz both made defenses pay dearly for playing risky. Big plays for the Cats will ensue if it effectively blocks the blitzer and runs with power straight at the USM defense. Remember, blitz heavy teams normally play man-to-man coverage. When/if UK running backs break the line of scrimmage, one move to make a single defender miss could lead to a track sprint to the end zone. Wildcat outside receivers will have a significant size advantage. Early and costly receptions by Dorian Baker, Kayaune Ross, Tavin Richardson, and crew will force USM to go away from Havoc. Southern Miss features the most “Havoc” safety duo the UK will face since going against Florida’s finest: Keanu Neal and Marcus Maye. D’Nerius Antoine and Picasso Nelson are excellent tacklers and blitzers. Both will be extremely active on September 3rd. When playing “Havoc”, safety production is critical as confusing or intimidating opposing quarterbacks play a key role in chaos. USM has a pair of Dogs. Havoc is a high risk defense. Kentucky will need a proactive, attacking game plan to counteract Southern Miss’ dangerous defensive style.

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