Monday, September 24, 2012

Villanova's Pass Defense: Anomalous or Improved?

 Craig James: A Big Part of The Turnaround

The singular common thread among Villanova's awesome teams late in the last decade was their awesome ability to stop the run, coupled with an impotent pass defense. So impotent that it likely cost them a return trip to the National Championship in 2010 in their game against Bo Levi Mitchell and Eastern Washington on that awful red turf. In Villanova's 2009 National Championship season, Villanova gave had one of the worst passing yardage defenses in the country, and only middling pass efficiency defense numbers. Through four games this season, Villanova is near the top of the country in both passing yardage defense and pass efficiency defense. Last year, the defense was just awful in all aspects, and that's why this turnaround is so amazing.

In an ever-growing sample size, it's clear that Villanova is defending the pass quite well this season, and while they're not stopping the run particularly well, you have to wonder whether they have to, considering the fact that they're running the ball so well and haven't turned the ball over since the first game of the season. It's a different recipe for success defensively, but I would argue that it's a better one given the types of offenses that have been prevalent in FCS football throughout the years, and will be especially helpful against teams like Old Dominion, whose quarterback, Taylor Heinecke threw for a staggering 730 yards last week against New Hampshire.

Whatever defensive coordinator Billy Crocker is doing, it's working and he should keep doing it.

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