Scouting Liberty, at their place

Remember back when TCU and BYU were in the ol Mtn. TCU had been gunning for BYU since before the football season started and BYU just kind of thought it was another game. Patterson destroyed us, embarrassed us. Coach Hugh Freeze has had this game circled all season long, hoping that BYU would be ranked when we met.
The day of reconning has come again.

Liberty is top 20 in defense and top 10 at stopping 3rd downs. BYU is close to DEAD last in 3rd down defense. Liberty is going to Flame BYU at their place.
Vegas has this as a BYU win by 3, Massay-by 5. ESPN has this game as a tossup-leaning BYU.
The line is -7 for BYU.

When Liberty has the ball, They are on their 3rd QB, Bennett, who has been adiquiet filling in for Charlie Brewer (yes the same guy that transferred from Utah after we smacked them) who by the way, has been cleared to play this week. I say, “Stop the run, win the game” it is that simple. Will BYU commit to that one stat?

When BYU has the ball, BYU has all the talent to blow Liberty out with chunk plays, something Liberty has a big problem with. Will we open up the offense? or will we grind out a nail biter and lose? there you have it.

(28) parker on Twitter: “BYU @ LIBERTY” / Twitter

So basically it is their anemic offense against BYU’s anemic defense. I say change it up, load the box, stop the run and dare Liberty to throw the ball.

It would be nice if BYU would load the box and put pressure on Liberty since their offense won’t be anything close to Arkansas’. Liberty hasn’t really played anybody but Wake Forest so I don’t really know if their defense is as good as its ranking.

This for you and Tom,
BYU football: What defensive role will Kalani Sitake have vs. Liberty? - Deseret News
I took the liberty of copying the remarks at the bottom of the story:

" Dropping 8 rushing 3 means he’s clueless because he hasn’t got the horses to rush 3 and put pressure on a QB or stop the run. Arkansas would have run for 8-9 yards a carry, but wait, they did that anyway. The problem was the Titanic syndrome, once you hit the iceberg you keep relying on the ship’s design that it is unsinkable and therefore keep neglecting to do anything different to fix the problem. Offense and defense was locked into a plan and couldn’t adjust. There wasn’t enough depth in coaching knowledge and experience to make adjustments on the fly. BYU will be 2-10 next year with this kind a talent in coaching.

— Dimitri

I’m not a coach, but I have several decades of football officiating. My position was the umpire. I stood behind the defensive line and linebackers.

I’ve seen good defenses, great defenses and lousy defenses.

The great ones, showed different looks, stunted a lot and blitzed a lot. Creativity was a key. Being proactive instead of reactive was key. Having active defensive linemen was key.

I saw a kid that was a nose guard from Grantsville, couldn’t have weighed more than 150 pounds taking on a center and guards that outweighed him by at least 60 to 70 pounds. He worked within the defensive scheme and did quite well. Got pushed around a few times but made several tackles and even sacked the QB twice. Someone taught him well.

From my observation, BYU’s defense is neither proactive nor creative. They are reactive. They put no pressure on the QBs. They’ve had 7sacks in 7 games and missed one on a critical third down play … four players got hands-on and didn’t make the tackle.

Something is wrong. Talent is relative. You can coach up a lesser talent. Edwards did it his whole career and had great defenses. This year’s team has had some great stops, but not enough.

— Flashback"

This stat is for anyone who think BYU has a O problem…

"1,067 BYU games

•5.6% BYU scored 53+
•2.2% BYU has allowed 52+
•BYU scored 35 pt against ARK. BYU is 272-16-1 all-time when scoring 35+
•BYU is 27-1 under Kalani when scoring at least 35

Don’t tell me it’s an O problem"
BYU Stats Man

Love these remarks.
Is it possible that Tuiaki is simply not smart enough to understand the complexities of the offenses and to not only draft a coherent game plan, but to formulate–often on the fly–adjustments? If so, then he simply can’t be the DC. I don’t mean this as a personal attack. Great DCs have incredibly high intelligence and ability to calculate many variables in the 5-10 seconds available to send in the next play. I was a paid coach for many years for the 8th grade team in our middle school (don’t worry–I was not a teacher and have never worked for the school district other than as a coach), and I had a former professional football player and a former D1 defensive end calling plays for my defense. Even at that level of football, it was super hard for those guys to get calls in fast enough to force the offense to react to our game plan. And these two guys are really, really smart guys. So I wonder if Tuiaki just isn’t capable of doing this job at this level. No knock against him personally–I’m a lawyer, and I’m good when I stay in my lane, but I’m not nearly smart enough to do what a lot of lawyers do. Maybe Tuiaki isn’t up for the job and just lacks the self awareness to realize it. But 7 years of this tells us that he is either not willing, or simply not capable of being the aggressor on D. The comment from the former official says it best: to be great, a defense needs to strike the first blow and PRESSURE the offense into making mistakes or missing assignments. For over a month, BYU rarely if ever does that. For 7 years.

Not sure about that. Maybe the Defense is too complex for this group of players. He threw in the crazy mode of substitution last week. The Defense did not play the 3-8 prevent a win all game. They did mix things up and we saw players not in their correct positions again. DB were confused as well on playing a zone or man and reacted slowly again. I’ve heard that Sitaki is simplifying the defense so players know where they are supposed to be. I think he’s right.

When I coached basketball, some teams were talented but their game IQ’s weren’t as good as teams I had with all around lesser skills but high IQ’s on and off the field that did way better.

Tough to scout Liberty based on the numbers. Liberty has really only played one good team and lost by one to Wake in a shootout. That was a wild game featuring 8 sacks, 18 TFL, 7 TOs and 13 penalties. Liberty was a pathetic 4/16 on third down but scored on 2 different 43 yard runs and a 40 yard pass to an unguarded receiver on a scramble play. In the end Liberty hung in (despite 4 TOS) by dominating TOP and rushing 39 times for 172 yards. Bet I can guess their game plan vs BYU.

Against overall very poor competition, both Liberty QBs complete under 55% of their passes. That’s really bad for D1. Like really bad. Of course, BYU’s specialty is allowing QBs to have career games. Their top 3 rushers average 4.2, 5.0, and 5.3 YPC, which is really good. If we keep dropping 7 and 8 on first and second down, they will gash us rushing (like everyone does).

The way to beat this team is when BYU is on defense to aggressively run blitz on first and second down and straight up dare them to beat you passing. And when BYU has the ball, pass like crazy. Our OL does a great job of protecting Hall, and if Liberty sits back, Hall will shred them. If Liberty comes with all out blitzes, Puka and Epps will kill them on slants and digs and YAC.

Or we can just try to play bully ball on O and use a soft zone on D and make sure it’s close at the end. Yikes just typing that makes me afraid that is the plan.

Can you say, “Coastal Carolina”?

Are you available for Saturday?

Watching BYU play defense is like boiling frogs. Now, I know Sitake is willing to take risk (fake punt inside the 10 vs. BSU) Why not take that and apply to D? OK, not a risk but stack the box on 1st downs, or maybe look at game film of Liberty’s low scoring games and see what those teams did to stifle Liberty’s scoring. Remember Lake aka Ghonwalokou blitzing. Or was it a crazy dream that at one time BYU did blitz.

What I liked about that last writer: