CardinalSports.com is proud to partner with Louisville-fullback-turned-radio-commentator Joe Tronzo for analysis during the 2012 season. In this edition of Four Downs, Tronzo provides his thoughts on Louisville's game with Temple Saturday at Noon on ABC.
Louisville has been outrushed by 157 yards over the past two games. The only consistent bright spot has been Teddy scrambles and creating positive plays with his legs. In that time, Wright has averaged merely 3.5 yards per carry with Perry at 2.7.
With John Miller playing sporadically, even out at times, a big reason for the slow running game is the adjustment and shifting of lineman. Every drive it seems as though one lineman is moving to another position. Though every lineman should know the assignment of every position on the line, the technique, in game adjustment to how the opponent plays, and other keys will change.
For example, a tackle will primarily block the same defensive end. The tackle will get a feel for the speed and quickness him, how he plays blocks, ways that you take advantage of his weaknesses, etc. When that player has to shift to another position on the line, not only does his technique change, but now he is facing another player who has different characteristics and even plays with a different technique and assignment that his defensive end. Simply a healthy and unchanging line does wonders for the running game.
In game adjustments are where coaches really show their worth. Anyone, well maybe not anyone, can take a week to watch tape, plot scheme, draw up plays, and study tendencies. However, when it hits the fan during a game, a great coach must be able to adjust and even scrap a game plan that he has formulated through the week.
One of the defensive lineman's primary duties is to force offensive double teams and disable offensive lineman from getting onto the linebackers. USF and Cincinnati did this very well, and their linebackers made numerous tackles. One way to gain an advantage offensively is to pull lineman so that they can get up to the backers and get a body on them.
When zone and iso plays where ineffective due to lineman not being able to get up to the backers, Watson implemented pulling plays that seemed to benefit the running game.
Special teams have been nothing but a disappointment. There is no other way to put it. I will start with the bright spot. Wallace and Nakatani have combined for 9-10 field goals with the 1 miss coming last week from 57 yards. That's it.
Combining net kickoff coverage and kick return stats, every time UL and the opponent exchange kickoffs, the opponent gains 10 yards. In the same format, every time they exchange punts, the opponent gains 7 yards. I will leave it to you to add up the number of punts and kickoffs and determine how much yardage UofL loses in special teams throughout the game.
Every game from here on out is not about the other team. No disrespect to any other team, but any coach will tell you "it is not what the other team does, it is what we do." Can the Cards correct the things that have made most Card fans double their grey hair count? Gaining the special teams advantage, not being the highest penalized team in the Big East, and finding the running game are components that can be established this week. Everyone saw what Kent State did at Rutgers.
Everyone has also seen or at least heard of "Any Given Sunday." Strong has reiterated that every week is a one week playoff. Louisville faces Temple Saturday for the Big East Championship. Both players and fans must believe that.
Joe Tronzo is the co-owner of Louisville Sports Performance Institute, a business focused on the athletic development of athletes of all ages and ability levels. Located in the Mid-America Sports Center in J-Town, LSPI works to improve speed, agility, strength, and power in a more personalized atmosphere than most training facilities. Each athlete, group, or team has different needs. Through individual and methodical programming, every athlete gets the program that will best contour to the athletic development of the individual, group, or team. Want more information about Joe's training? Click here to email Joe today!
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