Tricks, or Just Good Defense?

Brett RichinsSenior Analyst ISeptember 8, 2009

What did Coach Hill mean when he said we didn’t do anything different? Is he just playing with the media? Is he keeping his secret sauce concealed? Or did he really just vanilla ice cream Oklahoma?

Here is what I think is happening. Coach Hill has been at BYU for 4 years and has finally been able to develop –some-starters since they were freshman and sophomores. This makes a huge difference in creating players that will react how they should and when they should on the field. It also helps players adopt their Coaches persona and philosophy in how they approach the game. Coach Hill stress not only position mastery, but expects every player on the field to know what everyone else is doing. Understanding the complete picture gives players the confidence to move, and react without hesitation. This leads to speed, which makes the team play faster and more physical.

Did Coach Hill do anything different on Saturday, No. They ran the same stunts the same coverages and the same blitzes. Yes, they were called differently because Coach Hill calls the games differently then Coach Mendenhall. But don’t let the simplicity fool you. The complexities were in the way the players moved and shifted and kept the offensive line guessing. The difference was in the way BYU stood toe to toe and actually beat up on their opponent.

When Coach Hill arrived he brought with him a new defense but most of all a new attitude about how defense should be played. In two years, I was amazed at the amounts of information I was able to glean. Seeing the way BYU”s defense reacted and played against Oklahoma, I see all of Coach Hills hard work paying off. Coach Hill has finally had enough time to shape and develop a defense that has attitude and nastiness while still being intelligent.

What I saw against Oklahoma was a team that physically beat up there opponent. And while that may be expected against some of the teams in our league, it is a wonderful accomplishment to have out physicaled a powerful Big-12 opponent.

Seeing the way the defense ran to the ball, and finished tackles was awesome. Finally seeing two outside linebackers that rush the passer with reckless abandon was awesome. Seeing Coach Hill fired up on the sideline was awesome. He is a passionate guy, but most of the time stays within himself. The way he reacted when Andrew Rich caused the fumble was great.

I guess it’s just great to see the passion both on the field, and on the sideline.

(Oh and I wish I would of had more time playing under Coach Hill.)