The Washington Huskies currently rank 104th in the nation in points allowed this season and the game against Stanford certainly didn't help out that stat. The Cardinal put up a whopping 65 points on the Huskies. This defensive failure had my brother and I arguing the rest of the weekend on who is to blame.
My side: Stanford scored on almost every single possession of the game. This is unacceptable for a team trying to contend for the Pac-12 championship. I argued that Nick Holt had the team coming out flat. The defense seemingly waited beyond the first down marker instead of rushing up and making the hit earlier to force a punt.
Holt brings a lot of emotion to the game which you can see from his sideline manner, but does he have the team so concerned with giving up the big play that they don't consider giving up a first down a loss?
This season the Huskies have had a great run defense and it doesn't make a lot of sense that they allowed so many yards after having been so dominant all year. I think it's possible Holt focused almost all his time preparing his secondary to face Heisman Trophy favorite Andrew Luck. If this is the case then the defense might have been blindsided by an unexpected rush heavy offense.
Before this game it seemed as though the Huskies were improving on defense every game and especially in the second half. Holt was making good adjustments at halftime but that didn't show against Stanford. I was starting to trust our defense before this game, but now I am starting to wonder if Holt will be able to fortify this squad by the end of the season.
My brother: Nick Holt has coached championship defenses, so it's hard to pin the majority of the failure on him. The defense is playing flat on their own accord and Holt brings enthusiasm to the team but they seem to have a problem consuming that energy and translating it to the field.
Who is to blame for the defensive woes?
They have talented players but the stronger defense will come when they can recruit better defenders. Recruiting a defense should start to get easier now that the Huskies have a powerful offense and in a few years Holt will be coaching an explosive Husky defense.
Conclusion: Nick Holt is a proven defensive coach with plenty of success in his stints at USC. Can you really put all the blame on him or the defense alone? Maybe he's making good defensive plans but the defense is having trouble executing what he wants done.
Our defense has been shaky at best and this could go either way. I believe there are good points to both arguments but I want to know who other people think is to blame.
Should Nick Holt get the majority of the blame for not being able to make his defense play at a high level?
Should the defensive players be blamed because they are playing with little emotion and failing to execute game plans?
Should the blame be weighed equally over the players and the defensive coaches for failure to keep teams out of the end zone on a regular basis?
Is something else deserving of the blame? Stellar opposing offenses? You can make your own opinion.