Friday, December 18, 2015

North Dakota St offers the Midwestern blueprint for beating the Air Raid

Back when Stitt and Klieman faced-off to open the college football season I watched that game in order to break down Stitt's Air Raid, which led me to be impressed once more by how well coached North Dakota State was.

I noticed that once the Bison adjusted to simply playing more two-deep coverage and using stunts to help stop the Grizzlies from running on a five-man box, they really slowed down Stitt's attack. I wondered, "if they got a re-match, would they expand on that approach and would it work better or would Montana adjust?"

The answer? North Dakota State stuffed the Stitt offense. Here's how they did it.

There are lots of lessons here for someone like Matt Campbell, who intends to build a Midwestern team at Iowa State, to apply to winning in the Big 12. Building a DL that can allow a multiple, two-deep approach to defense seems the best way to go.

Of course TCU has been going that route for years but Patterson is usually too aggressive-minded to try and apply his brain to stopping the run without involving his safeties. Many of the best defenses of today are the ones that are learning how to live with only having five players in the box to control the trenches with. It would be interesting to see that approach take a deeper hold in the Big 12.

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