1. Cameron

    A trend I’ve noticed from a lot of 4-man front HS teams out west has been simply to change up personnel without altering the structure of the defense.

    So against more run-centric offense (21 & 12), they’ll come out in a 4-3. Against 11 personnel, they’ll swap the Sam for a nickel player. And against 10 personnel (or 11 with a great receiving tight end), they’ll swap the Will for another defensive back or hybrid player who will align to the #4: the boundary slot vs. 2×2, the inside slot vs 3×1, or the tight end. Keeps everything pretty simple.

    What I haven’t seen, and I wonder if it might become a new trend, is to see the same tactic with 3-man front teams. But it should work in principle.

    • ianaboyd

      From what I can tell, CenTex power Lake Travis plays a 4-3 but just always leans on light, rangy, but still tough guys at both Sam and Will. So it’s sorta like a dime but it has the structure of a 4-3 and they don’t drop those LBs into the deep middle or anything like that. They’re still LBs, just smaller and faster. That’s more or less what TCU does as well with one of their two LB positions.

  2. Travis

    It’s interesting that you accurately describe Rhule’s defense as a 4-1-6. He inherited Taylor Young at WILL, a stud in his own right but a unique player. The direction that Rhule goes at WILL and SAM (Clay Johnston a shoe-in at MIKE) this coming year should be really telling.

    Baylor was down to it’s final 4 scholarship linebackers by the end of the season, so it was really tough to tell the direction Rhule wanted to go. 2 athletic-LB types redshirted, and one DE/OLB (DeMarco Artis) moved to LB, so there will be plenty of options.

    Baylor also played a fair amount of 3-2-6 against the air raid teams, bringing in 2 extra safeties to play outside each ILB. It’s been really interesting watching Rhule adjust to Big XII offenses.

    • ianaboyd

      He seems pretty flexible, like he’ll figure out who his players are and choose formations from there.

      He has to get good DL play though for any Baylor Ds to resemble the ones he had at temple.

  3. Travis

    Question pertaining to the WV 3-3-5 stack.

    Baylor used a diamond formation with 3 RBs against WVU. When asked about it post-game, Rhule mentioned that it was something they only introduced for this week because of WVU’s front.

    I’ve been thinking about this, but I’m not sure what the idea is. My best guesses are: (a) there isn’t as much a point having an in-line TE or H-Back against the 3-3-5 because there is nobody to kick out, reach block, etc. (b) having more speed in the backfield to execute blocks on LBs as opposed to asking heavier TEs to reach them.

    The thing I can’t figure out is: Baylor ran a ton of 10 and 11 personnel this year. Specifically, why is a diamond formation better against the 3-3-5 than running 10 personnel? Baylor certainly had a lot of success with the diamond formation.

    • ianaboyd

      That’s a great question. My guess would be that WVU’s love of slanting and stunting could put them at risk to an offense that doesn’t present a clear target.

      Like, how do you stunt your 3-3-5 into an Under if you don’t know where the strength of the formation will end up being?

      That’s just my guess.

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