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  1. #1

    3-3-5 Defense vs Run

    Another emerging talking point about this staff’s schemes/ideology is that the 3-3-5 defense Arnett uses cannot stop the run. This is one even more laughable than “Leach will have State’s defense on the field 85 plays per game.”

    In four of the last five seasons, San Diego State has been top 10 in all of FBS at allowing the fewest rushing yards per attempt. Obviously Arnett was DC the last two seasons- in which SDSU was 7th and 2nd in the country in rushing yards per attempt in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Pound for pound, this defense has stopped the run as well as anyone in CFB. Obviously the SEC will have better OL and running backs, but we will have better defensive players than Arnett has ever worked with.

    The 3-3-5 is like any other defensive scheme. You need to have athletes and they have to execute and do their job. Keep it simple, let your players fly to the ball, and make sure everyone knows their job. My only concern is that Rocky Long obviously had a big hand in SDSU’s success. Apparently Long called plays and did most of the defensive game planning in 2018 but handed most of those duties over to Arnett in 2019. We will see if he is up to the task, but I love how SDSU has performed over the years when they play teams with more talent. They are known out west as a defense that punches above its weight class when going against P5 offenses.


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  2. #2
    Saw something on twitter that said that SDSU was the ONLY school in the country last year to give up fewer than 1,000 yards rushing for the entire season.


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  3. #3
    are they playing against running teams or predominantly passing teams?


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  4. #4
    3-3-5 is great for stopping the spread and still getting pressure by confusing blocking assignments. I’m surprised no one has pointed out that it is pretty much a Joe Lee Dunn defense. If you’re old enough to remember Ashley Cooper as “Dog” safety and the way those defenses confused blocking, that’s the basis.


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  5. #5
    The problem with Joe Lee, is all you had to do was put your best receiver in the slot and Joe Lee would try to cover you with a Dog safety so if you didn't get to the QB, you got burned. Spurrier destroyed him once our talent level went down. Also, JLD was more of a 4-2-5 than a 3-3-5.


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  6. #6
    Bama's base defensive scheme is a 3-4 defense but Saban has talked a good bit about how they utilize 4-2-5 and 3-3-5 to stop high tempo spread offenses. Clemson in the first half of the CFB Championship game against LSU had a lot of success with a 3-3-5 stack.
    Last edited by muhstate; 01-23-2020 at 09:55 AM.


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  7. #7
    Their opponents ranked thusly in rushing for the season:

    81st
    89th
    73rd
    103rd
    23rd
    125th
    58th
    122nd
    67th
    100th
    68th
    42nd


    So they certainly played more pass heavy teams. I looked at the stats on the six games I highlighted:

    Utah State averaged 152.2 on the ground. They got 81 against SDSU
    Wyoming averaged 214.8 on the ground. They got 157 against SDSU
    UNLV averaged 168.2 on the ground. They got 122 against SDSU
    Fresno State averaged 159.3 on the ground. They go 71 against SDSU
    BYU averaged 159.1 on the ground. They got 79 against SDSU
    Central Michigan averaged 181.4 on the ground. They got 116 against SDSU

    So of the six best rushing teams they faced, all of them failed to get their average against SDSU. Also of note, SDSU went 5-1 in these six games. So when teams tried to run against them they fared decently and won.

    Also another completely random observation. Florida was 107th in rushing offense this year. Would not have expected that from a Mullen team.


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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Nunya View Post
    are they playing against running teams or predominantly passing teams?
    Their opponent are pretty evenly balanced between run and pass the last couple of years, but the teams they play may lean a little more heavily to the pass. It’s hard to be exactly sure though, because a lot of teams may abandon the run against them altogether against SDSU. Also consider that SDSU went 10-3 this year and played with a lead in most every game.

    The more pertinent question though is, are we playing against running teams or predominantly passing teams? Look around the league and at our schedule. Bama and LSU are airing it out. Kiffin will sling it around. Arkansas hired Kendall Briles as OC. A&M is the only team in our division that still will line up in the I and pound you, but even they like to spread it out a lot.

    My point is this defense, when executed properly and given the right athletes, can be as effective as any other scheme or alignment out there- and it can work against power running teams and spread out, pass first offenses.


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  9. #9

    Agreed

    Quote Originally Posted by HoopsDawg View Post
    The problem with Joe Lee, is all you had to do was put your best receiver in the slot and Joe Lee would try to cover you with a Dog safety so if you didn't get to the QB, you got burned. Spurrier destroyed him once our talent level went down. Also, JLD was more of a 4-2-5 than a 3-3-5.
    3-3-5 is a variation on the 4-2-5.


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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by messageboardsuperhero View Post
    Also consider that SDSU went 10-3 this year and played with a lead in most every game.
    This is true but they played in a lot of close games. They only had two games where they won by more than 10 (NMSU & Central Michigan) so I doubt teams were abandoning the run because they were so far behind.


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  11. #11

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    We are going all in on 'doing things differently'. I'm intrigued to see how it will play out. Our best teams' identity has always been based around a dual threat quarterback, rushing offense and a dominating defensive line, and we've never seemed to have much speed. I'm curious as to if that was because of the players we had, or the coaches we had. Cohen wanted to go with a passing offense, the first guy didn't work out, now we are doubling down on it.

    Getting back to the 3-3-5, that obviously minimizes the DL because there are less of them. In general it seems that MS produces more defensive end and linebacker talent than anything. Now we need receivers and defensive backs. I hope it works but I certainly am skeptical of where we will get the talent to do this.

    I personally have always preferred 4 defensive linemen. But those true nose guards are hard to find, for anybody, and maybe this can allow us to leverage that long defensive end/hybrid linebacker type that seem to be so plentiful in this state.


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  12. #12
    As Emory Bellard told a group one time when asked about a certain defensive formation. I'll paraphrase : "I've seen that formation played damn poorly...in fact I've seen them all played damn poorly at some point in time". The message I got, and have found to be true since then, it's about the players way more than the scheme.


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  13. #13
    thanks.


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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Villagedawg View Post
    3-3-5 is great for stopping the spread and still getting pressure by confusing blocking assignments. I’m surprised no one has pointed out that it is pretty much a Joe Lee Dunn defense. If you’re old enough to remember Ashley Cooper as “Dog” safety and the way those defenses confused blocking, that’s the basis.

    loved Ashley cooper.


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  15. #15
    Cleveland Steamer missouridawg's Avatar
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    Arnett and SDSU were good defensively. I have a huge concern with play call volume with Leach and some of the opponents we will face. Hope he knows how to make that adjustment, as well as how much better the athletes are here in the SEC.


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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by HoopsDawg View Post
    The problem with Joe Lee, is all you had to do was put your best receiver in the slot and Joe Lee would try to cover you with a Dog safety so if you didn't get to the QB, you got burned. Spurrier destroyed him once our talent level went down. Also, JLD was more of a 4-2-5 than a 3-3-5.
    Which is why the SDSU 3-3-5 used 4 Corners and a free Safety, not 2 corners, 2 LB/Safeties, and a free safety.


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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by SheltonChoked View Post
    Which is why the SDSU 3-3-5 used 4 Corners and a free Safety, not 2 corners, 2 LB/Safeties, and a free safety.
    Is that correct? If so, I really like it. Though we are a little short on corners.


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  18. #18
    SDSU listed 3 safeties and 2 corners on their depth chart last year. Looks like it's more a 2 corner, 2 safety & 1 hybrid safety/linebacker (the Aztec).


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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by patdog View Post
    SDSU listed 3 safeties and 2 corners on their depth chart last year. Looks like it's more a 2 corner, 2 safety & 1 hybrid safety/linebacker (the Aztec).
    That's the typical personnel. West Virginia has run something similar in the past. I would like to see Tyler Williams, Emerson and Jarian Jones on the field together. Then Marcus Murphy at FS and Fred Peters as the Aztec/Dog.


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  20. #20
    Too much talk about scheme. It all comes down to talent. The team who has the most talented, best-coached players on the line of scrimmage will win the game.
    This is kind of like people saying the Mike Leach's scheme somehow makes it less important to recruit talented players. If such a scheme existed, don't you think everyone would do it?


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  21. #21
    Given the proper coaching and the proper execution and proper players most defenses will work. I'm glad we have stepped out and completely changed our approach. Doesn't guarantee success but I'm excited to see how it plays out. Leach is a winner and I think will have much better resources to work with here so we may be in for a hell of a ride


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  22. #22
    WilCoDawg's Avatar
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    Everyone concerned about the results he had at SDSU (and how non-SEC the opponents were) need to realize he wasn’t coaching SEC players either.
    I’ll withhold judgement and pessimistic comments until mid-season.


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  23. #23
    I look forward to the season - should be fun. I don't have high expectations though because I don't think we have the personnel to make the new air raid offense work not the optimal personnel for a 3-3-5 defense. Nevertheless, I do think it will be fun and I won't be expecting to automatically lose to any and every team with a pulse on defense the way I would have with the last coaching staff.


    Quote Originally Posted by WilCoDawg View Post
    Everyone concerned about the results he had at SDSU (and how non-SEC the opponents were) need to realize he wasn’t coaching SEC players either.
    I’ll withhold judgement and pessimistic comments until mid-season.


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  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by missouridawg View Post
    Arnett and SDSU were good defensively. I have a huge concern with play call volume with Leach and some of the opponents we will face. Hope he knows how to make that adjustment, as well as how much better the athletes are here in the SEC.
    This is a myth when it comes to Leach being some fast paced up tempo team.

    TOP
    2019-State 31:39 mins a game/Wash State 29:20 mins a game
    2018-State 31:01 mins a game/Wash State 32:13 mins a game
    2017-State 32:33 mins a game/Wash State 32:25 mins a game

    Defensive plays per game
    2019-State 63 plays per game/Wash State 68 plays per game
    2018-State 64 plays per game/Wash State 64 plays per game
    2017-State 59 plays per game/Wash State 63 plays per game


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  25. #25

    Nothing wrong with 335 schematically.

    The weakness is that teams that run it may have too light hybrid type players tasked to help stop the run and they simply get out massed and run over. Natural reaction to spread pass heavy offense. So what? Beef up to stop the run and the offense will just learn to beat you with smaller quicker players.

    Good defenses have the best athletes pulling the same direction. Good recruits. Good conditioning. Good coaching. You get good production regardless of 4-3, 3-4, 3-3-5, etc. Especially true at the collegiate level.

    And on that note, Leach is a damn good coach not bc he's a schematic genius. He's a damn good coach bc he can coach up the talent to execute a game plan and small playbook of conceptually sound plays blindfolded if they have to. The quirky bastard knows how to get results out of his guys quickly. It's a fairly simple approach to offense. But if it's simple, why is it so uniquely successful? Bc he's a special coach that consistently gets his guys to execute. Execution trumps schematics all day.


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  26. #26
    Joe Lee was able to run the 3-3-5 with players like 6’ 230 Lb NG Kenwoynne Smith and 5’9” 170 Lb Dog Safety Tim Nelson... two draw backs with Joe Lee, he never changed his signs and the TE was always wide open.
    Last edited by Leeshouldveflanked; 01-24-2020 at 04:50 AM.


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  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by HoopsDawg View Post
    Is that correct? If so, I really like it. Though we are a little short on corners.
    The secondary is where things get interesting. They use a pair of cornerbacks, then a pair of “warrior” safeties that play like normal quarters safeties, occasionally playing deep and other times picking up the slot receivers in man coverage, much like Michigan State has tended to use their safeties. Unlike the Spartans, the Aztecs use more coverage-oriented players here and last year called on Malik Smith (6-1, 190) and Kameron Kelly (6-2, 195). They have responsibilities in the run fits but SD St likes to spill the ball like a quarters team and it’s important that these guys can cover.
    Then there’s the “Aztec” who lines up in the middle like a free safety but often plays more like a nickel or even a true linebacker. After a few games they turned to Parker Baldwin (6-2, 215) as the “Aztec.” Then they played a lot of coverages in which they’d create varieties of quarters coverages on the outside with Baldwin playing either in a “robber” role in the middle of the field...
    They called them Safeties, but they are Corners. Or at least "Coverage skilled" Defensive backs


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  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by patdog View Post
    SDSU listed 3 safeties and 2 corners on their depth chart last year. Looks like it's more a 2 corner, 2 safety & 1 hybrid safety/linebacker (the Aztec).
    https://www.footballstudyhall.com/20...cky-long-3-3-5

    Read this


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  29. #29
    Can we just sticky this to the top?

    ETA: While we had almost identical time of possession, one team was scoring points and one team wasn't. Imagine what a difference that will make.


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  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by SheltonChoked View Post
    Good read!!


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