Thursday, September 11, 2014

"Why would you want to tackle a guy as big as me?"

Not a real big fan of Aschoff. And he gets awkwardly, albeit understandably, gushy over Gurley in this piece leading up to Saturday's SEC East tilt. But he hits on the the crux of South Carolina defensive coordinator's problem this week:
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Gurley registered a career-high 102 yards after contact and seven rushes that gained at least 10 yards against Clemson. In Gurley's career, he has averaged 46 YAC per conference game (2.8 YAC per carry) and has 89 rushes of at least 10 yards (which is tops in the SEC over the past three seasons). 

That means you have to put a lot of hands on Gurley at the same time in order to bring him down and stop those tree trunks he calls legs from churning. 

Do you push him outside or keep him running through the middle? Well, that's a tough one to answer when you consider this: According to ESPN Stats & Information, over the past two seasons, Gurley has averaged the fourth-most yards nationally per rush (6.0) inside the tackles (minimum 100 attempts) and fifth most outside the tackles (7.6). 

"We have to have 11 hats on the ball," said Ward, who wants to stack the box more when Gurley is in. "We can't be tackling one-on-one, we have to have gang-tackling all day." 
Nothing new (at least to us Dawg fans) that Todd Gurley has the unique ability to make you defend the field from sideline to sideline as well as endzone to endzone. Just hope Coach Ward is just as perplexed Sunday morning as he is right now.