Georgia State defensive coordinator Jesse Minter took time earlier this week to review the win against New Mexico State and preview this week’s game at Oregon.
What did the defense do well against New Mexico State?
We stopped the run pretty well. We got some pressure on the quarterback. I wish we had more sacks (two for 16 yards). We had some opportunities to have some more sacks.
We gave up some big plays (passes of 75, 33, 24, 22 and 21 yards) in but I thought our guys in true man coverage held up pretty well. We had 12 pass break-ups and almost all of them came in man coverage.
I thought those guys did a good job.
I thought we got off to a good start. We got off the field on the first drive of the game. We gave up a bomb and then responded well after we gave up the big play for the rest of the first half and most of the third quarter. We didn’t do what we needed to do in the fourth quarter. We have to learn from that.
Was that fatigue in the fourth quarter? What was going on?
To be honest, I think one of the biggest things is guys not being in that position before. Mentally unsure of how to handle a two-score lead and ‘Oh my gosh, we are going to win a game.’
We had 11 missed assignments in the fourth quarter, which is more than we had the rest of the game combined. We weren’t doing anything different than we had done all game.
Just teaching them that moment. At some point this year we will get back into that situation and they will handle themselves better and be more prepared for it.
The run defense is now giving up 124 yards per game, two-thirds less than last year (my math wasn’t good there. The Panthers gave up 303 yards per game last year).
When you look at that game, if you didn’t know at all how the game went, the team that was able to run the ball won. Our offense did a great job running the ball. The fact that they had the ball fourth-and-inches on the goal line and threw it is a credit to how our guys played up front. They felt like they had to do that instead of run the ball.
It’s a huge improvement from where we came from last year. Guys up front, we were physical and committed an extra guy to the run game. We put our DBS on some islands at times.
Overall, you cannot win a game giving up 400-something yards rushing but you can win a game giving up 400-something yards passing. That’s kind of what we’ve sold the guys on. We’d like to cut down some of those yards. But we gave up 200-plus yards in the fourth quarter. We have to do a better job closing out the game.
You can’t say everything, but what does Oregon do well?
They get people, first and foremost, with their tempo (They are averaging 82 plays and 581.5 yards per game). You have to do a great job of communicating. They know how to run a really fast up-tempo offense from everything that goes on in their program. That’s how they operate.
Their receivers, running backs, as soon as they get tackled they don’t leave the ball on the ground they hand the ball right to the official almost right on the spot that they want the ball spotted.
They just know how to run that pace. They do it all well. They run the ball, run the ball and then throw play action off the run game. They are a lot more of a running team. They’ve averaged more than 250 yards rushing the last five seasons. So they want to run the ball first.
They have a new quarterback (Vernon Adams) this season. Fortunately we aren’t playing against a Heisman Trophy winner and No. 2 pick in the draft (Marcus Mariota).
This kid, coming from Eastern Washington, gets the ball out fast. He got his taste of a big-time environment last weekend at Michigan State. They’ll be looking to get him going a little bit. We’ve got to do a good job of getting lined up and being in the right spot.
With their tempo, it presents problems both substituting and wearing down the defense. Some of these guys that haven’t gotten a lot of playing time, is there a chance that we will see them this week?
Up front, coach Samuel has done a great job of rotating his guys throughout the game. At inside linebacker I think we’ve rotated well. We haven’t felt the need to rotate as much on the back end and at some of the outside backer spots. We are going to have to this week.
Guys will have to be ready to play. We got a taste of it on Saturday. I thought Nate Simon stepped up. He’s a guy that played a lot last year. First half of the season not playing as much as he would have liked but he’s continuing to work hard. That interception might have been his first snap in the game. Hat’s off to him and him being ready to play. We are going to need some more guys to be like that this week.