This piece is getting attention because of Herbstreit’s accusation that defensive coaches are reacting to the pace of no-huddle offenses by cheatin’.
“No one is talking about this, but look for more fake injuries by the defense,” ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit said. “I’ve talked to defensive coaches. These guys are actually practicing faking injuries in practice.”
But that’s really on the officials, isn’t it? And if James Franklin is correct about this…
“You watch time and time again, not everybody is set when the ball is snapped, and they can’t officiate like that because they can’t keep up with the pace of the game,” Vanderbilt coach James Franklin said. “I don’t really have a concern with the styles. I just want to make sure we’re all playing by the same rules.”
… then it’s not exactly one side that’s getting away with gamesmanship.
Anyway, that’s not the part that interests me. This is:
There’s an extremely valuable player in college football these days. His position name may differ at each school from nickel back to strong safety to star to outside linebacker — this assumes he even exists on some defenses — but his attributes are similar.
He stands about 6-foot-1, 210 pounds. He can run, defend in space, play man coverage and blitz.
“You’re going to see this year more emphasis on the hybrid defensive player,” Herbstreit said. “These offenses that go tempo, they’re predicated on numbers in the box. Saban can’t get six defensive backs on the field on third-and-eight like he wants to. You have to run the same defense with the same personnel. You need versatility, guys who can be physical and run.”
I don’t know about you, but when I read that, my mind turned to a certain player with a hyphenated name who won’t be seeing the field Saturday night for Georgia. And then I thought about how Nebraska’s hurry-up made Georgia’s defense look disorganized with its substitutions in the Cap One game. I hope Clemson doesn’t give me cause to curse that blunt.