This weekend I dug out the 1996 Fiesta Bowl game and got that digitized as well. In December 1995, we ended up getting our ticket request denied, so on Christmas Night, we were busy discussing...
Q. Is it all scheme or what is the key, the one thing that you have to do to stop those offenses, maybe one or two things?
COACH PELINI: As I said, I think you have to evaluate what the offenses are. And what they're trying to accomplish. Florida's spread offense is different than Missouri. And Missouri's is different than what Kansas is trying to do.
I think the key to playing good defense is evaluating what exactly an offense is trying to accomplish and what their strengths are and you have to develop a game plan to offset what they're trying to accomplish and take it away from them. So they have to get out of their comfort zone.
And I believe this. Defensively it's not just what you do, it's not all about scheme. You can -- everybody wants to -- every coach out there wants to have the pencil last. When you're playing on Saturday, you don't have that luxury. You're
playing, in this conference, there's a lot of good coaches and they're (players) very well coached. You're not always going to have the pencil last. It's not just what you do but how you do it. You can't just go get so wrapped up in outscheming the opponent. If you do that, you'll forget how you do it and forget about technique. Technique and fundamentals are essential.
And if you're playing very sound technique-wise and you have good fundamentals and you teach them, you have your guys understanding your scheme, you'll be able to match up and deal with any problems that offenses can associate or going to make you deal with a particular Saturday. That's something we've been able to do over a long period of time. And we'll have that challenge ahead of us here no doubt.
Hmmmmmm..... fundamentals and technique are essential. Sounds to me like if you want to successfully against the spread you'd better be able to tackle well, and that means making one-on-one tackles when the offense gets you into that situation.
If that's what we can expect from the 2008 defense, I can certainly get excited about that.