Today I am looking at position battles between us and McMurry, mainly how we matchup against the offense and what we need to do defensively in order to stop the Warhawks.
When HC Colby Carthel was hired, the offense he brought with him is an evolved form of the Air Raid offense. Our offense runs a lot more vertical routes when throwing and you see a lot more empty sets and double tight sets as well. McMurry almost never does this, they are an Air Raid Original. They have a lot of plays that are Staples and bread and butter Air Raid plays, after all, their last coach invented it, and they see no reason to deviate from it. Expect Saturday to see a lot of Bubble Screens, Mesh Plays, Crossing Routes and Tailback screens. McMurry eats up yards and eats up clock, and what concerns me is the fact that one we statistically struggled against hit and run type offenses, like this one, halfway through this season.
When we played SEOSU, I was there and noticed against crisp route runners, we were leaving a tons of zone open, especially in the middle of the field. When you run an offense the way McMurry runs it, you have to be a good route runner, and if you are the QB, you must make good reads and go where the defense does not go. In the first half, SEOSU absolutely ate our lunch on the shallow drags, mesh routes, and corner/post routes, and with that, they had the running game to go with it, McMurry does not, they throw first and ask questions later, which could help us a lot.
Defensively, playing a lot of man and aggressive zone is going to come into play, because I have watched, played, and see enough football film to know a good spread attack will tear a zone to shreds. When you have good man coverage, that is a totally different story. They are much harder to move the ball on, and our defense has shown that against Sul Ross, Delta State, and A&M Kingsville. Expect to see us in Dime and Nickel packages when we are in zone, and I can almost guarantee you the defensive staff is going to want to play soft and off the line to see how effective McMurry is throwing, and then expect to see a lot of Man defense if we start getting picked apart, but we out to lure McMurry into throwing it and expect our corners and safeties to get a workout this week reading offenses and reading routes. Routes are predetermined in what McMurry runs, but how they are ran, especially out of 4-5 formations could be problematic, and we need to apply pressure, which we got little of on against SEOSU, but did well against Kingsville when we brought blitzes.