September 12, 2010

Three questions: Defense

Vanderbilt had a disappointing 27-3 loss to LSU on Saturday night, an evening in which the Commodores's defense was solid for three quarters, but wore down at the end.'s Jesse Johnson and Chris Lee answer three of the more important questions on the defensive side of the ball following Saturday's game.

1. Why is the defense continuing to struggle on third downs?

Chris: "I think the troubles start on the defensive line, and particularly, at the ends. The biggest issue I see is that the ends are having trouble getting off blocks, and teams get the edge too easily.

"It just seems like, on way too many occasions, a tailback turns the corner and is three or four yards downfield before a defender can lay a mitt on him, and it seems to happen almost at will. And how often has a quarterback left the pocket and scrambled for the yardage he needed around the edge the last couple of seasons? I was really concerned with what Dan Persa did to VU in the opener, because I'd seen it too many times. Following up this week, Teriall Brannon had one tackle on Saturday, and Theron Kadri, none. That won't cut it.

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