Archive for Friday, October 5, 2007

Jayhawks preparing for 3-4 defense

Wildcats’ linemen, linebackers present different look

October 5, 2007


Jayhawks hoping history repeats itself

Last season, the Jayhawks defeated the K-State Wildcats after a bye week and a week after KSU defeated Texas. With similar circumstances surrounding this Saturday's Sunflower Showdown, KU hopes to get the same results as last year. Enlarge video

On the surface, it's just a simple change. Take one guy off the defensive line and move him back.

But it's a strategy that separates Kansas State's football team from the rest of the Big 12 Conference. Kansas University's next opponent operates with a base 3-4 defense, meaning a setup of three down lineman and four linebackers. One of the linebackers always rushes, but it's not always clear which one will.

Most defenses, including the Jayhawks', operate out of a base 4-3 alignment.

Though it's not drastic, KU's offensive line does have to make a few tweaks to go against a 3-4.

"Different challenges," KU offensive line coach John Reagan said. "To be honest, it obviously changes your calls and changes the way you do some things. You have to figure out who the fourth lineman is going to be and those kind of things.

"That being said, we played Southeastern Louisiana who, scheme-wise, was a (3-4) team who blitzed a ton. : The biggest challenge is changing the mindset from four-down line calls to three-down line calls."

Many defenses, including the Jayhawks, go to three linemen in nickel packages. That said, the offense-versus-defense work at KU's practices certainly has helped the offensive line get more familiar with the altered setup.

For example, the center has what could be an uncomfortable change of scenery. Going against a 3-4, KU center Ryan Cantrell will have a nose tackle right on top of him when he snaps the ball. In a 4-3, there is a lineman on each side of him at an angle.

"I think it can be (challenging)," Reagan said. "I think it really depends on the type of player you are and the type of players you have next to you. Certainly, there is a guy breathing down on the ball every snap."

The adjustment up front could be crucial in the Jayhawks' ability to keep its offensive machine moving Saturday, when Kansas and Kansas State tangle at 11 a.m. in Manhattan.

The man at the wheel, quarterback Todd Reesing, doesn't see it as too big of a deal.

"We've played against a 3-4 defense this year," Reesing said. "We've played against it with our team in practice when they do it. It's not like something we haven't played against. We know how to handle a 3-4 defense. We've done it before."


Marco Moona Temple 10 years, 6 months ago

OMFG.. did the coach and qb just compare KSU's 3-4 to SELA's? Reality is about to slap you birds in the face. Enjoy good sportsmanship, and party hearty with our 'Cats. But don't be sour about the big 'L' we're going to hang on y'all.


FatTony 10 years, 6 months ago

Yeah dumbass he did. Read the freaking arcticle "That being said, we played Southeastern Louisiana who, scheme-wise, was a (3-4) team " The scheme is the same you idiot not the way they play or quality of athletes."

Confrontation 10 years, 6 months ago

Hey yellatex1, don't forget your power towel! You'll need it when they run out of toilet paper at the stadium.

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