Skip to main content

Seeing a new offensive scheme every week? Todd Graham says "attack it"


Over the course of a season, it's not unheard of for college defensive coordinators to go from seeing an uptempo no huddle attack, to the triple option, to some two tight end, two running back sets (22 personnel). And if we're including high school defensive coordinators, add the wing T into that mix as well.

In the Pac-12, Arizona State's Todd Graham has, and will see very different spread schemes over the course of the season. You've got Oregon, Washington State, UCLA and Arizona all very efficient and different, plus the tight end heavy, pound the rock looks from Stanford, USC's pro-style approach, and not to mention the Sun Devils' tilt with triple option team New Mexico earlier in the year.

Seeing a new scheme every week can take its toll on a defense because you always want to tweak things here and there based on the offense you're facing. That is a large part of the reason behind why Graham has adopted an overly-aggressive approach this year.

In a USAToday piece from Dan Wolken, Graham talks about how he and his staff have rebuilt (or reloaded) the defense this season with just two returning starters from the 2013 team that played in the Pac-12 title game.

In the article he talks about how they have a defensive goal of being on the field for fewer than 80 plays, and how he counters offensive tempo and innovation with an aggressive defensive approach. In the past two games, Arizona State's defense has been on the field for 157 snaps, and has blitzed in 130 of them.

"I just believe it's too hard to defend all the things you're going to see and the diversity of schemes week to week. It's much more efficient to attack. The key is to attack with minimal risk."

"It's not just blind, reckless defense. It's very, very strategic and well thought out and you have to have smart guys to run it."

Read the entire article here, with a lot more quality content from Graham.