Defense 101: How to build a Bear trap
After just four games, USC defensive coordinator Rocky Seto has already schemed and contained Ohio State’s quarterback Terrelle Pryor in victory, and Washington’s Jake Locker in defeat. But Saturday brings a completely different type of animal for the Trojans to defend, and success and failure will weigh on the ability or inability to contain Jahvid Best.
Since the start of the 2008 season, the Bears are 9-2 in games where Jahvid Best rushed for a hundred yards or more. They post a record of just 2-3 when Best fails to reach the century mark, including the woeful 30 yard output against the Trojans last year. There is no secret to Cal’s success. It’s out in the open, and in the open field, where their Heisman Trophy candidate trounces the opposition and dashes to victory.
So, how do you build a Bear trap to contain one of the greatest threats in the game? The answer is simple for USC, where the contraption was long assembled before the season began.
* USC ranks fifth nationally in rushing defense, giving up only 59.5 yards a game.
* The Trojans are second in tackles for losses, averaging 11 a game.
* Perhaps most impressive, USC is giving up only 1.7 yards per rushing play.–Los Angeles Times
Pete Carroll defenses have always been built to stop the run first and foremost. Forcing one dimension has been the formula for success, and the 2009 unit is just another stitch in the pattern.
Since California’s 34-31 upset victory of USC in 2003, no Bears team has defeated or recorded more than 17 points against the Trojans. Last year’s unit failed to score a single touchdown. Those losing teams featured running backs J.J. Arrington, Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, and Jahvid Best. How do you build a Bear trap? Follow the instructions and diagram created at USC.