Navy 2013 Review: The "Hurry-Up Defense"

Navy 2013 Review: The "Hurry-Up Defense"

You've heard of the hurry-up offense, a simple and longstanding concept in football as the sport has gradually become more and more modernized. What about the foreign notion of a "hurry-up defense," however? What does this mean? You'll soon find out, and the concept will make all the sense in the world. It could also point the way to an even better 2014 season for the Midshipmen.


THE RIGHT KIND OF "HURRY": MAKING OTHER QUARTERBACKS WORRY

As you've likely noticed over the past several weeks, many of these installments of a 2013 statistical review have focused on the ways in which Navy can improve for 2014. Such a focus is not meant to "find fault" or nitpick. It's in many ways what coaches do in moments of victory. The perfect scenario for a coaching staff is to get a win and yet find areas in which a team needs to improve. The right results can accumulate even as a team is brought in touch with its weaknesses – this is how a great season is produced. The attitude in the locker room and on the practice field remains humble and hungry, even as successes are stacked on top of each other. Following a successful 2013 season, it's perfectly natural to identify where Navy still has room for improvement, because that's how the Midshipmen will hit the 10-win plateau in 2014.

What's this week's "area of improvement" for the Men of Ken Niumatalolo? It's not the hurry-up offense. Navy can't ever expect to flourish in that part of the craft of football. If Navy has to use a hurry-up offense, chances are it's getting its derriere dusted off by a superior opponent. No, the "hurry-up" equation for the Midshipmen in 2014 is this: Navy has to significantly increase the totals of hurries it registers against opposing quarterbacks, especially on the road.

The website cfbstats.com broke down quarterback hurries into several categorical splits. One basic split was between home and road-neutral games. In five home games, Navy managed 14 quarterback hurries, an average of almost three per game. That's hardly spectacular, but it's a total which tells a quarterback that he's getting pressure often enough for him to notice. On the other hand, in Navy's eight road-neutral games from 2013, the Midshipmen collected only three – yes, three – hurries. That amounts to a shutout, for all intents and purposes. It's true that Notre Dame had an offensive line which was not going to allow Navy to get close to Tommy Rees. That's understandable. The Midshipmen just had a terrible matchup on defense in that game. However, Indiana, Toledo, Duke, and San Jose State became far too comfortable with respect to their passing games. If the Midshipmen want to set a higher standard on defense and make even more gains as a program this fall, they can look at the quarterback hurry stat and realize that that number has to go up.

A "hurry-up defense" is definitely something Navy must deliver if this team is going to (at the very least) sustain what it achieved a year ago.

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