As the off-season continues to unwind, we’re starting to hear stories about winter workout warriors and spring practice heroes. Names like Adisa Isaac on the defensive line and Zakee Wheatley in the secondary have popped up here and there, and it got me thinking:
Would you rather have a shutdown run game, but give up a ton through the air, or institute a no fly zone, but teams can run the ball with ease?
Basically, would you rather have an excellent front four, and a mediocre-to-bad back four, or vice versa?
Personally, I think I’d rather go with the no fly zone.
Given how prolific offenses are today, shutting down quick strikes through the air seems like the lesser of two evils. Even great run teams still need to ultimately go through the secondary players, who should prevent homerun rush plays.
If it therefore requires teams to sustain drives on the ground, that increases the chances for a botched snap, handoff, etc. Teams will need to grind out clock, and if Penn State is not itself limited to the same approach, the Lions could build a lead with their own passing game, and let the game clock become the biggest factor.
Once teams have no choice but to pass into the strength of the defense, victory is all but assured.
But what say you? Would you rather let your front four do all the work, but perhaps suffer as teams put up big points through the air?