Back in our JLS and Petrino days, we were known as a high-scoring, potent offensive football team that simply scored more than their opponents. While us fans may have known every player on defense and how much they actually contributed, our defense got very little respect because our offense was nearly NFL-caliber. We were putting up 70 points on multiple opponents. Insanity in hindsight...
Anywho, during the HWSNBN era our defense was laughably bad...under his FIRST YEAR, he gave up at least 35 points on FIVE separate occasions. Throughout his tenure, he gave up at least 35 points in eleven of his 36 games.
When Coach Charlie Strong was introduced, we knew he would be instilling a stout defense. He had coached on multiple successful defensive-minded teams throughout his career, earning 2 championships during his time as DC at Florida. We all know this story, we've heard it a million times.
What's staggering is how quickly he has been able to change our identity from a high-scoring offensive threat to a defensive-focused, gritty team.
Through 16 games, almost half of what HWSNBN coached, Coach Strong's defense has given up 35+ points on just TWO occasions. One was the 35-28 loss at Oregon State and the other was the Keg of Nails game where we came up short 35-27.
The difference is night and day. Gone are the days where we have a top 3 nationally ranked offense. We've traded that in and have become a textbook defense that, when fully stacked with Coach Strong's recruits, is going to be a nightmare for every team on our schedule. That much is fact.
What a difference a year makes, eh?