In my mind, this was the more intriguing matchup as far as the coaches were
concerned. On the one side, there was Bud Foster, one of college football’s best
defensive coordinators. On the other side, there was Lane Kiffin, the young
brash head coach, and Jim Chaney, his offensive partner in crime.
Five years ago, Lane Kiffin was an offensive assistant on Pete Carroll’s
staff at USC, and he had spent a good part of the offseason breaking down Bud
Foster’s defense from the 2003 season. He broke down 8-man fronts, looked up the
definition of something called the Wide Tackle 6, and helped develop a game plan
against multiple looks that included everything from the Bear “46”
front to a 2-deep zone where the weakside LB was one of the deep safeties.
Then as that opening game in 2004 unfolded, he saw Bud Foster unveil a basic
4-3 scheme with simple fronts and a whole bunch of disguised coverages. And five
years later, that’s what he saw as he and his offensive coaches broke down all
of Tech’s game films from the 2009 season.
Then as the game unfolded in Atlanta, he saw Bud Foster go back to a lot of
the 8-man front concepts that he had seen five years earlier. And even though
his offense hit for a couple of big plays, Kiffin and the Tennessee coaches
never quite figured out how to attack Bud Foster’s stacked defense.
The result was a dominating performance by the Tech defense. How dominant?
The Tech defense had more sacks (six) than Tennessee had in total rushing yards
It was one of those games where Bud Foster had to make minimal adjustments at
halftime. Again, I wasn’t in there to hear what was said, but my guess is that
Foster spent all of halftime focused on energy and effort while
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