Post Sugar Bowl Thoughts: Defense and 2012

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The following is a transcript of a taped interview with Raleigh Hokie.  Comments in bold are questions or comments from Chris Coleman, followed by answers from Raleigh.

It was like you said before the game.  Tech played outside-in, and the defense just crushed Michigan.  It was pretty incredible.

If you look at individual efforts, Derrick Hopkins and Luther Maddy played great.  Corey Marshall was off the charts.  I’m sure when he chased down Denard Robinson on that one play, Michigan was like “who the heck is that guy?”  Some defensive tackle just caught Robinson from behind.  That guy is super fast.  We can make some headway with that guy at defensive tackle.

One of the problems we had on defense this year, and maybe the last two years, is we need safeties who can make plays.  Eddie Whitley, bless him, he’s just not a playmaker.  He had two interceptions right in his hands against Michigan, and he didn’t come up with either one.  Antone Exum, he’s sort of like the Marcus Davis of the defense.  He’s a tremendous athlete, but he has a poor feel for the game.  Those two are very similar.

That last touchdown to Junior Hemingway in the back of the endzone, Exum needed to push Hemingway out of the back of the endzone on that play.  Hemingway wouldn’t have been allowed to touch the football in that situation because he would have been out of bounds.  When you’ve got a receiver on the back line, and you are in front of him, you’ve got to physically back that guy out of the endzone.

Next year, Tech has a chance to be superb defensively.  They will need more plays out of the safety positions, both rover and free safety.  That was a problem all the way back to last year. Stanford just destroyed our safeties last year.

Tweedy played well.  Fuller was lights out.  That guy’s unreal.

Granted, we dominated them in the trenches.  But we seemed like such a better playmaking defense with Alonzo Tweedy and Tariq Edwards completely healthy.  We completely outclassed them.

As soon as I found out we were playing Michigan, the first thing I said was “Tweedy needs to play”.  We saw a couple of times when Michigan tried to run their read option to the wide side, and Tweedy just destroyed it.

The biggest thing about him is coverage.  Denard Robinson

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