Benefits of a 3-4 college defense

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If defensive tackles are rare & difficult to recruit would it be better to run a 3-4 defense as quality linebackers are more plentiful? Wisconsin & Nebraska always seem to out recruit us for LBs.
 

Some guy

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If defensive tackles are rare & difficult to recruit would it be better to run a 3-4 defense as quality linebackers are more plentiful? Wisconsin & Nebraska always seem to out recruit us for LBs.
There are benefits to both systems, coaches should coach and recruit to what they’re best at coaching because both systems can work.

I personally prefer the 3-4 but if the defensive coaches know 4-3 better the program is better served coaching what they’re good at.
 

UpAndUnder43

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If defensive tackles are rare & difficult to recruit would it be better to run a 3-4 defense as quality linebackers are more plentiful? Wisconsin & Nebraska always seem to out recruit us for LBs.
So you want to find 3 DTs instead of 2 because they are hard to find? Seems backwards.

A guy like Coughlin is likely a standup LB in a 3-4. You need 3 big boys to eat up blocks and gaps. Gophers struggle to find 1
 

die hard gopher

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So you want to find 3 DTs instead of 2 because they are hard to find? Seems backwards.

A guy like Coughlin is likely a standup LB in a 3-4. You need 3 big boys to eat up blocks and gaps. Gophers struggle to find 1
Yeah, a 3-4 is more like a 5-2 because you have 5 guys on the LOS and only 2 down LB's. And a 3-4 DE is more like a 3-tech DT and a 3-4 OLB is more like a DE than a real LB.
 

UpAndUnder43

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Yeah, a 3-4 is more like a 5-2 because you have 5 guys on the LOS and only 2 down LB's. And a 3-4 DE is more like a 3-tech DT and a 3-4 OLB is more like a DE than a real LB.
You also need an elite NT to really run it effectively. Hard to imagine we have that plus 2 3-tech DTs plus a couple DEs
 

MplsGopher

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We actually run something-ish like a "3-4", in a sense. Our base is a 4-3, though we run just as much 4-2-5 because of how much <= 11 personnel teams run these days.

But the "rush end" position is really more like a LB sized body than a DE sized body, and is in a 2-point stance. Also separately coached by a guy who coached LBs for Fleck at W Mich I believe.
 

60's Guy

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If defensive tackles are rare & difficult to recruit would it be better to run a 3-4 defense as quality linebackers are more plentiful? Wisconsin & Nebraska always seem to out recruit us for LBs.
Were you able to watch us play, especially early this season? We would have welcomed 4 of those new plentiful linebackers. :ROFLMAO:
 

GopherJack

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Don't know the stats, but isn't a 4-3 way more common than a 3-4 defense? If you had to guess, what percent of teams play a 4-3 vs 3-4?
 

Mitu

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We actually run something-ish like a "3-4", in a sense. Our base is a 4-3, though we run just as much 4-2-5 because of how much <= 11 personnel teams run these days.

But the "rush end" position is really more like a LB sized body than a DE sized body, and is in a 2-point stance. Also separately coached by a guy who coached LBs for Fleck at W Mich I believe.
Our base is actually a 4-2-5 and we occasionally run a 4-3, not the other way around. It’s why if you look at our depth charts we list 2 LBs and 5 DBs. Our nickelbacks are the closest we have to an LB/DB hybrid.

And I wouldn’t say that we have much commonality with the 3-4 given how we run our defense. Coughlin was undersized for the position, but Rossi and company moved him to that position because they felt he’d be more effective closer to the line. Mafe is 6’4” 265, which is the same weight as Chase Young. They’re occasionally in a 2 point stance, but it’s much more common to see them in a 3 point one if you roll the tape. The biggest thing with OLBs in a 3-4 is that they will frequently drop into pass coverage as you disguise blitzes by rotating where it’s coming from. Our DEs definitely dont do that.
 
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MplsGopher

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Our base is actually a 4-2-5 and we occasionally run a 4-3, not the other way around. It’s why if you look at our depth charts we list 2 LBs and 5 DBs. Our nickelbacks are the closest we have to an LB/DB hybrid.

And I wouldn’t say that we have much commonality with the 3-4 given how we run our defense. Coughlin was undersized for the position, but Rossi and company moved him to that position because they felt he’d be more effective closer to the line. Mafe is 6’4” 265, which is the same weight as Chase Young. They’re occasionally in a 2 point stance, but it’s much more common to see them in a 3 point one if you roll the tape. The biggest thing with OLBs in a 3-4 is that they will frequently drop into pass coverage as you disguise blitzes by rotating where it’s coming from. Our DEs definitely dont do that.
I don't disagree with much of your post.

Thing is though: Mafe didn't start. Thomas Rush started, who is 6'3" 245. I also think you might be surprised just how often those guys were in 2 point stances. Perhaps if they were covered up by someone outside, they went down. But I don't think that was often.

Alignment wise, yes absolutely, we're a 40 front. We're not a 30 or 50 front look, or at least rarely.

I was just making the point that the "rush end" position is closer to a LB than a true defensive lineman. It's like a rushing specialist outside lineback in a 3-4 defense in the NFL. Von Miller
 

Some guy

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Our base is actually a 4-2-5 and we occasionally run a 4-3, not the other way around. It’s why if you look at our depth charts we list 2 LBs and 5 DBs. Our nickelbacks are the closest we have to an LB/DB hybrid.

And I wouldn’t say that we have much commonality with the 3-4 given how we run our defense. Coughlin was undersized for the position, but Rossi and company moved him to that position because they felt he’d be more effective closer to the line. Mafe is 6’4” 265, which is the same weight as Chase Young. They’re occasionally in a 2 point stance, but it’s much more common to see them in a 3 point one if you roll the tape. The biggest thing with OLBs in a 3-4 is that they will frequently drop into pass coverage as you disguise blitzes by rotating where it’s coming from. Our DEs definitely dont do that.
And that’s becoming more and more common because a base 4-3 is really hard to stop the spread with
 

Mitu

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I don't disagree with much of your post.

Thing is though: Mafe didn't start. Thomas Rush started, who is 6'3" 245. I also think you might be surprised just how often those guys were in 2 point stances. Perhaps if they were covered up by someone outside, they went down. But I don't think that was often.

Alignment wise, yes absolutely, we're a 40 front. We're not a 30 or 50 front look, or at least rarely.

I was just making the point that the "rush end" position is closer to a LB than a true defensive lineman. It's like a rushing specialist outside lineback in a 3-4 defense in the NFL. Von Miller
Yeah, Mafe was pretty mediocre in run defense. Rush is a converted LB and undersized too though. If Mafe can become a more complete player, I suspect our base stance will be more traditional with 3rd down packages where Mafe slides inside, Oliver blitzes, etc.
 

upnorthkid

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I think in all honesty the number of teams playing a "true" 4-3 and "true" 3-4 has gone down infinitely with most teams opting towards a 4-2-5 or 3-3-5 look with the further advent of spread offenses and team speed taking the lead with compact I formation offenses and power running schemes fading. Having 4 down lineman with their hand in the dirt while trying to defend laterally moving offenses is becoming near impossible so most are opting towards those standup type players, addition of guys playing the "star" role, and because the shuffling of which players are rushing/dropping in coverage with QBs who are nowhere remotely as good at reading the field creates mass defensive advantage. Thus I think this is a hard question to truly answer. Would be curious to hear defensive coordinators list what their "base" is across the country
 

Mitu

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I think in all honesty the number of teams playing a "true" 4-3 and "true" 3-4 has gone down infinitely with most teams opting towards a 4-2-5 or 3-3-5 look with the further advent of spread offenses and team speed taking the lead with compact I formation offenses and power running schemes fading. Having 4 down lineman with their hand in the dirt while trying to defend laterally moving offenses is becoming near impossible so most are opting towards those standup type players, addition of guys playing the "star" role, and because the shuffling of which players are rushing/dropping in coverage with QBs who are nowhere remotely as good at reading the field creates mass defensive advantage. Thus I think this is a hard question to truly answer. Would be curious to hear defensive coordinators list what their "base" is across the country
Agree with all of this. It’s also cyclical right? Look at what’s happening in the NFL with teams like the Titans and 49ers that are going to power running looks against (now) undersized defensive fronts who were built to stop very spread-oriented attacks.
 

Some guy

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Agree with all of this. It’s also cyclical right? Look at what’s happening in the NFL with teams like the Titans and 49ers that are going to power running looks against (now) undersized defensive fronts who were built to stop very spread-oriented attacks.
Correct. More defenses went 4-2-5 and 3-4 against spread offenses. Now it cycles back and offenses are running people over in some cases. Eventually defenses will change as offenses will change
 

CentralGopher

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If defensive tackles are rare & difficult to recruit would it be better to run a 3-4 defense as quality linebackers are more plentiful? Wisconsin & Nebraska always seem to out recruit us for LBs.
I don't think they are that rare. There are plenty of NFL teams running the 4-3 that find enough so getting enough in college shouldn't be an issue. Much like any other position not every dt makes the NFL yet there is enough for the teams running a 4-3. Granted there are a lot fewer NFL teams than college but it's no different than most other positions.
 
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