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Blog Entry

Suh dominant, but may not be today

Posted on: December 30, 2009 1:54 pm
Let's be real clear about this from the start -- rated Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh as the number one senior prospect in August. He's been atop every one of the many mock drafts I've penned already this year. I see no reason why he won't be atop every other 2010 mock draft I write. I don't know of anyone who touted him as a Heisman candidate before I did.

In fact, Bo Pelini and Suh's family might be the only ones higher on this young man's ability than I am.

And yet, I think he's going to struggle to make his typically dominant impact against Arizona today in the Holiday Bowl.

The Wildcats feature a true spread offense. Rarely does quarterback Nick Foles hang on to the ball for long, one of the reasons why Arizona has allowed only 11 sacks on the year (tied for 10th fewest in the FCS).

One could make the point that many of the offenses Suh faced in the Big 12 also feature the spread offense, including Texas, who Suh so infamously ravaged in the Big 12 Championship. Those teams, however, didn't have a month to prepare.

Against top teams with more typical pro-style offenses (Virginia Tech, Colorado, Kansas State, Iowa State), Suh averaged an eye-popping 7.5 tackles, a sack, 2 PBUs and .75 blocked kicks per game.

The two Big 12 teams using a true spread offense as wide as the one the Wildcats will use today were Kansas and Texas Tech. In those two contests Suh was held relatively in check, averaging only 3.5 tackles and 1 tackle for loss.

The spread offense was designed to get the ball out of the hands of the quarterback quickly to combat dominant penetrating defensive linemen just like Suh.

If he isn't as dominant today as he has been in the past, don't chalk it up to a lack of effort or his being overrated. NFL scouts certainly be.


Since: Mar 13, 2008
Posted on: January 4, 2010 1:25 pm

Suh dominant, but may not be today

Suh may not have put up huge stats against Arizona, but he set the tone for the defense, which totally dominated the Wildcats. Not just shutting them out, but shutting them down. Their punter saw more action than most of their wide receivers. The playbook might have been titled "Three and Out."
The limited number of plays Arizona ran also decreased the opportunities for sacks and tackles.
Suh is hands down the best defensive player in the country and I'll argue the best player in the country. I believe the St. Louis Rams agree and will make him the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. If they don't they deserve another 1-15 season. 

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