Greetings, Lion fans. In between last night’s Five Game Balls Column, and today’s post game Five Thoughts, it got me to thinking, so I went back and did a little research, and that research confirmed our instincts. What the Blue Gang defense has done, especially the last five games, is otherworldly.
In the last 20 quarters of play, the Lion defense has allowed two offensive touchdowns. That’s right, two. They have 21 quarterback sacks, and forced 7 turnovers. The have allowed an average of 175.8 yards of total offense, which in these days of wide open offenses, is almost unheard of. These stats haven’t been run up against outclassed or substandard teams, either. Texas A&M-Kingsville is 4-3, and have won their last two. Saginaw Valley State is now 5-3, and are winners of their last three games. West Texas A&M is 4-4, but own wins over Eastern New Mexico and Angelo State. Western New Mexico may be 1-7, but hung tough against Kingsville. The only team outclassed by the Lions was the University of Fort Lauderdale, and it certainly wasn’t from a lack of talent. It was from a lack of depth.
To give you an idea of just how good this stretch of defensive football is, here’s where they stand in all of Division 2 defensively:
#3 in Total Defense
#7 in Pass Defense
#12 in Rush Defense
#11 in Scoring Defense
#8 in Quarterback Sacks
Despite the Lions offensive struggles, the defense has carried this team. At this point, until the offense works out the kinks, and there’s every indication that they can, the Lions will go as far as this defense takes them. So, if you’re a fan of defensive football like I am, then take the opportunity over these next three weeks to watch this team play defense. You’re in for a real treat.
Coaching legend Paul “Bear” Bryant once said, “Offense Sells tickets, but defense wins championships” was absolutely correct. In looking back at the Lions most recent championship run in 2017, there was the flashiness of Luis Perez, D’Arthur Cowan, Marquis Wimberbly, and company, but it was Saathoff, Edwards-Cooper, Carter, Onoha, Searcy, and Leonard that enabled the hardward to be brought back home.
The “Blue Gang” mindset. The pride, tradition, and commitment to excellence that began in the early 70’s under the late Bobby Fox, and continued through Vowell, Copeland, Ross, Deason, Power, and Adibi among others, continues to this day. The players may change, the coordinatiors and staff may as well, but the tradition remains.
DEFENSE. BLUE GANG STYLE.