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Florida State’s Defense Under Mark Stoops

Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics

Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics

I happen to be a football nerd. Blitzes, coverages, and route trees are some of the most interesting things in the world to me. When my favorite NFL team — The Chicago Bears — broke the huddle in a quarters formation, a couple of weeks ago (first time in like four years)…. I got excited. Kentucky getting new football coaches just gives me an excuse to delve into new schemes and philosophies of our new coaches and possible new coaches to see how it fits with Kentucky’s current personnel. I ran across a Florida State fan website that detailed all of what our new coach likes to do on defense, and if you’re like me, you’ll read the entire article about 5 times. In 2009, Stoops took over a horrendous FSU defense and turned it to one of the best defenses in the country, which is the same thing he plans to do here at Kentucky. Nothing will change about the scheme Stoops brings to the Bluegrass, he will still be one of the best guys in the nation at running the 4-3. Here are some of the highlights of the article.

Stoops is committed to being multiple.  That means multiple fronts and multiple coverages.  Stoops has said he will be precise, accurate, detail-oriented and selectively aggressive.  He said his sacks come more from coverage than from all-out blitzing.  Stoops is a stickler for precise run fits.  He stresses being assignment sound and building everything around the core of the defense.  It’s that core that never changes, Stoops says, that must be in place before anything flashy is implemented.  Stoops’ influences include his brothers Bob and Mike along with Bo and Carl Pelini.

-This is exactly what Stoops said at Sunday’s press conference. He wants to have multiple fronts and attack offenses in a lot of different ways. The guy I think will benefit from this head coaching change the most is Bud Dupree. Dupree is a monster, and if Stoops can teach him how to relentlessly get after the pass rusher in both tw0 and three-point stances, he’ll be NFL-ready in no time.

Stoops played a good bit of cover 3 at Arizona and cover 3 is a trademark of the Stoops brothers’ defensive philosophy.  Note that some refer to this defense as “3-deep”  For our purposes, that is the same thing.

-Cover-3 allows you to do a lot with the safety that isn’t responsible for that “deep-third”. He is able to help in run support, cover, and fall into a zone as well. Here is a typical zone-blitz play-call from Stoops’ in cover-3 look:


Zone-blitzing is an effective way to confuse a quarterback and send pressure as well. Stoops does a great job of incorporating this into his defense, which is why he lead one of the best groups in the nation.

Article written by Rashawn Franklin

22 Comments for Florida State’s Defense Under Mark Stoops

  1. Mt. Washington Larry
    8:03 pm December 5, 2012 Permalink

    I can’t wait for football “AGAIN”

  2. b/s
    8:09 pm December 5, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone see what matt just tweeted about the media? Talk about being a hypocrite. Matt has put out so much false info and been wrong so many times. Pot meet kettle.

  3. nassau65
    8:09 pm December 5, 2012 Permalink

    wiring schematics i understand, but that stuff, not so much

  4. Dave
    8:09 pm December 5, 2012 Permalink

    Rashawn can we see this demonstration with a ketchup and mustard bottle as well as a jar of mayo and relish please.

  5. nassau65
    8:10 pm December 5, 2012 Permalink

    hey #2 b/s, you got a man crush on our boy Matt?

  6. Sammydog
    8:11 pm December 5, 2012 Permalink

    Looks like he will need to prepare for Charlie Strong’s Cards and not Charlie’s Vols. Thamel and SI just reported he told the Vols no and will be Cards long time coach. Salary will be equal to highest paid coach in ACC. Vols evidently threw a ton on money at him.

  7. Ice
    8:11 pm December 5, 2012 Permalink

    Supposedly, Strong turned down a ton of money to go to UT. Here are the numbers:

    According to the source, Tennessee has offered Strong, who led Louisville to the All-State Sugar Bowl, a lucrative deal worth $23.5 million over five years – $4.7 million per year.

  8. Sammydog
    8:17 pm December 5, 2012 Permalink

    I doubt Lville is paying him that much but must have lots of promises about facilities, building the brand and widening fan support, etc.

  9. truBLU
    8:22 pm December 5, 2012 Permalink

    I like it but I’m pretty sure we don’t have any DE’s that can drop back in coverage against the flat which looks to be vital for Stoops….Hit the recuiting trail Coach!!

  10. truBLU
    8:22 pm December 5, 2012 Permalink


  11. DirtyDave
    8:24 pm December 5, 2012 Permalink

    Think you meant get after the passer ?

  12. 5000
    8:35 pm December 5, 2012 Permalink

    if you don’t understand the image here is what it looks like in video

  13. TheProfessor
    9:01 pm December 5, 2012 Permalink

    His D was below average against the top competition…should’ve hired Petrino….Mark it down, we will be firing this guy in 4 years

  14. I Say
    9:10 pm December 5, 2012 Permalink

    good piece rashawn, i always enjoy your posts. good insight

  15. bbmike
    9:24 pm December 5, 2012 Permalink

    Oh man, can we have a post like this daily til aug 31?

  16. Outhouse Lightning
    9:37 pm December 5, 2012 Permalink

    Kentucky’s defense under Joker Phillips:

  17. Vette72
    9:58 pm December 5, 2012 Permalink

    16. Very funny.

  18. random dude
    10:53 pm December 5, 2012 Permalink

    please keep these posts coming – i speak for 90% of big blue nation when i say i know nothing about football but am jacked up for football season now.

  19. Study it out
    2:22 am December 6, 2012 Permalink

    Excellent post. I’d like to see more of these in the future.

  20. Richard Head Minter
    8:38 am December 6, 2012 Permalink

    Would someone ask Rashawn to explain that pic to me. And while you are at it, where is the film room? Haven’t found it in two years and I want to watch The Replacements. Kinda short right now, do they charge admission?

  21. Joe
    9:14 am December 6, 2012 Permalink

    should’ve hired Petrino Just like all those other schools, eh? Give up your man-crush.

    To be fair, Petrino could end up at UT, as their last-ditch option.

  22. shut up
    12:24 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    Dupree in a 2 pt stance….are you nuts! PLEASE put people on here who knows what they are talking about Matt!!!