When you read about the chances that TCU has to win the national championship this season, NCAAF betting fans generally read about Trevone Boykin and his role in running the Horned Frogs’ offense. However, what may be even bigger news is the 4-2-5 defensive scheme that has been the best answer that anyone has had when it comes to slowing down the spread and no-huddle offenses that have become popular in the college game.
How does it work? With five defensive backs and only two linebackers, the formation is designed to combat the proliferation of receivers in spread offenses as well as the wide range of choices that come with the read option in football. The college game is getting more difficult to defend because of these offensive trends. More points are going on the board, and that’s a trend that is not going to change any time in the near future. A lot of the big programs have been looking at new ways to play defense, but Patterson has had this 4-2-5 scheme in place for years.
Why is the no-huddle popular? Because it limits the choices of the defensive coordinator. Specialty defenses require substitutions from one down to the next, but a no-huddle offense keeps those substitutions from happening. With five defensive backs in the game, Patterson almost never needs to make any substitutions.
He has also divided his defense into three groups: the front (the linemen and linebackers), the “read” side (the strong safety, free safety and one cornerback) and the “away” side (the weak safety and the other cornerback). Each group has its own calls, which means that if one group’s call doesn’t work, the rest of the defense can stil function.
Patterson is far from the only coach who splits the front from the coverage in calls (Bill Belichick does the same thing). However, Patterson might be the only one who has different coaches call the fronts and secondary coverages, often operating independently of one another. He is also one of the few coaches to split the secondary into two groups. That means that, on any given play, TCU has three different defensive calls in play.
This is confusing for opposing offenses to read, and it also gives Patterson more options. It also makes defense simpler for Patterson to teach his defense. The players don’t need to know how to interpret each call for the whole defense. Instead, the splitting into groups means that each player knows what to do on each play.
This doesn’t make the defense simplistic, though. It does mean that Patterson can feature man on one side and zone on the other – a real puzzle for teams trying to pick through video of the Horned Frogs and figure out what they are doing. Also, their zone defense isn’t a typical zone. Instead, it’s what is called a pattern-matching zone coverage. This means that defenders start out in a zone but then end up running something that looks more like a man defense once the play begins.
Patterson’s real gift as a defensive coach is knowing how to think like his opponents. This keeps opponents from hurrying up to the line and running the next play they have in mind. By anticipating what teams will do, TCU has offenses trying to look at what they are doing on defense before starting their play. That gives the Horned Frogs a significant advantage that should pay big dividends this season.
Sports & Betting Topics
- Early 2020 National Championship Odds – Analyzing the Favorites
- 2020 National Championship Betting Lines – Underdogs Analysis
- 2020 National Championship Odds – Dark Horses Analysis
- Early 2020 National Championship Betting Favorites – January 8th Edition
- 2019 National Championship ATS Betting Pick
- How to Bet the 2019 National Championship Game
- 2019 National Championship SU Betting Pick
- Why Bet for Alabama Crimson Tide to Win the 2019 National Championship?
- Top College Bowl Betting Picks of the Week – December 31st
- Clemson vs Alabama 2019 National Championship Odds & Analysis
- Kentucky vs Penn State 2019 Citrus Bowl Odds & Expert Pick
- Texas vs Georgia 2019 Sugar Bowl Betting Lines & Preview
- Washington vs Ohio State 2019 Rose Bowl Odds & Prediction
- LSU vs UCF 2019 Fiesta Bowl Lines & Game Prediction
- Mississippi State vs Iowa 2019 Outback Bowl Odds & Preview
- Alabama vs Oklahoma 2018 Orange Bowl Betting Lines & Pick
- Clemson vs Notre Dame 2018 Cotton Bowl Odds & Expert Pick
- NC State vs Texas A&M 2018 Gator Bowl Odds & Game Preview
- Missouri vs Oklahoma State 2018 Liberty Bowl Spread & Analysis
- Michigan State vs Oregon 2018 Redbox Bowl Lines
- Stanford vs Pittsburgh 2018 Sun Bowl Odds & Betting Prediction
- Cincinnati vs Virginia Tech 2018 Military Bowl Spread & Expert Pick
- Arkansas State vs Nevada 2018 Arizona Bowl Lines & Game Preview
- South Carolina vs Virginia 2018 Belk Bowl Odds & Betting Analysis
- Iowa State vs Washington State 2018 Alamo Bowl Lines & Preview
- Florida vs Michigan 2018 Peach Bowl Odds & Pick
- Temple vs Duke 2018 Independence Bowl Odds & Preview
- West Virginia vs Syracuse 2018 Camping World Bowl Odds & Analysis
- Miami vs Wisconsin 2018 Pinstripe Bowl Spread & Expert Pick
- Purdue vs Auburn 2018 Music City Bowl Lines & Prediction