Full Version: Deacons' defense a new look for Purdue
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Purdue coach Joe Tiller calls it a "stacked 3" defense. Boilermaker offensive coordinator Jim Chaney refers to it as an "Okie" defense.

By whatever name, the defense employed Saturday by Wake Forest in Ross-Ade Stadium will be a challenge for the Purdue offense.

"They play a much different alignment than any (player) on our team has seen -- a stacked 3, a 3-3 defense," Tiller said.

Out of that alignment, most of the time the Demon Deacons rush three and drop eight.

But not always.

"It's a three-man front that is an eight-man front," Chaney said. "Most three-man fronts are seven-man front teams. We haven't seen one in some time. This is a whole lot different.

"We'll be all right, hopefully, by Saturday, but it's something new. I don't know of anybody that's doing what they're doing defensively, and they'll create some problems."

The Boilermakers can take solace in the fact that opposing offenses have put up decent numbers against the Demon Deacons so far this season.

Northern Illinois (42 points/420 yards), East Carolina (22/395) and North Carolina State (32/321) have combined to score 96 points and amass 1,136 total yards against the Wake Forest defense.

That's an average of 32 points and 378.6 yards a game.

But the Boilermakers are convinced it will be a challenge moving the ball Saturday.

"There's some problems it poses but there's also some advantages," quarterback Kyle Orton said. "If they only rush three, you should be able to sustain a pretty good run game.

"Part of the problem is there's less windows to throw into. You've got to be really accurate if they're going to drop eight."

The leader of the Wake Forest defense is senior end Calvin Pace, a second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection last season, when the Demon Deacons finished 6-5.

Pace leads Wake Forest with 30 tackles so far this season. With two sacks in the first three games, he now has 23 for his career, just seven shy of the school record.

"They've got a defensive end that will really test our young sophomore (offensive tackle Kelly Butler)," Tiller said. "Calvin Pace is an outstanding player. I think he's the best defensive end we've seen since Courtney Brown."

Brown is a former All-American defensive end at Penn State who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft.

With a "stack 3" front, it would figure the Demon Deacons constantly are in a "nickel" defense, with five defensive backs.

But that's not so.

Looking at the Wake Forest defense by position, they have two ends and a nose tackle up front, with three linebackers. They also have the usual two cornerbacks and two safeties.

But they also have another position that is labeled "B," for Bandit.

"It's basically yet another 'backer," Tiller said. "Because they put another guy up close to the line of scrimmage, in a field position or in a blitz position.

"If you evaluate that guy, he's doing more things like a linebacker than he is a defensive back. Therefore, I would not classify them as a nickel defense."

This year's Bandit is 6-foot, 213-pound sophomore Caron Bracy.

"Their defense is tough to run on," Chaney said. "They play a softer three-deep coverage that affords you some passes, but not a lot of big plays.

"From a line standpoint, we've got to really be on top of our techniques. They're tough, they present some problems."
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