A Defense’s Best Test

28 Sep

If you designed a quarterback specifically to give nightmares to defensive coordinators, the result would look an awful lot like Baylor’s Robert Griffin III.

Also known as “RG3,” the 6-feet-2-inch, 220-pound junior holds 42 university records. He has completed 70 of his first 82 passes and has already thrown for 13 touchdowns this season.

The leader of the nation’s second-best offense, Griffin’s name is in the Heisman Trophy conversation already. Kansas State coach Bill Snyder calls Griffin ‘amazing’ and ‘head and heels above anybody we’ve played against’ and half-jokingly put the quarterback’s numbers in perspective this way:

“Who completes 85 percent or 90 percent of their passes? We don’t do that in pre-game warm-up.”

Defensive end Jordan Voelker said Griffin seems like a slightly differently quarterback from last year, having expanded his game even more since last season.

“He’s the same guy, but last year it seems like he was throwing the short ball a lot more than he was the deep ball,” Voelker said, “and he’s really improved on his deep ball game and throwing the long ball. They’ve got quite a few fly patterns and post patterns on teams, so we’ve just got to try to shut that down.”

Not many teams have been successful in that endeavor, but Voelker observed that TCU got close; on several of their pressures, they got close to Griffin but just could not finish the sacks. Voelker said it is essential that the defensive line gets hits on Griffin and hurry him early.

“Every second that he’s back there running around is more time that our corners have to cover their receivers,” Voelker said, “and with fast guys like that it’s a real task.”

While some have drawn parallels between Griffin and Miami quarterback Jacory Harris, whom the Wildcats faced last week, it is clear that while Harris might have been good preparation for Kansas State, Griffin will be a tougher test. Safety Tysyn Hartman said Griffin will capitalize on the defense’s mistakes in a way Harris did not.

“Last week we busted coverages, had guys wide open. Griffin’s not going to miss those opportunities,” Hartman said. “Jacory overthrew, underthrew some of those, and I don’t think Robert’s going to do that.”

 

 

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