2020: Strength of schedule; 2021: weak pac 12 and an elite offense.
I don't think Tuiaki is as bad as many on here say, but I think many of the defenders turn a blind eye and that only forces the haters to dig in their heels.
Tuiaki's defense is usually a very soft bend dont break. It's the way I play ping pong (I just make sure I hit the ball on the other side of the table, I don't smash the ball because I'm more likely to screw up. So, instead, I spend all my effort on waiting for my opponent to screw up. I have devised this strategy because neither myself nor my opponents are ever very good at ping pong). The problem is that it requires the opponent to screw up. If they are able to execute regularly, then they can and will score points on you regularly. Because we never smash the ping pong ball across the table, or put spin on the ball, it is easier than normal for the opponent to simply hit it back onto our side of the table. This is proven by the ease with which opponents can convert on 3rd down (look at the stats for 2021, we aren't good at stopping third down). So, it is slightly easier to get points against our defense. It's usually a field goal though, because it is harder to execute as the field gets smaller. (I say this is usually his offense, because I was actually surprised and impressed at the variation he showed in his play calling for the U of U and ASU games last year).
Here is the problem with few possessions. If, as is often the case with good teams, not only can their offense execute, but their defense is tough too. With so few possessions and good execution teams guaranteed 3-7 points on each drive, it means that our offense has to execute on every drive too. But other defenses aren't as forgiving as ours (and our offense might be sitting on the side line for long enough that they are cold). In many big games, where the other teams offense and defense are good. Our defense will hold them to fewer points than their season average because they don't have as many possessions and we may cause them to only score 3 points instead of 7 because of philosophy. But if our offense can't get into a rhythm and execute consistently, it is frustrating that they get fewer chances than they would if we had a different style defense.
So, haters scream at Tuiaki and the team philosophy when the offense can't get a rhythm and Tuiaki defenders scratch their heads and say, it's the offense that's not in a rhythm why are you pointing the finger at Tuiaki? In short, the philosophy of defense will never make our defense look too bad (keep opponents below season average), but it will put a lot more pressure on our offense to execute every drive because every drive is that much more important. If we can't execute on offense, despite not having as much time on the field (risking a chance we may not get into a rhythm), then we will lose the game. So, often, our offense looks like the weak link in big games, when really it is because the team philosophy forces all the pressure onto the offense.
Baylor 2021: 10 possessions, we scored 24 points against a very good Baylor team, and 24 points was pretty good (Baylor only allowed more than 24 points twice last year, and many of those teams likely had more than 10 possessions). However, they scored 38 points on us on 9 possessions (they had 11 if you count 3 kneels at the end of the game and 1 play right before the half, but I don't because they weren't trying to score on either). They scored on 6 of those 9 possessions. And they could execute well enough that they could maintain 11 play drives without any trouble.
Arizona 2021: 10 possessions (had 12, but again 1 play before the half and 2 plays before the end of the game weren't meaningful), we scored 24 points against an defense that regularly gave up more than 24 points (though opponents probably had more than 10 possessions pretty often). They likely had less than their normal number of possessions too. Even still, they were two missed field goals away from having their 3rd highest scoring game of the season. Nevertheless, they couldn't execute regularly enough.
I think Tuiaki's philosophy can put us middle of the pack in the Big 12, but I don't know that it will ever allow us to pass the Baylor's of the conference. I hope that made sense, it was sort of long and I don't have time to proofread.
This message has been modified
Originally posted on Jun 22, 2022 at 10:27:10pm
Message modified by here's to hoping on Jun 22, 2022 at 10:50:07pm
Message modified by here's to hoping on Jun 22, 2022 at 10:53:00pm