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I, Noted Football Idiot, Can Spot Todd Orlando’s Blitzes

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Texas John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports

There has been much consternation about Todd Orlando’s defense on this site and others, as well as complaints from former players about how obvious & ineffective the pressure tactics are.

I tuned into the last few minutes of the game last night to witness the hell everyone was going through, and it seemed pretty obvious to me - the guy who at best knows 15% as much about football as Scipio Tex - who was blitzing before the ball was snapped. I made a crack about it last night, but today I thought I’d try it on a bigger sample size to see if I was just getting lucky. While I used to watch a lot of football, I watch very little these days; I haven’t watched a NFL game in going on 2.5 years and I rarely watch college football any more. I think I saw 3 Texas games last year and I’ve caught maybe a quarter of one game combined this year. I do learn some things through osmosis as I still go on Texas boards, but my football muscle is definitely atrophied.

So here’s what I did: I turned on the LHN rebroadcast of the Kansas game and watched the Kansas offensive possessions from the first half. Since it’s the two-hour condensed version, I didn’t see all of the plays but it ended up being 20 snaps in total. I’d wait for the defense to get set, then write down if I thought they were blitzing and how many guys I thought were coming. (I was guessing which guys as well, but didn’t write down who because I couldn’t always make out numbers.) I figured I’d get like 20-25% of the blitzes right, tops. I mean, I’m just an average viewer, not a defensive coordinator or former player, right?

I correctly picked if the blitz was coming 17 of 19 times. (One snap I didn’t count because LHN didn’t get back to the play in time.) That’s a 89% hit rate. On the 13 blitzes I saw coming, I got the specific blitzers correct 5 times. That’s a 38% hit rate. And again, I don’t watch football; if I’m able to guess when he’s sending a blitz and have a decent guess on who, I can only imagine what people who do this for a living are pulling off.

What the hell, Todd.