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Vincent Brown: Missed assignments the culprit against Georgia Tech

When the Virginia defense gave up 256 rushing yards during an Oct. 2 loss to Florida State, Cavaliers coaches pointed to five missed tackles that accounted for 172 yards that the Seminoles gained on the ground.

On Saturday, the Virginia defense allowed Georgia Tech's triple-option offense to rush for 477 yards in a 33-21 defeat. This time, Cavaliers Linebackers Coach Vincent Brown said Tuesday, it was missed assignments -- not missed tackles -- that led Virginia defenders astray.

Georgia Tech's "big-yardage plays came from guys just not being in the right gaps and not having the right run responsibility," Brown said. "But it wasn't so much guys in position to make a play and not being able to do it."

There still were times when Virginia defenders -- particularly members of the secondary -- missed tackles, but the problem did seem less severe than it had been against Florida State.

Coach Mike London had spoken repeatedly last week about the need for assignment-oriented defense, and it appeared as though the coaching staff's messages either were not received or were not understood by most of the Cavaliers defenders. Georgia Tech rushed for 243 yards in the first half.

Granted, Georgia Tech Coach Paul Johnson's triple-option offense is not easy to prepare for, much less defend against, and Virginia's relative inexperience at the outside linebacker positions didn't help matters. But still, Brown seemed perturbed at the execution of the game plan with which Virginia head into the game.

"You work all week trying to devise a plan that the players can execute and for whatever reason if it's not working, you know, you go in and you try to figure out what's the best chance we have at stopping these guys and slowing them down," Brown said. "We did make some adjustments, and some of those adjustments were very effective at times. And again, with the inexperience that we have and just guys not completely understanding where they should be at certain times resulted in some big plays against us."

Brown did not want to go into specific adjustments that the defense made as Saturday's game progressed, though he did say that the Cavaliers "started to bring a little more pressure and kind of forced them to react to what we were doing, versus the traditional, 'Okay, you know, if they do this, you've got to be here. You've got to take the quarterback. You've got to take the dive. You've got to take the pitch.'"

Virginia allowed Georgia Tech to gain 234 rushing yards in the second half.

By Steve Yanda  | October 13, 2010; 7:50 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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