A reader responds to my argument that at the end of the national championship football game, USC should have put Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush in on defense to play the "spy" position that tracks Texas running quarterback Vince Young, and offers a strategy of his own:
You have a point, although Reggie is a little smaller. I too was stunned that Pete Carroll came up with nada with regards to Mr. Young. Reggie certainly could have tracked him. Would have been fun to watch. Part of the problem wasn't that USC wasn't fast enough, but they simply missed tackles. They had to hold on and wait for the troops to arrive. I sometimes see defenses try to slam the guy down and not gang tackle. I feel this was USC's issue. Vince Young is a beast and slippery. Really cool to watch.
After a couple of days pondering, I came to the following conclusion. On the final drive, It was apparent that USC could not stop Texas, period. This is not unusual in football. I suspect that when teams are tired, offenses take over because it is simply harder to play defense. It takes more effort.
So, here's the strategy -- do whatever it takes to get the ball back ... including letting Texas score fast! We have heard it a million times, the last team with the ball will win the game. Time is more valuable that points.
So, here is what USC should have done...
Bring the house on blitzes of the quarterback. I know Pete Carroll blitzed, but I mean 7-8 men, both corners. Also, instruct the safeties to go for the interception. If you sack or pick, game over. If they score, big play and you get the ball back.
And put Reggie Bush in at left side linebacker to blitz. Nobody can block him in the open field and his pressure would force Young to scramble to his left, making him a poorer passer.