South Dakota State is considering - considering - what coach John Stiegelmeier called major changes to its defensive scheme.
Basically, the Jackrabbits would incorporate a second base defense for use in games against teams that run some version of the spread offense. The impetus for the potential experiment is twofold: Seven of their 12 opponents in 2013 operate out of the spread, and defensive coaches Clint Brown (now the sole coordinator) and Jimmy Rogers (a former player and the new linebackers coach) were looking for ways to incorporate new ideas.
"So you don’t adjust your base package for spread," Stiegelmeier explained. "You have a base package for spread. We had a tweak like that - this is a total investment in how you defend the spread."
Again, it wouldn’t mean an end to the traditional 4-3 zone format, which SDSU ran exceptionally well in 2012, ranking in the top 10 in total defense and scoring defense - it would be an addition to it. And it’s still just an idea. Stiegelmeier would have preferred to make a move like this in advance of spring ball. But the timing of the coaching changes, started by the resignation of Jay Bubak, didn’t allow for that.
"We haven’t committed to it," he said. "These guys are supposed to be going on vacation in July not working on defense. It’s exciting and it’s nervewracking. You don’t want to get two weeks into fall camp and (back out)."
Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.