College Confidential

Ole Miss coordinator says TCU has SEC-like defense: ‘That’s saying something’

Defensive tackle Terrell Lathan and linebacker Marcus Mallet chase down Iowa State quarterback Sam Richardson in the regular-season finale at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Pursuit plays like this are what make Ole Miss offensive coordinator Dan Werner think of SEC defenses when he evaluates the TCU front.
Defensive tackle Terrell Lathan and linebacker Marcus Mallet chase down Iowa State quarterback Sam Richardson in the regular-season finale at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Pursuit plays like this are what make Ole Miss offensive coordinator Dan Werner think of SEC defenses when he evaluates the TCU front. Star-Telegram

Ole Miss offensive coordinator Dan Werner said TCU has SEC-style athleticism on defense.

“Their defensive line really runs around,” he said. “Some of the teams you see throughout the country just don’t have the athletic ability that most D-lines do in our league. But these guys obviously do. Their linebackers are real physical, but can also run. And they’re good enough at corner to play a lot of man coverage, which allows them to do a lot of different things inside. And that’s basically what we see every week.”

Werner doesn’t hold the Baylor loss against TCU, attributing it to big plays from Baylor in a short amount of time. He the stats from the rest of the season bear out the quality of TCU’s defense.

“When you look at their stats, they’re in the top rankings in a lot of categories in the country, and that’s playing in a conference that throws the ball a lot,” he said. “Most of those teams are putting up a bunch of points. To see where they are ranked is impressive.”

TCU was second in the country in takeaways, third in interceptions, third in tackles for loss and fifth in third-down defense. The Frogs led the Big 12 in all of those categories, plus scoring defense and fewest first downs allowed.

“You watch them on film, they’re an SEC-type defense,” Werner said. “That’s saying something, because we’re used to seeing great defenses every week. And these guys are right there with them.”

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