Jeff Casteel is like a commercial jingle. At first his ridiculous 3-3-5 defenses were a little irritating, like in 2006 when it was being gashed like Owen Wilson’s wrists. Then you see it a few years, you hum it in the shower. By the 7th year, it’s “By Mennen!”.
I’ll be honest, the first 5 years WVU ran Casteel’s D (2002-2006) I found him extremely irritating. But after seeing the last two years, he’s sorta got stuck in my head, “Jeff Ca-steel”!
Even after last year, I was skeptical of keeping the 3-3-5 defense. I thought 2007 may have been a fluke. A perfect storm of veterans playing above their heads.
But Casteel has replaced 9 starters on defense, and the unit is playing nearly as well, and better in some statistical areas then last year.
We don’t have a bonafide pass rusher, are missing our best linebacker, and have a true freshman and slot receiver starting in the secondary. And somehow Casteel, through smoke a mirrors, Casteel has built a solid defense.
Obviously, WVU has not played any dynamic offenses, but all the defense can do is stop the offenses it does play, and it has. In fact, Casteel’s defenses have played well enough to win every game the past 3 years with the exception of Louisville in 2006.
Sure, the defense allows too many third and long conversions, and many times relies on dropped passes and bad throws, but even at its worst, Casteel’s defenses do not allow more the 3 touchdown’s in 99% of its games.
In college, if your D can hold the other team to around 20 points, you should win every game. Casteel’s unit is only allowing 15 points per game.
Now when I hear someone mention the 3-3-5, I don’t shiver in disgust anymore like I just saw picture of Kirsten Dunst. Now I think about how “unique” and “deceptive” our defense is and how lucky we are to have Jeff Casteel (and not a former Marshall and Syracuse DC) running the D.
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