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USU Football: Andersen goes nuclear on his defensive line

Published March 29, 2012 9:36 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Gary Andersen is not a happy person right now.

Check that. Gary Andersen is livid.

The source of his discontent? His defensive line, which has drawn his ire and as harsh a public criticism as any group he has coached during his tenure as Utah State's head coach.

Here are some of his greatest hits from Thursday morning's practice.

* "If the line continues to play like this, we're going to have to score 60 points every week if we want to win games."

* "Right now, we don't have a division I defensive line."

* "The line as a whole thinks they are much better than they really are. In reality, they have miles to go."

* "We already play an odd front. If these guys can't play, we'll just go with six linebackers."

* "The effort isn't there, and at this point the defensive line is a glaring concern and a big negative."

Andersen went on to say that Connor Williams is currently playing extremely well at defensive end. But, even with the youth and inexperience up front, the line hasn't been getting the job done to this point.

It's not a secret that Andersen thinks a strong line is the key to his defense. Without the line, the linebackers don't get free to make tackles. Without pressure, the defensive backfield has to cover for too long, and that will lead to a porous pass defense.

In day two of practice, there have already been fireworks. Will the defensive line improve?

Tony Jones