Andy Buh: Defense is in Sonny Dykes' blood
Posted by: Chris Vannini on February 26, 2013
With all the high-powered offenses in the Pac-12, it might seem defense is an afterthought.
At Cal, Sonny Dykes brings an offense from LA Tech that was one of the nation's best in 2012. Andy Buh was hired from Wisconsin to be the defensive coordinator, and he knows people don't expect much from a defense under Dykes.
LA Tech finished No. 1 in total offense in 2012 and dead last in total defense. But in an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Buh says the reputation is not reality.
"It's exactly what you said, it's a perception," Buh told the paper. "It's not the reality that walks the halls of this building. The first indication is we signed 13 defensive guys and only signed 11 offensive guys. That indicates No. 1 where (Dykes') priorities are. If we could have gotten two of those corners at the end, we would have signed 15 defensive guys.
"Second indication is (LA Tech) won that WAC championship two years ago because they played stellar defense. Coach Dykes and I have a relationship that goes way beyond this opportunity here, and he's always talked about having a team with a great defense. He's the son of a defensive coach. It's in his blood."
Buh will be switching the Golden Bears to a 4-3 defense. The fact it's what he is used to is one big factor in the decision, but another is the importance of defensive linemen with various styles of quarterbacks they will face.
"It can defend all the different types of offenses we're going to face," Buh said. "I believe in the way football has become where the quarterback is such a threat, both run and pass, that four defensive linemen are almost critical in terms of keeping linemen off the linebackers, having good pass-rush lanes, squeezing and constricting gaps and not making it such a space game.
"Those are all the principles of the 4-3. We'll sit more on our technique and our fundamentals than our scheme."
Below is Dykes talking about the beginning of spring practice and Buh participating with a sling due to recent surgery.
Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to email@example.com