Every coaching staff that has the prevent defense in their playbook should quit. Now. I would never tell my defense to go out there and play soft. "Go ahead guys. Give them a little, but don't let them score." Here's what I would tell them: "We're up! I want to be up by more! Go smother 'em!!"
Case and point.
Last Friday night the Baylor Bears were beating the TCU Horned Frogs 47-23 going into the fourth quarter. Baylor was showing no signs of letting up. Enter the Prevent Defense/Offense.
Baylor then backed off the pressure on the TCU offense. They moved the linebackers back off the ball and the conerbacks off the receivers. The point? To play against the deep ball. The problem? TCU recognized that and utilized the short yardage passing game. The outcome? Touchdown, Horned Frogs.
Let's move onto the offense. Baylor came out in the beginning of the fourth quarter and did nothing but run the ball. The point? To take time off the clock. The problem? Everyone on the planet knew it was coming. The outcome? Very quick three-and-outs that took maybe 2:30 off the clock.
Back to the defense. Baylor was shutting down TCU's deep ball all game long. So here's my question. If you've been stopping it all game, why would you change up your defense? Baylor's defense ended up being so concerned with the deep ball, that they gave up the short passes and allowed TCU to march down the field.
Offense! Or lack there of. If Baylor continues to run the offense that scored them 47 points, they win this game 70-30.
Baylor played Prevent through the fourth quarter and the final score came out to be Baylor 50, TCU 48.
So here's my point: the preventive approach never works. Teams end up being too cautious and shoot themselves in the foot. If you're a coach and reading this, here's my advice: just let your team line-up like they have been all game and just keep playing tough football. If you are in a position where you need to use the prevent defense, you've obviously been doing something right all game. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!