Riding a seven-game win streak, and first place in the northern division most of COC’s success can be attributed to their defense. The Cougar’s defense is the best in the conference leading in points per game, total yards allowed per game, and turnovers.
In football, one of many sayings is, “To win on the road, you need to take a good run game and great defense.” The Cougars have done just that. In the second game of the year COC went on the road to No. 4 ranked Saddleback College and squeaked out a narrow win, which started a seven-game win streak, including most recently, a blowout win against defending conference champions Ventura College, in Ventura. In that game, the Cougar’s defense had four interceptions on the night.
So how does a team who had one of their worst years as a program turn around so quickly? One reason is the hire of first-year head coach Ted Iacenda.
Iacenda has brought a new attitude to this team which has been missing these last few years. “Back when I coached here before, we didn’t lose a game at home, that’s what I’m trying to do with these kids.” Iacenda said. “When we’re at home, we’re not going to turn it over and we’re going to play great defense.”
While Iacenda has brought a new attitude, you still need the players to do it. According to fourth year defensive coordinator Dan Corbet, a huge part of the success is due to the fact that the Cougars have four sophomore defensive lineman. “When your D-line is pretty good, generally the rest of your defense is pretty good.” A point of emphasis Corbet works on in practice is tackling and swarming the football.
Not all of the credit can go to the defense though. The Cougar’s offense leads the conference in time of possession which Corbet says is huge for his team so he can make adjustments in between possessions. “Our offense has done a great job not turning the ball over and putting us in bad positions and giving us a chance to recuperate.”
The Cougars defense added six interceptions and two fumbles this past weekend and will play Cerritos at home on Nov. 9 in what will be the determining game for the conference.