What You Need To Know About The Cincinnati Defense
– A defensive coordinator by trade, head coach Luke Fickell had better have a great D. The defense was okay, but it didn’t get into the backfield enough, and it struggled to take the ball away. Defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman’s main job is to come up with a more disruptive group – the big plays have to come.
– Leading tackler Jaylyin Minor is gone from the linebacking corps, and safety Carter Jacobs is done, but four of the top six and nine of the top 12 tacklers return. It all starts with the young, fast outside linebackers – Perry Young and Jarell White – but the line has to do its part to get behind the line. DT Marquise Copeland and DE Kevin Mouhon have the experience, but the production has to come.
– The Bearcats came up with 17 interceptions in 2016, and just five last season. The lack of a pass rush was a problem, but the defensive backs weren’t all that great, either, getting hit for 220 yards or more eight times.
Biggest Key To The Cincinnati Defense
Create takeaways. With the excellent defensive minds in the program, there has to be a way to figure out how to do a whole lot more. The Bearcats came up with just 11 takeaways on the year, but were saved by the stingy offense slowed down the giveaways as the year went on.
UC forced four turnovers in the first two games and two later on against Temple, and just five in the other nine games.