What You Need To Know About The Appalachian State Defense
– New defensive coordinator Bryan Brown did a great job with the secondary over the last several years, and he returns a loaded group of defensive backs from a D that gave up just 20 points and 343 yards per game.
Clifton Duck and Tae Hayes form the best corner tandem in the Sun Belt – and it’ll be among the nation’s most productive. These two can hit, and they can certainly cover for the Sun Belt’s best pass defense. Safety Desmond Franklin isn’t all that bad, either.
– The linebacking corps gets back big-time tackler Anthony Flory on the inside, but there are some massive losses. Three starters have to be replaced – most notably Eric Boggs – but Akeem Davis-Gaither and Jordan Fehr should be ready to start doing a whole lot more. It’s not a horrible situation, but it’ll be an area to build up in a hurry in fall camp.
– The front three gets back enough to be nasty against the run again. Myquon Stout is a rock of a nose tackle, and while there’s not a whole lot of size up front, there’s going to be a good rotation. The pass rush will come more from the linebackers, but the athletic, quick line will be a problem for teams throughout the season. The key will be the depth – this group won’t be able to take a pounding.
Biggest Key To The Appalachian State Defense
Get that pass rush going. Granted, it was going to be a problem dealing with Georgia and Wake Forest no matter what, but struggling against the run and coming up with just one sack against each team didn’t help. UMass and ULM joined Georgia as the only other teams to run for 200 yards on the Mountaineer D, and those happened to be three of the four losses, with Wake Forest being the other.
It’s all about the pressure. ASU was 0-3 when coming up with fewer than two sacks, and it’ll have to manufacture production from several spots. With a few new parts up front, getting behind the line will still be the key to triggering everything else.