What You Need To Know About The Colorado State Defense
– New defensive coordinator John Jancek comes in to step up the big plays from a defense that made its share, but struggled overall. The 18 takeaways were nice, and the 27 sacks weren’t awful. But the top two pass rushers and four of the top eight tacklers are gone from a group that struggled against the run and gave up 245 passing yards per game.
The secondary has to start coming through against the decent passing teams. S Jordan Fogal returning is a big help, and corner Anthony Hawkins should be a good one, but the production has to come.
– The biggest issue is on the defensive front. Darnell Thompson wasn’t a killer on the nose, but he was a good, solid veteran who knew what he was doing. Throw in the loss of Jakob Buys on one side and Evan Colorito on the other, and the line that was just okay last year has to undergo an overhaul.
– The linebacking corps should be the team’s biggest strength, starting with the return of leading tackler Josh Watson to the middle, flanked by Tre Thomas and Max McDonald on the outside. Along with the depth that started to come through last season, this should be a key area of improvement for a D that needs a rock of a unit to work around.
Biggest Key To The Colorado State Defense
The third down stops have to come. The defense had way too hard a time getting off the field, allowing teams to convert 44% of their third down chances. It was an improvement after failing to stop anyone who gave it a try two years ago, but it was still a rough season against the more efficient offenses.
The offense was able to pick up the slack last season when the D was struggling. This year, after allowing five teams to convert half of their third down tries, the stops have to be there.