What You Need To Know About The Toledo Defense
– The defense carried its weight, but was hit for 28 points or more in four of the last five games, allowing 385 yards and 28 points per game on the year. Six starters are back, but four of the top five tacklers are gone, losing main man Jack Linch from the linebacking corps and top pass rushing end Olasukanmi Adeniyi.
The biggest losses are on the defensive line, with Adeniyi doing a little bit of everything at one end, and Zach Quinn done from the other side after finishing second on the team in tackles.
Nate Childress is a good one on the nose, but he needs former JUCO transfer Reggie Howard to do more after an 18-stop season and for end Tuzar Skipper to rise up on the end after missing most of last season hurt. The Rockets have to come up with a pass rush from somewhere.
– The stars are gone from the linebacking corps, but Tyler Taffe is a veteran in the middle coming off a 48-tacle season. and Richard Olekanma is a 245-pound thumper who made 45 stops. These two could be the parts in the 4-2-5, but there needs to be more speed and athleticism at the weakside position. It’ll be an open fight in fall camp, with the hope for Tre’Shun Wilson to be healthy and productive, or for tight end Jordan Fisher to become an instant factor.
– The pass defense that was came up with 15 picks and did a decent job overall will be the defense’s biggest strength by far. Kahlil Robinson is back at strong safety after coming up with 67 tackles and a team-high four picks, and Josh Teachey returns at free safety after making 56 tackles. Throw in 36-tackle DeDarallo Blue to a spot somewhere, and the Rockets are loaded at safety.
The corner tandem of Ka’dar Hollman and Justin Clark should be one of the best in the MAC with a little bit of time, but the depth needs to be built up.
Biggest Key To The Toledo Defense
Someone has to generate a pass rush. The Rockets haven’t been all that great at getting to the quarterback over the years, but Adeniyi was a force last season with 8.5 sacks and 20 tackles for loss. A slew of players tied for second with with two sacks, and Blue – a safety – is the leading returner in tackles for loss.
There isn’t a registered sack from a retuning defensive end, with the pressure on Skipper to be a major factor. The Rockets need the ends to emerge.