4. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE AKRON DEFENSE
– There are rebuilds, and there’s what Akron has to do. Just three starters return from a decent defense that was good at getting into the backfield, but didn’t do enough to pressure the quarterback. Leading pass rusher Jamal Davis is done, but Josh Ward is a decent do-it-all outside presence who’s the new leader up front.
– Alvin Davis might be the MAC’s best defensive back, and he’s one of the best returning statistical playmakers in the country. He’s going to have to do even more for a secondary that loses three starters and needs to find a few backup options in a big hurry.
– The linebacking corps should be a plus early on – at least relative to the rest of the defense – with some quick young options ready to step up in two of the open spots. 126-tackle veteran John Lako is back, but in all six of the top eight tacklers are gone from the D.