4. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE BOWLING GREEN DEFENSE
– Last in the MAC in scoring defense, among the worst in the country in yards per game allowed, and with the third worst run D in college football, there’s a little bit of work to do. The bad news: six of the top nine tacklers from last season are gone. The good news: it’s not like the defense did anything with them.
– The line gets back the more help with three young starters looking to generate more of a pass rush and do something to hold up against the run. The problem is bulk – there isn’t much – so the rotation has to emerge right away around 277-pound Nico Lautanen and 255-pound DeMontae Haigler in the interior. Haigler and sophomore DE Karl Brooks led the team in sacks, combining for 6.5 of the team’s 15 sacks.
– There are a whole slew of new parts to the linebacking corps. Former JUCO transfer Brandon Perce is about to play a big role somewhere in the interior, and third-leading tackler Kholbe Coleman will move around where needed.
– The pass defense might have finished sixth in the nation, but that’s only because everyone spent so much time running the ball on the Falcon D. Several of the key parts of the secondary are done, but second-leading tackler Jerry McBride is back at one safety spot. Everything else – including the corner gigs – will be solidified in fall camp.