4. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE LIBERTY DEFENSE
– The defense couldn’t do enough to hold serve when the offense was able to put up big numbers. The Flame defense finished 123rd in the nation in total defense. The pass defense was bad, the run D was worse, and overall, Liberty allowed 40 points or more seven times.
– For all of the problems and issues, the pass rush wasn’t all that bad. The D line has talent back on the outside to generate pressure – starting with senior Jessie Lemonier – and there’s size in the interior. However, it’s going to take the fall camp to come up with a good rotation. The starting four should be okay up front, but a slew of JUCO transfers have to beef up the twos.
– The linebackers should be able to pick up the slack for the line – at least a wee bit. Veteran MLB Solomon Ajayi tied for the team lead in tackles with good size and range. Unlike the line, there’s good depth and a few nice options with good speed on the outside.
– The secondary got hot at generating picks as the season went on, and now it gets back three starters. Elijah Benton is a tough tackler – tying for the team lead with 76 stops – and Isaac Steele is a good all-around playmaker and former corner Javon Scruggs brings the speed. Steele and CB Bejour Wilson tied for the team lead in interceptions with three each.