4. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE LOUISIANA TECH DEFENSE
– The defense was among the best the program has seen in a long time. It started with the NCAA’s all-time sack leader, but Jaylon Ferguson is now a Baltimore Raven. Willie Baker isn’t Ferguson, but he’s a good end who’ll get behind the line, and the pressure needs to come from several other spots. The interior has a solid tackle in 291-pound Ka’Derrion Mason to work around after a solid year from the front four against the run.
– Top tackler Collin Scott is back as the main man in the linebacking corps in the 4-2-5 alignment. Running mat Dae’Von Washington is done, and now it’s up to 220-pound veteran Connor Taylor to play a bigger role.
– The secondary was terrific throughout last season. It picked off 13 passes, allowed just over six yards per pass, and held down high powered passing games like the North Texas attack, Hawaii’s run-and-shoot, and just about everyone else. The Bulldogs didn’t allow a 300-yard passing day. Four of the five starters are back including all-star pickoff artist Amik Robertson at one corner spot and second-leading tackler James Jackson at safety.