4. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE WKU DEFENSE
– Six starters are back on a defense that allowed 422 yards and 28 points per game. The run defense wasn’t strong enough, and there were too many plays allowed down the field, but it was a decent year overall – there wasn’t enough support from the O.
– Three of the four starters are back up front around 270-pound Juwuan Jones at one end and 285-pound Jaylon George on the inside. 6-4, 230-pound top pass rusher De’Angelo Malone and his six sacks should rise up into all-star status this season with the rest of the line taking the heat off.
– Top tackler Ben Holt took off for Purdue, and second-leading tackler Masai Whyte is done. Former Kentucky Wildcat Eli Brown will play a bigger role after coming up with 25 tackles, and beefed up safety Kyle Bailey sill see more time in the linebacking corps.
– The secondary is full of veterans, starting with leading returning tackler Ta’Corian Darden at one safety spot. He’s undersized at 5-9 and 190 pounds, but he can hit. With three, he tied for the team interception lead – and in tackles with 71 – with Devon Key, a 6-1, 205-pound junior safety with nine range and pop.
The corner situation is a little more of a question mark. Roger Cray is a quick veteran who can tackle a bit, but needs to be the shutdown main man. It’ll be a fall camp battle for the other side, with 5-11, 170-pound redshirt freshman Beanie Bishop getting the first look.