4. College Football News Preview 2020: Florida State Defense Things To Know
– The Memphis defenses were too often just along for the ride under Mike Norvell, but last year it turned into a positive. Generating a pass rush was never an issue, but the 2019 Tigers were able to toughen up against the run and did their part defensively to hold serve. New FSU defensive coordinator Adam Fuller was one of the key reasons in the Tiger upgrade, and now he has a veteran group to work with.
– The good: ten starters are expected back on the FSU defense. The bad: they weren’t all that good. The secondary was torched for 277 yards per game and the D was 90th in the country in total yards allowed. However, it’s a talented group led by tackling-machine safety Hamsah Nasirildeen – with close to 200 stops over the last two seasons – and with All-ACC corner Asante Samuel back at one corner spot.
– The defensive front has a force in DT Marvin Wilson to work around. He’s a next-level talent who needs to stay healthy, and he needs more pass rushing help around him. Cory Durden can get into the backfield from the other tackle spot, but where’s the flash on the ends? Along with 260-pound Janarius Robinson on one end – the team’s leader in tackles for loss – Norvell’s defense will utilize a slew of undersized hybrid pass rushers to keep the pressure on.
– Nasirildeen should be the team’s top tackler again, but senior Emmett Rice is a talented veteran to work the linebacking corps around. He was second on the team with 72 stops, and sophomore Amari Gainer and senior Leonard Waner are back on the outside. This should be one of the team’s most improved groups.