4. College Football News Preview 2020: Kentucky Wildcats Defense 3 Things To Know
– The defense was terrific under coordinator Brad White, finishing 21st in the country overall and 14th in scoring D. Now it comes back experienced.
Seven of the top nine tacklers are expected to return with the early strength in the secondary – UK was second in the nation and first in the SEC in pass defense. The corner combination of Brandin Echols and Cedrick Dort is a start, but they’re not alone in a deep group. Leading tackler Yusef Corker is back at one safety gig.
– Is junior Chris Oats ready to be the thumper on the inside? Kash Daniel is done after finishing third on the team in tackles, but Oats is a 6-3, 232-pound veteran who should be in for a huge statistical year. The depth is taking a hit in the transfer portal, but there’s good size among the remaining options for the 3-3-5 alignment.
Senior Jamar Watson is the leading returning sacker – coming up with 6.5 last year with 11.5 tackles for loss – at one outside spot, and junior DeAndre Square is an active veteran on the other.
– The defensive front was great at getting into the backfield, but the run defense has to be a bit nastier. 6-4, 367-pound senior Quinton Bohanna is an NFL defensive tackle who’ll anchor things on the nose, and there’s even more size behind him in 6-3, 269-pound junior Marquan McCall. The pass rush will come from all sides, but 274-pound end Josh Paschal is a versatile option who’ll pound his way into the backfield