4. College Football News Preview 2020: UTEP Miners Defense 3 Things To Know
– There wasn’t any pass rush, there weren’t enough plays in the backfield, and the run defense got hammered for over 200 yards per game. Can anyone step up for a D that finished dead last in the nation in tackles for loss?
Sophomore Praise Amaewhule returns after tying for the team lead with three sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss, but he didn’t exactly take over games. Now as one of the few veterans back up front, he’s got to be more of a factor. He’ll be on one side, and JUCO transfer Dakari Bickham needs to emerge on the other. 6-3, 320-pound junior needs to be a tough anchor on the inside.
– The top three tacklers are gone, and they’re all safeties. There were way too many plays needed to be made by the defensive backs both corners are back. The safeties in the 3-3-5 are really, really young around former JUCO transfer Dy’Vonne Inyang, a reserve with good range who came up with 14 stops.
– The linebackers have to start bringing a little thump. It doesn’t help that size is walking out the door with 240-pound Sione Tupou transferring. He was the team’s leading tackling linebacker, but 52-tackle Jayson VanHook returns. There’s little bulk in this group if 240-pound JUCO transfer Tyrice Knight doesn’t make a big early impact.