4. College Football News Preview 2020: Marshall Thundering Herd Defense 3 Things To Know
– The defense wasn’t always a rock against the run, and it was above-average against the pass, and it was decent at times at getting into the backfield, but considering the offense struggled to put up mega points, it did the job by allowing 27 or fewer in nine games. Now it has some retooling to do after losing three of the top five starters.
– The D line takes the biggest hit with three of the top four starters gone. Darius Hodge, though, returns after coming up with a team-high seven sacks, and junior Koby Cumberlander is ready for a bigger role on the outside. The are bodies for the interior, but it’s a really, really smallish group of tackles that will run about 260 pounds a man.
– Tavante Beckett is the lone returning starter at linebacker. The 209-pound outside playmaker led the team with 121 stops, but he needs help. Like the defensive tackle situation, there isn’t a whole lot of size at linebacker, but there are plenty of young options to play around with the rotation.
The secondary can pop a bit – it’ll be the strength of the defense early on. Senior safety Nazeeh Johnson will get all over the field – he made 88 tackles last season – and the versatile Steven Gilmore will move around where needed.