4. College Football News Preview 2020: Maryland Terrapins Defense 3 Things To Know
– The defense finished dead last in the Big Ten in total and scoring D, but it was really, really young. Three of the top four tacklers are gone, but nine of the top 13 tacklers were underclassmen. However, some of them have bolted.
34-tackle safety Deon Jones left for Boston College, and he’s not alone when it comes to defensive backs leaving. Leading tackler and the team’s top star, Antoine Brooks, is now a Pittsburgh Steeler, and in all, seven defensive backs are transferring out.
On the plus side, many of the top young talents are back, and the recruiting class is supposed to play a role right away. It would help in a big way if it gets help from better play from the defensive front.
– The line struggled. It couldn’t get behind the line and was blasted over and over again. No returning Terp defensive lineman came up with more than one sack, and 6-1, 285-pound senior Sam Okuayinonu is the only returning linemen who generated more than four tackles for loss – he came up with 4.5. An end – like 6-4, 268-pound junior Lawtez Rogers – has to quickly turn into a producer.
– In this defense, the linebackers have to be the stars. Junior Ayinde Eley is the team’s leading returning tackler coming up with 79, and junior Chance Campbell is a reliable hitter in the middle. Despite the overall lack of experience, there’s decent depth with enough options to play around with for the four spots.