4. College Football News Preview 2020: Boston College Eagles Defense 3 Things To Know
– The defense has to be a whole lot better. The program that didn’t allow more than 5,000 yards in a season since 2013 gave up 6,223 yards, finishing last in the ACC in total defense, allowed 32 points per game, and had the league’s worst pass defense because the pass rush was among the nation’s least effective.
New head coach Jeff Hafley came up as a defensive coaching star, and Tem Lukabu is taking over the defensive coordinator role after spending the last few years as a linebacker coach for Mississippi State and then the Cincinnati Bengals.
The new coaching staff might get 16 of the top 19 tacklers back – at least there will be experience, but the production has to follow.
– The linebacking corps should be terrific with all-around playmaker and leading tackler Max Richardson on the outside, 240-pound senior John Lamot in the middle, and with plenty of other options rotating in the mix.
The pass rush only generated 19 sacks – Richardson led the way with a mere 3.5 – but ends Brandon Barlow and Marcus Valdez return after tying for second on the team in sacks with just 2.5. There isn’t a ton of beef on the inside, but 6-1, 300-pound TJ Rayam is back at one tackle job after coming up with 41 stops.
– Can the secondary stop anyone on a consistent basis? It didn’t get a whole lot of help from the pass rush, but it also didn’t do much for its own cause with just ten interceptions – five came in the first two games, and there was just one in the final six.
Three of the four starters are back around senior Mike Palmer – who finished third on the team with 76 tackles – but again, the young corners have to come up with more stops and more big plays.
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