4. College Football News Preview 2020: Memphis Defense 3 Things To Know
– Okay, Mike McIntyre, do your thing. The former Colorado head coach worked last season as the Ole Miss defensive coordinator, and now he gets to take over a Memphis defense that was a polite rumor before finally trending up last year.
It’s all relative. The defense was just sort of bad last year after being really, really bad in previous seasons. Now it’s up to McIntyre to do even more with 14 of the top 17 tackles potentially back.
– The pass rush was strong with a whole slew of tackles for loss, and there’s hope to keep it going with Joseph Dorceus back on one end and with Everitt Cunningham looking to do more after a three-sack season. The tackles have to be better against the run, but they can move.
The linebacking corps gets back Xavier Cullens, JJ Russell, Tim Pickens and Tim Hart to work around. They’re not huge, but they’re veterans who can all move.
– The secondary is where McIntyre should do big things – his defensive backs are almost always strong. A few big parts are gone, but Sanchez Blake after making 69 stops at his one safety spot, and Quindell Johnson is a rising playmaker at the other. The corners have to make more picks, but Jacobi Francis is a decent veteran to start with.