4. College Football News Preview 2020: Northern Illinois Huskies Defense 3 Things To Know
– The defense that finished fourth in the MAC didn’t generate nearly enough pressure into the backfield and it couldn’t make up for the problems on the offensive side. Now it has to try fixing its line while looking for a whole lot of improvement.
Along with losing top RB Tre Harbison to the transfer portal from the offensive side – he took off for Charlotte – the Huskies suffered a brutal blow on D losing top DE Matt Lorbeck and DT Jack Heflin. Heflin is off to Iowa, and Lorbeck will likely end up on the Hawkeyes.
Weston Kramer is a 294-pound defensive tackle, and 222-pound junior Michael Kennedy is a promising pass rusher, but the front four requires a rebuild.
– The linebacking corps should be a whole lot better in a big hurry. Second-leading tackler Vinny Labus is back, and sophomore Nick Rattin can play on the inside. The hope is for Duke transfer Greg DeLuca to become a factor, but the stars of the show are back.
Kyle Pugh – who made 106 tackles in 2018 – returns after missing almost all of last year, and Lance Deveaux is also back at an outside spot after also getting knocked out of the mix last season – he was fourth the team with 67 tackles two years ago.
– The pass defense was the third-best in the MAC – allowing 300 yards just once and allowing one touchdown pass or less in seven games … and it picked off a mere four passes.
Leading tackler Mykelti Williams is done from one safety spot, and fourth-leading tackler Trayshon Foster is gone at the other. The corner combination of Dillion Thomas and Jalen McKie can hit, but the safeties are going to be very, very green.