4. College Football News Preview 2020: Rutgers Scarlet Knights Defense 3 Things To Know
– New defensive coordinator Robb Smith is a veteran with pro experience, comes in from Texas A&M, and worked with Schiano during the 2010s, spending 2012 as the DC.
The D wasn’t the worst in the Big Ten, but it wasn’t great – it didn’t get a lick of help from the offensive side to stay on the field. Fortunately, the top 11 tackles are expected to be back with a decent-looking linebacking corps to start with.
– Three of the top four tacklers were linebackers, starting with 6-1, 237-pound senior Tyshon Fogg, and with 6-1, 229-pound Olakunle Fatukasi coming up with 85. The depth is decent, and there’s enough athleticism to consider this one of the team’s biggest positives.
They’re all working behind a line that has to learn how to get into the backfield. A few transfers are coming in – Malik Barrow from UCF, Michael Dwumfour from Michigan, and Ireland Burke from Boston College – to help 280-pound bowling ball senior Julius Turner in the interior. There’s size and experience on the ends, but there has to be some disruption from somewhere.
– The secondary only came up with five interceptions, but it was a really, really young group that got enough time in to potentially be better. Safety Christian Izien is the leader of the bunch after making 78 tackles, and getting Brendon White in from Ohio State helps. Avery Young isn’t a bad corner to work around.