4. College Football News Preview 2020: Virginia Cavaliers Defense 3 Things To Know
– There might be a whole lot to worry about with key personnel losses on the offensive side, but the solid defense gets more than enough key parts back to be great. Eight starters and 12 of the top 14 tacklers are expected to be back.
The pass rush and linebacking corps loses Jordan Mack from his spot in the middle, but 6-5, 215-pound hybrid Noah Taylor can get behind the line from his spot on the outside, and 6-7, 235-pound Charles Snowden is really a defensive end playing linebacker. 6-3, 230-pound Zane Zandier was second on the team in tackles for loss and he brings the inside presence.
– The linebackers are the stars and they’ll do most of the heavy lifting in the backfield, but the front three has the size to hold up and do its part against the run. Two of the three starters are done, but 6-1, 295-pound sophomore Jowon Briggs is a veteran now on the nose, and 6-1, 285-pound junior Aaron Faumui is a good-sized pass rusher on one side.
– The D was able to get through half of last year without Bryce Hall, so at least it got used to not having the new New York Jet gone. All four starters are expected to be back, starting with second-leading tackler Joey Blount at one safety spot, and with senior De’Vante Cross a big hitter at the other job. The corners have to pick off more passes, but the group is loaded with experience.