4. College Football News Preview 2020: Fresno State Bulldogs Defense 3 Things To Know
– Ten of the top 13 tacklers are expected back for a defense that allowed 420 yards and 30 points per game. The pass rush wasn’t there, the run defense was just okay, and the secondary allowed 259 yards per game.
– The line needs reworking with three starters gone. Senior Kevin Atkins is back at one tackle job, but the front four needs former JUCO transfer Kwami Jones to step up at one end after making 3.5 sacks in his first two years. A rotation has to be found inside next to Atkins, but there’s not a ton of size.
The linebacking corps gets back leading tackler Justin Rice after a 112-tackle season, and 6-4, 230-pound Arron Mosby is a hitter in the middle who’s also solid in pass coverage. Add in the athleticism of 6-2, 200-pound sophomore Levelle Bailey on the outside, and the corps is a positive.
– Two starters are done are gone from the secondary, but sophomore Evan Williams is a growing talent at one safety job and Chris Gaston is a big corner to rely on after missing half of last year. Now the pass defense has to be more active after coming up with 11 interceptions – it picked off 19 passes in 2018.