4. College Football News Preview 2020: Ohio Bobcats Defense 3 Things To Know
– Replacing all-everything safety Javon Hagan with a similar talent isn’t happening, but eight of the top ten tacklers are expected to be back, and they’re almost all seniors.
The defense was okay, but it allowed over 400 yards and 27 points per game. The run defense wasn’t great, and the pass rush wasn’t there on a regular basis. But the experience is in place to be better.
– The linebacking corps welcomes back the 1-2 tackling punch of Dylan Conner and Jared Dorsa after combining for 163 tackles. 227-pound sophomore Keye Thompson is about to play a much bigger role on the outside after making 51 tackles – this group is going to be strong.
Up front, three starters are back, starting with senior Austin Conrad – the team’s leading pass rusher – at one end. He came up with just four sacks, but he’s got the quickness to do more. Will Evans is back on the other side after leading the way with 7.5 tackles for loss, but both ends need a big year form the big man in the middle, 310-pound Kai Caesar.
– The secondary won’t find another Hagan, and there were only five interceptions – no one came up with more than one – but corner Marlin Brooks and safety Jarren Hampton can both hit, and Iyaas Motley is a veteran corner. Now they all have to come up with interceptions.