4. College Football News Preview 2020: UAB Blazers Defense 3 Things To Know
– Be really, really disappointed if this defense isn’t statistically fantastic. Granted, the Blazers got to face a whole slew of offensively-challenged teams, but you’re doing something right when you finish second in the league in total and scoring defense, third in the nation in third down stops, and 11th in sacks.
Eight of the top ten tacklers are expected back, and on the way is DT Tyree Turner, South Alabama’s best defensive player last year. He’ll fit in right away in the rotation with an already good group of tackles – 6-3, 335-pound Tony Fair is a true anchor – but the pass rush comes from the linebackers.
– UAB doesn’t really do the whole defensive end thing like most teams do. It loads up with three true tackles – they’ll run around 285 and up – and then throw out the linebackers in waves.
Jordan Smith is really a defensive end, but he’s the team’s best pass rusher as an outside linebacker. Senior Kristopher Moll led the team with 104 stops from his spot in the middle, and is back after coming up with 85 stops. There are more – this is one of the nation’s deepest linebacking corps.
– Considering how devastating the pass rush was, a few more picks would’ve been a plus. The Blazers managed to come up with just seven interceptions with junior safety Will Boller leading the way with a grand total of two. He also finished third on the team with 58 tackles.
Free-ranging hitter Dy’jonn Turner made 45 stops from his Star position, and the corner combination of Starling Thomas and TD Marshall are experienced. Now they had to come up with more big plays.