4. College Football News Preview 2020: Western Michigan Broncos Defense 3 Things To Know
– The defense was hardly miserable – it finished second in the MAC in scoring D – but like the O, it wasn’t consistent. It struggled against the pass, allowed 182 rushing yards per game, and it had a hard time getting off the field. But the pass rush was strong and it should be excellent again.
– Senior Ali Fayad is back after leading the team with 6.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss. He’s a star at one end, and the tackle combination of Ralph Holley and William McCabe is solid, too. There’s a young group of reserves working their way in – the starting four has to stay healthy early on.
The linebacking corps loses a few of the main men on the outside – particularly Drake Spears – but Treshaun Hayward is a 142-tackle machine in the middle. 6-3, 225-pound junior Zaire Barnes is ready for a bigger role at one outside job.
– The secondary that was so up-and-down gets back good-hitting safety AJ Thomas and all-star CB Patrick Lupro. On the way to help battle for the open corner job on the other side of Lupro is Pitt transfer Therran Coleman, and he has to shine right away. This is a very, very young group – the depth has been depleted.