4. College Football News Preview 2020: Miami Hurricanes Defense 3 Things To Know
– The defense did its part last season even though it didn’t get a whole lot of help from the offensive side. It was fourth in the nation in tackles for loss, was great at coming up with sacks, and finished 13th in the nation in total D.
Only two Canes were drafted, but four of the top six tacklers are done including the tremendous linebacking trio of Shaq Quarterman, Michael Pinckney and Romeo Finley.
The program hasn’t had any problems starting really, really young prospects, and it’s about to do it again with three underclassmen likely taking over a linebacker. There’s almost no size among the projected starting three, and there’s little to no experience. However …
– The line is going to be great, even though it loses sophomore Gregory Rousseau, a top five overall NFL draft prospect who opted out and will skip the season. Former Temple playmaker Quincy Roche – who made 137 tackles and 26 sacks for the Owls – is now the main pass rusher as long he doesn’t leave early. Throw into the mix of the upside of former UCLA transfer Jaelan Phillips, and look out. There’s a good enough rotation at tackle around 6-5, 310-pound senior Jonathan Ford to be a plus, too.
– As long as the pass rush continues to rock, the secondary will be more than fine. Corner Trajan Bandy left early, and good-hitting safety Robert Knowles is gone, but this is a strong overall group with DJ Ivey back after leading the team with three picks, and with junior Gurvan Hall one of the ACC’s better tackling safeties. If former USC transfer Bubba Bolden can stay healthy, the secondary depth will be terrific.