4. College Football News Preview 2020: South Carolina Gamecocks Defense 3 Things To Know
– You have to look past the stats a bit with last year’s Gamecock defense. It should’ve been stronger at getting into the backfield, and it wasn’t anything special against the run, but it had little to no support at times from an offense that kept coming off the field in a hurry.
To be totally misleading, South Carolina was 4-0 when the defense held teams to fewer than 20 points, and 0-8 when it didn’t. That’s more of an indictment on the Gamecock O.
– You defensive line doesn’t get better after losing Javon Kinlaw, DJ Wonnum and Kobe Smith. The tackles are worse off than the ends, with Kinlaw a nearly impossible force to immediately replace, and with Smith a solid big body inside.
It’s going to be a young bunch, starting with 300-pound sophomore DT Zacch Pickens – the talent is there to be special – needing to be fantastic right away. Aaron Sterling led the team in tackles for loss at one end spot, and 275-pound junior Kingsley Enagbare coming up with seven. Coming up is five-star talent Jordan Burch, a 6-5, 265-pound pass rushing killer who’ll soon be the team’s star up front.
– Overall, six of the top eight tacklers are expected back, with the secondary potentially one of the team’s early strengths. Jammie Robinson came up with a good 62-tackle season at one safety spot, and junior RJ Roderick heads up a deep group to fill in the other roles.
6-4, 205-pound Israel Mukuamu – the three-interception star of the win over Georgia – is a safety playing corner, and veteran Jaycee Horn is a good one on the other side.
The versatility of leading-tackling linebacker Ernest Jones gives the D several options to work with. 230-pound senior Sherrod Greene should get the call at one of the jobs, and then it’ll be a battle to make all the pieces fit.