Big Ten Football Preview Keys To Every Team: Defense

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten Football Preview Keys To Every Team: Defense

Big Ten

Big Ten Football Preview Keys To Every Team: Defense


Biggest Key To The Minnesota Golden Gophers Defense

More plays in the backfield would be a plus. It’s hard to argue with the success the Gopher D enjoyed last year, but even with plenty of experience and a few NFL-caliber players, it was like pulling teeth to make plays behind the line.

The defense only came up with 62 tackles for loss. There weren’t enough forced fumbles and being 115th in the nation in TFLs wasn’t okay for a group that talented.

It’ll be a bit tougher with all the new starters and new parts, but it’s not like everyone has to be ready right away – the Gophers only start the season with Michigan.

Biggest Key To The Nebraska Cornhuskers Defense

A clutch stop would be really, really nice. In 2018, allowing teams to drive at will was more of the problem. The defense held more often, but the more trips meant more points.

Last season, Nebraska allowed didn’t all all that many trips inside the red zone – at least not compared to the rest of the normal college football world – but it gave up automatic points every time a team was able to drive deep.

The Huskers were 122nd in the nation in red zone defense, allowing teams to convert 91% of the time.

Indiana was able to get inside the 20 six times, scored on all six trips, and got five touchdowns – Nebraska lost.

Purdue got into the red zone four times, scored four touchdowns – Nebraska lost.

Overall, the team was 1-6 last year and is 2-10 under Scott Frost when teams converted on every trip inside the red zone – both wins were over Illinois – and is 7-2 when teams converted 75% of the time or fewer.

NEXT: Northwestern Wildcats, Ohio State Buckeyes

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