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 Rutgers Scarlet Knights Defense

Rutgers defense, start by helping yourself out. The D was dead last in the Big Ten in third down stops, it was dead last in sacks and tackles for loss, and it was dead last in takeaways.

But that’s not a new thing for the Scarlet Knights. The 2012 defense forced 32 turnovers – and hasn’t busted past 20 since then.

Last season? Ten. Ten takeaways, and six came in three games against UMass, Indiana and Ohio State. That means there were a mere four turnovers forced in the other nine games, with just two fumble recoveries outside of two generated against the Buckeyes.

Help the offense, help you, defense, with big plays and easy field position chances.

Biggest Key To The Wisconsin Badgers Defense

Find the pass rushers to replace Zach Baun and Chris Orr. The defense is going to be good no matter what, but generating a pass rush isn’t a given.

The Badgers finished fifth in the nation in sacks, with the 51 being even more impressive considering the defense was only on the field for almost 25 minutes per game. The year before, though, getting to the quarterback was an issue, with the Badgers generating just 19, with almost all of them in four games.

In 2017, the defense came up with 42 sacks with the production coming from several spots, and in 2016 it came up with 34, mostly helped by that TJ Watt guy.

The improved pass rush last season was a massive reason why the defense led the nation in third down conversion stops. Without Baun and Orr, the Badgers have to quickly figure out who can be the next statistical star.

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