4. Fresno State Bulldogs College Football Preview 2021: Defense
– On the good side, almost all of the starters and the top 20 tacklers from last year are back. Now everyone has to be better for a D that was brilliant at getting into the backfield – the Bulldogs were third in the nation in sacks – but gave u too many big plays and was pounded on against the run.
– The defense starts with the pass rushing ends. The combination of Kwami Jones and David Preales combined for nine sacks and 15 tackles for loss from the outside, and 6-3, 310-pound Kevin Atkins is a solid pass rusher from the interior. There’s decent size overall and enough depth to come up with a more consistent rotation.
– The linebackers have to make more big things happen in the 4-2-5 alignment. That’s where FIU/Boise State transfer Tyson Maeva brings some thump with his 230-pound size along with 233-pound sophomore Malachi Langley and a slew of smaller, quicker linebackers.
It’s not a plus that CB Bralyn Lux led the team in tackles, but he can hit. Like everywhere else on the D, almost everyone is back in the secondary – junior S Evan Williams is a potential all-star – but like the rest of the defense, the stops have to come.