4. Indiana Hoosiers College Football Preview 2021: Defense
– It was an opportunistic defense that came up with a slew of takeaways, but was just okay overall. The pass rush was fantastic, and the run defense was fine, but the secondary allowed 241 passing yards per game.
Getting back Marcelino McCrary-Ball back after missing all of last year – he was fourth on the team with 47 tackles in 2019 – is a huge plus, but S Jamar Johnson is off being a Denver Bronco. Third-leading tackler Devon Matthews returns at safety, and the corner combination of Jaylin Williams and Tiawan Mullen is back after combining for seven picks.
– Micah McFadden has been one of the best-tackling linebackers in the Big Ten over the last two seasons, and he’s decent in pass coverage, too. The 6-2, 227-pounder isn’t all that big, but he can pop. 6-3, 224-pound Cam Jones brings a little more size to the 4-2-5 alignments – he was fifth on the team with 35 tackles.
– Indiana didn’t have any problems getting into the backfield, but there weren’t many sacks from the defensive front when Jerome Johnson wasn’t making plays. He’s gone trying out for the NFL, and there needs to be more pressure coming from Alfred Bryant and James Head.
There’s 300+ pound size at tackle in DeMarcus Elliott and Sio Nofoagatoto’a, but they’re not going to get behind the line.