Rice Owls College Football Preview 2021: Defense
– The defense didn’t play a who’s who of killers, but it was able to pull off a shocker by holding Marshall to 245 yards in the 20-0 shutout and only allowed over 400 yards once in the five games. Leading tackler Blaze Alldredge left for Missouri, but eight of the nine top tacklers return.
– The run defense allowed more than 140 yards to North Texas, and that’s it. There isn’t a ton of bulk on the front three, but there’s experience and a decent rotation coming around 300-pound veteran Elijah Garcia on the nose, and if safety-sized Myron Morrison can step in for Alldredge and be okay, the linebacking corps should grow into a plus. But …
– There was next to no pass rush. It’s a smallish, quick defense that has to be more disruptive, but it’s decent at swarming around the ball. All of last year’s starters in the secondary return – sophomore Kirk Lockhart is a keeper at safety – and there are more than enough options to play around with the lineup.