4. Syracuse Orange College Football Preview 2021: Defense
– The offense was bad, the defense was almost as awful. It generated a little bit of a pass rush, but it wasn’t great against the run and didn’t do enough overall to makeup for the miserable O.
The secondary loses some of the key parts to the NFL – Ifeatu Melifonwu, Trill Williams, and Andre Cisco all left early – but 11 of the top 12 tacklers are expected to be back.
– The secondary had NFL parts but couldn’t do much with them. Now there’s a do-over in some spots, starting with second-leading tackler Ja’Had Carter at one safety spot and Garrett Williams a sure-stopper at corner. Overall, this will be a really, really young group with a good upside. The defense took its lumps with the youth movement, and now it all has to be worth it.
– The linebacking corps gets back a good twosome in leading tackler Mikel Jones – he’ll be an All-ACC star who does a little of everything – and Geoff Cantin-Arku experienced now in the middle. These two can make a whole slew of plays and get behind the line.
The defensive front three is full of super-seniors. Josh Black is a big end, McKinley Williams is an ultra-experienced senior for the inside, and eventually Kingsley Jonathan will be back and healthy again.