Appalachian State Mountaineers College Football Preview 2021: Defense
– The Mountaineers led the Sun Belt in scoring defense and was second in total D, allowing just 452 yards and 20 points per game – only Coastal Carolina scored more than 28 points on the App State defense. With ten starters returning, expect a whole lot more of the same.
– The defense picked off 15 passes with the linebacking corps doing its part. Brendan Harrington led the team with four picks – taking one for a score – to go along with his 48 tackles.
It’s not a big corps, but it can fly. Trey Cobb led the team with 91 tackles, D’Marco Jackson came up with 89, and Nick Hampton was a terror in the backfield. The depth is there, too.
– With six sacks and 13 tackles for loss, Demetrius Taylor led the team in both categories in his all-star season. He’s a 295 playmaker of a 3-4 end, and 245-pound Caleb Spurlin managed to earn all-Sun Belt honors on the other side. There’s not a ton of bulk up front, but Jordan Earle is a veteran 300-pounder who can hold his own.
– The three returning starting defensive backs are all all-stars. Appalachian State was fourth in the nation in pass efficiency defense around safeties Kaiden Smith and Ryan Huff, but corner Shaun Jolly is the best defensive back of the great bunch.
The Mountaineers are already loaded, and Wisconsin’s Madison Cone and Stanford’s Stuart Head is adding more options to the mix.