Ball State Cardinals College Football Preview 2021: Defense
– The defense wasn’t a rock, but it was good enough. It allowed 430 yards and 26 points per game with a mediocre pass rush, not much of a run D, and a rough pass defense that gave up close to 300 yards per outing.
What did it do at a high level? It took the ball away with a whole lot of interceptions to help make up for all the yards given up.
– The linebacking corps is where the stars are. First Team All-MAC big guy Brandon Martin led the team with 90 tackles from his spot in the middle of the group, and 235-pound pass rusher Anthony Ekpe is back on the outside after generating five sacks and seven tackles for loss. With Jaylin Thomas and Christin Albright also back, the Cardinals have four big, veteran, all-star parts.
The front three returns intact with good size and decent depth. This group doesn’t get into the backfield, but it holds up against the run and lets everyone in the linebacking corps clean things up.
– The secondary came up with eight of the ten interceptions and now returns everyone but top corner Antonio Phillips. Bryce Cosby is a good-tackling all-star – making 62 tackles and two picks – and fellow safety Brett Anderson and corner Amechi Uzodinma round out the team’s top five tacklers.