4. Colorado Buffaloes College Football Preview 2021: Defense
– The offense is deep, and so is the D. The pass rush was good, the ability to get behind the line was great – the Buffs led the Pac-12 in tackles for loss – and the D led the conference in third down stops. but as the Alamo Bowl loss to Texas showed, there’s still work to do.
With nine starters expected back – depending on health and a few breaks – again, this will be a stronger group.
– Can Nate Landman get back? The all-star linebacker led the team with 53 tackles after leading the 2019 D with 114 stops after leading the 2918 version with 105, but he suffered an Achilles’ heel injury late last season and was out this offseason. There’s still talent in the linebacking corps with veteran Carson Wells an all-star – who led the team with 6.5 sacks, 16 tackles for loss and was second with 37 tackles – and a slew of young parts looking fine this spring.
– Not having Mustafa Johnson around at tackle hurts, but the line has size and experience with 6-7, 285-pound junior back as a big end, but the pass rush has to come from somewhere on the outside. The tackles have to use its size to overcome the lack of production and play last year.
– The secondary has plenty of returning parts, but it needs more playmakers after only coming up with three of the team’s four picks. Isaiah Lewis is an all-star caliber safety who makes a whole slew of tackles.
He’s set, and it’s going to be a fight for the other spots after losing corner Derrion Rakestraw to Tulane and with KJ Trujillo also leaving.