Minnesota Golden Gophers College Football Preview 2021: Defense
– Let’s just say the defense could be better. There wasn’t any pass rush, there weren’t any takeaways, and the run D had a big, big problem. On the plus side, just about everyone is back – depending on the alignment, all 11 defenders could technically be called returning starters.
– It starts with getting nastier against the run. The Gophers have the size in 6-4, 315-pound Micah Dew-Treadway and 6-2, 310-pound DeAngelo Carter on the inside, and the pass rush has to be be a whole lot stronger around 265-pound senior Boye Mafe, who led the team with 4.5 of the team’s eight sacks.
– The linebacking corps has to be stronger. Mariano Sori-Marin led the team with 54 tackles in the middle, but he didn’t do much to get behind the line. Several options are there for the other spot in the 4-2-5, but the defensive backs tend to make most of the tackles in this style.
– Tyler Nubin was second on the team with 41 tackles and Jordan Howden was third with 37 stops. They’re rocks on the D, Coney Durr is a terrific-tackling corner, and Justus Harris rose up into a role as last year went on.