Last year Coach Wilson assumed Coordinator duties. After an impressive start, things went downhill. They did not get help from an offense that had trouble staying on the field (FBS Rank 126 in top), leaving the Defense unrested, overexposed, which dampened their stats.
The Defense returns 73% of overall production (FBS Rank 83), despite losing six starters. Those returning will benefit from another year of seasoning in Coach Wilson’s system. In general, defense needs to improve in every dimension, physically, technically, smarter and quicker. Wilson has hired Gerald Chatman to coach the DL, and Rod Chance will coach the corners.
By the Numbers:
- Allowed an average of 28.5 points per game (FBS Rank 77)
- 436 yards per game (FBS Rank 101) | 6.1 yards per play (FBS Rank 106)
- 1.1 takeaways per game (FBS Rank 101)
- 242 passing yards allowed per game (FBS Rank 79)
- Sack per game .9% (FBS Rank 127)
- PFF COV 58.2 (FBS Rank 105)
- Defense Rush Success Rate (FBS Rank 73)
- DEF PFF 56.2 (FBS Rank 114)
- Defense turnover rate (DTO) .10 (FBS Rank 74).
- Tackling PFF 59.9 (FBS Rank 95)
Pain Points: Pass Rush (need to generate one), Turnover Rate (needs to improve); Coverage (FBS Rank 105) and must replace 3 starters on back 7; Tackling (FBS Rank 95)
Bright Spots: The defense scored 2 defensive touchdowns (FBS Rank 25), and like the offense, performed much better in the Red Zone defense (FBS Rank 18). And despite it all, played hard through the finish.
DEFENSIVE LINE PREVIEW
New DL coach Gerald Chatman inherits a defensive line that returns more production than any other unit on defense (78%). Jalen Sami returns on the interior, and Terrance Lang (DE) are both pro prospects. Na’im Rodman (DL) comes of a solid first year as a starter. Senior Janaz Jordan (DL) has a handful of starts and will be a regular in the rotation. The top tier could be as good as any in the Pac-12.
Whether the bottom tier of the rotation will provide quality depth is a question mark. Jeremiah Doss (Sr) was injured all 2021 and will likely be sidelined this Spring. Defensive end Justin Jackson (Sr) returns, but has not made significant contribution to date. Buffs will need one or more of the three redshirt freshman on the DL to step up.
By the Numbers:
- Avg line yards 2.81 (FBS Rank 100)
- Standard Down Line Yards 2.67 (FBS Rank 83)
- Passing Down Line Yards 3.12 (FBS Rank 99)
- Opportunity Rate 47.5% (FBS Rank 69)
- Power Success Rate 80.0% (FBS Rank 113)
- Stuff Rate 18.9% (FBS Rank 51)
- Sack Rate 2.9% (FBS Rank 127)
Spring Forecast: Party Sunny
Pain Points: Sack Rate (FBS Rank 127); Depth, lower half of rotation needs to significantly improve
Breakout Watch List: Ryan Williams name is consistently mentioned by coaches and players alike. Tyas Martin has size (6-2 320) has recovered from major back injury his senior year. Chance Main (listed in Edge) may also play DE. This is a position where the Buffs may seek to add quality depth via transfer.