2010 RUSHING DEFENSE: 148.3 ypg (5th in SWAC, 58th in nation)
2010 PASSING DEFENSE: 211.3 ypg (5th in SWAC, 70th in nation)
2010 TOTAL DEFENSE: 359.5 ypg (7th in SWAC, 71st in nation)
2010 SCORING DEFENSE: 33.8 ppg (9th in SWAC, 105th in nation)
WHO’S BACK?: Five starters ? DTs Casey Narcisse and Brandon Turner, who both suffered knee injuries last season, are back and ready to go. ... MLB Corey Ray, a hard-hitting senior with a history of injuries, will try to stay healthy. ... WLB Anthony Balancier, a pleasant surprise as a freshman walk-on last season, could move full-time to S.
WHO’S NEW?: DT Dexter James, ineligible last season, returns as a fifth-year senior. ... Virgil Williams, used as a FS/KR last season as a freshman, moves to CB - his more natural position. ... CB Kevin King, a redshirt last season, is competing with Rashaad Hoyle and D’Mekus Cook for the other spot. ... A host of new linebackers has made the position much deeper.
VET WHO WILL HAVE THE BIGGEST IMPACT: DE Kedy Enabulele
NEWCOMER WHO COULD LEAVE A MARK: LB Corry Roy
KEYS TO SUCCESS: Southern blitzed from every angle last season, but struggled to sack quarterbacks. The line has to get more sacks. The front seven, has to do a better job of tackling when given the chance.
POTENTIAL PROBLEM AREAS: Mitchell likes the athletes he has in the secondary, but most of them are either young or new at their positions. The Jaguars gave up way too many big passing plays in 2010. They have to make opponents sustain long drives and “earn” touchdowns.
DON’T BE SURPRISED IF: The defense takes steps toward improving. Defensive coordinator O’Neill Gilbert has thinned the playbook and simplified schemes, hoping players will
react faster on the field.
SOUTHERN WILL HAVE A WINNING SEASON IF: The defense forces more turnovers. The Jaguars finished ninth in the SWAC with 19 takeaways last season.
SUMMING UP: “Now we’re only going to do certain things versus certain formations. Instead of trying to do a whole playbook to counter everything (opponents) do, we’re going to make them figure out what we’re doing. We’re going to be smart.” - Gilbert