Nevada Early Season Preview: Defense

Nevada Early Season Preview: Defense

Mountain West Football

Nevada Early Season Preview: Defense

Nevada Early Season Preview: Defense

While the Nevada offense will be one of the best in the Mountain West, the defense has some work to do after a terrible 2017 season. Here is a preview of the Wolf Pack defense heading into the 2018 season.

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Nevada Early Season Preview: Defense

While the Nevada Wolf Pack offense had improved gradually throughout the 2017 season, the defense however did not see those same type of gains.

Despite some experience returning to the defense at the start of last season, the Wolf Pack finished next to last in total defense as they gave up a little over 470 yards a game to opposing offenses. The Wolf Pack were just as abysmal in pass defense as they were last in the Mountain West in that category. Nevada gave up an average of 263 yards per game in the air which averages out to about 8.8 passing yards an attempt.

Nevada did break in a new defensive scheme last season as veteran defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel implemented his 3-3-5 scheme to the Wolf Pack defense. Despite the new defensive changes in Reno, Casteel and the Wolf Pack simply did not have the personnel to run the scheme effectively.

Now with a year of experience in the 3-3-5 defense and players who fit that scheme, the Wolf Pack look to improve and field their first decent defense in several years.

Here is a look at the players on the players on the Wolf Pack defense who look to improve the unit in 2018:

 

Defensive Line

Korey Rush, (Sr).

Hausia Sekona, (Jr.)

Jordan Silva, (Jr.)

Kalei Meyer, (Sr.)

Kevin Scott, (Jr.) (JUCO)

Trisitan Nichols (Jr.)  (JUCO)

Jarius McDade (Sr.) (JUCO)

-The Wolf Pack in the offseason looked to get bigger on the defensive line so they went out and hit the JUCO ranks and signed Kevin Scott (6’5, 315lbs), Tristan Nichols (6’4, 295lbs) and Jarius McDade (6’1, 335lb) to beef up the defensive line.  With Malik Reed’s move from the defensive line to the linebacking corps, it is up to senior Korey Rush, who tallied 39 tackles and thee and a half sacks last season, to be the lead in providing a pass rush for the Wolf Pack defensive.

 

Linebackers

Malik Reed, (Sr.)

Gabriel Sewell, (Jr.)

Lawson Hall, (Soph.)

Lucas Weber, (Sr.)

Kyle Adams, (Soph)

Alec Bonsall (Jr.)

Kyle Adams (Jr.)

-The big story in this position group is that two-time All-Mountain West selection Malik Reed has moved from the defensive line to the linebacking corps to help the additions on the defensive line. Reed joins the linebacking corps that already features some talented players in Gabriel Sewell (59 tackles, 0.5 sacks in 2017), Lawson Hall (36 tackles in 2017) and Lucas Weber (24 tackles, one sack in 2017).

The Wolf Pack did add a pair of JUCO transfers in Kyle Adams and Alec Bonsall to add not only depth but experience to this position group.

Look for the Wolf Pack linebackers to be one of the more talked about units in the Mountain West in 2018.

 

Secondary

Asauni Rufus (Sr.)

Ahki Muhammad (Jr.)

EJ Muhammad (Jr.)

Dameon Baber (Sr.)

Vosean Crumbie (Jr.)

Nephi Sewell (Soph.)

Justin Brent (Sr.)

Anthony Hankins (Sr.)

-The improvement of the Wolf Pack defense in 2018 will rest on how much better the secondary will be.  The Wolf Pack was last in the Mountain West in pass defense and with a pair of all-conference defensive backs in Baber and Rufus and experience overall, the secondary should see some improvement in 2018.

And that improvement in the secondary is critical for the Nevada Wolf Pack to be a factor in the Mountain West conference in 2018.

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