Another Look LB's and DB's

The BYU game is just a few days away. Here are the final two position groupings and we tell you what we know, what we don't know and what we kind of think could happen.

LINEBACKERS

What We Know
*For the first time Dane Krogstad, Ronnie Palmer and Spencer Larsen are healthy.

*The Cats have solid back-ups in Xavier Kelley, Adrian McCovy and John McKinney.

*Akin Akinnyi missed all of fall camp with an injury suffered over the summer and will not play anytime soon.

What We Don't Know
*How will the linebackers play together? We all assume Palmer, Krogstad and Larsen will fare well together, but we really don't know.

*Can the Wildcats survive an injury to the unit? The back-ups look solid, but are they good enough to play for a long period of time? *Can Adrian McCovy maximize his potential? McCovy may have more talent than any backer on the squad, but he has yet to be able to pass the starters.

*How successful can the linebackers be in rushing the passer? The team needs more sacks and some of them have to come from the backers.

What We Think
*That the starters will form one of the better units in the Pac-10.

*Barring an injury, the second team will not get a ton of time unless there is a blowout.

*If Ronnie Palmer can stay healthy, we'll start to hear his name and the NFL mentioned together.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

What We Know
*Antoine Cason and Wilrey Fontenot will start side by side for the third straight season.

*Dominic Patrick can hit with the best of them.

*The Cats will play true freshmen as the back-ups at corner back.

*Cason has the ability to live up to his billing as one of the top corners in America.

What We Don't Know
*Can the Wildcat survive an injury to one of their starting cornerbacks?

*Can Michael Johnson live up to the hype that Mike Stoops heaped upon him? Stoops said that Johnson has first round ability. ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit called him the best safety in America.

*When will Devin Ross be cleared to play? As of Wednesday night the highly rated corner back was still waiting on the NCAA.

*Can Patrick keep the job? He won it in camp but he'll get pressure from Brandon Tatum and Nate Ness all year long.

*Can the DB's force more turnovers? The defense was on the wrong end of the turnover margin stat a year ago.

What We Think
*The interceptions will go up this season.

*The Cats will be lucky to have Antoine Cason for another season.

*Nate Ness will redshirt and then win one of the starting safety jobs next season.

*Both Tatum and Patrick will start at free safety.

*Patrick will have the hit of the year. From a knock-out standpoint the Cats won't miss Darrell Brooks.


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