If there is one area that absolutely has to improve for the Ball State defense to get better in 2016, it is up front.
A season ago, the Cardinals ranked last or almost last in every defensive category, chiefly among those was the inability to get pressure on the QB or create negative plays for the opposing offense.
Enter in a whole new defensive staff led by new Defensive Coordinator Tim Daoust who promises an attacking defense that will play downhill and eliminate the run while also getting to the QB.
Leading the way for the front four will be 5th Sr. Josh Posley. The 6-1 252 Cincinnati transfer was the leader in tackles for loss and will be counted on, in the new scheme, to increase his production including getting to the QB more than the 2.5 sacks he had a year ago.
Also back is undersized (6-1 228) but athletic DE Anthony Winbush. The R-Jr led the Cardinals with 5 sacks. Look for that number to increase while he also gets more tackles for loss.
Willis (6-2 305) was effective at getting in the backfield and making plays a season ago. He had a sack and 3.5 tackles for loss. Kevin Thurmon (6-1 282) posted 11 tackles as a true fresman. John Whitman (6-1 298), a former JUCO transfer, had 31 tackles including 2.5 TFL.
Adding depth in the middle will be two newcomers is JUCO transfer John Swisher (6-2 277) and Fr Chris Crumb (6-0 260), who is undersized but is very athletic and quick and can create havoc in the backfield.