Defense, as they say, wins championships and offense sales tickets. One could say that was not the case in 2016 as much as usual, but it does typically ring true.
Marshall returns 7 players that started at some point over last season on the defensive side of the football, they also return 8 of the teams top 15 tacklers from the 2015 season.
2. Tiquan Lang - 91
6. Ryan Bee - 59
6. Gary Thompson - 59
8. Tre Tyler - 51
11. Blake Keller - 11
12. Kendall Gant - 12
13. Shawn Petty - 37
15. Rodney Allen - 30
The Herd also returns its top sack machine in Gary Thompson with 9, and top two tackles for loss in Thompson and Bee.
Three of the top 5 leaders in interceptions return in Lang, Allen and Gant.
Marshall finished CUSA last year ranked in defense in the following categories:
Number 1 in scoring defense at 17.8 points per game allowed, over a TD better than second place USM
Number 1 in yards allowed at 360.8 yards per game, over 15 yards better than LA Tech.
Number 1 in pass defense allowing 192.6 yards per game
Number 6 in rush defense, allowing 168.2 yards per game
Number 3 in total interceptions
Number 3 in sacks
Number 1 in 3rd down conversion against at 34.6 percent
Number 2 in Turnover Margin
Number 2 in Red Zone Defense
Many wonder how some experts think the defense could be any better after losing the likes of Jarquez Samuel and Steve Dillon on the interior, Evan McKelvey and DJ Hunter at LB, and DB's Keith Baxter, Corey Tindal, Antavis Rowe and Taj Letman (Safety).
The link below, which is free, provides a list of the new comers who are on campus, and ready to strap it up on August 8th.
Stay tuned to Herdhaven.com as we continue to inch closer and closer to Practice Reports, starting on August 8th. Tomorrow, a free look at the Offensive newcomers.
Enjoy and thank you for helping the site grow!