Preview: N.C. State (defense)

The Hurricanes are set to take on North Carolina State this Saturday so lets take a closer look at their defense.

Defensive Line:
Players: DE Brian Slay (6-3/290/Sr) 54 tackles, 7 TFL, 4.5 sacks ... DE Darryl Cato-Bishop (6-4/280/Jr) 41-12-8 ... DT Thomas Teal (6-2/315/So) 15-5-1.5 ... DT T.J. McGill (6-1/190/So) 29-4.5-1.5
Strengths: It's a very big group. That's been a common theme among Miami's early season opponents. Boston College, Kansas State, and Georgia Tech were all big on the defensive front. This group will be no different. The best pass rusher is Cato-Bishop.
Weaknesses: The two sophomores are still young are still developing. Tennessee ran for almost 200 yards against them in the opener.

Linebacker:
Players: MLB Sterling Lucas (6-2/240/Sr) 26-2 ... OLB Rickey Dowdby (6-2/240/Jr) 23-5 ... OLB Rodman Noel (6-3/210/So) 19-0
Strengths: They have quality size. All three linebackers are big, strong, and physical and they tackle well as a group.
Weaknesses: It's an extremely inexperienced group. All three starters are first-year starters and two of those three guys were on the bench until their senior seasons.

Defensive Back:
Players: CB David Amerson (6-3/195/Jr) 132 and 16 INT's ... CB Dontae Johnson (6-3/190/Jr) 63-0 ... S Earl Wolff (6-0/200/Sr) 281-5 ... S Brandan Bishop (6-2/210/Sr) 217-10
Strengths: This group is tremendous. It's not only one of the best in the ACC but one of the best secondaries in all of college football. Amerson's probably the best DB in America and is projected to be a very high draft pick next April. He's nearly impossible to throw on because of his incredible ability to pick passes off. Johnson, the other corner, is very physical. The two safeties have around 500 career tackles and 15 career picks. This will be the best secondary Miami faces all season.
Weaknesses: There aren't many. They're all big, athletic, and very good. Three of them will be playing on Sundays next fall so it's tough to call out any weaknesses.

Special Teams:
Players: K Nicklas Slade (6-3/195/So) 14-22 on FG's ... P Wil Baumann (6-4/185/So) 85 punts for an average of 38.1 ... RS Tobias Palmer (5-11/175/Sr) 10 KOR for 225 yards
Strengths: Slade has a solid leg and gives them a chance whenever the offense crosses the 40.
Weaknesses: All three of their main guys are considered above average in the conference but Miami's special teams units struggled a lot last week so it should be interesting.

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