Fall camp is here. The season is getting closer every day. The Roundtable is close to wrapping up but there are still a few more remaining questions before the season starts. This week the question is: which team will have the best defense in the 2022 season?
Mike: I think the Mountain West will have a few great defenses this season. Air Force returns a ton of production from last season’s unit. Boise State should be great in the secondary and on the defensive line. If the linebacker unit holds up, it could challenge for the top defense as well. However, I am going with San Diego State. They were a shut-down defense last year and look to be once again heading into 2022. They have a proven track record of reloading year after year and return some of the best players in the conference in Patrick McMorris, Caden McDonald, Jonah Tavai, and KeShawn Banks. This doesn’t even include players like Cooper McDonald, Noah Avinger, and CJ Baskerville, who are expected to breakout this season.
Zach: You win championships in the trenches and I think Boise State has the deepest defensive line in the conference. Couple that with the most talented secondary in the league and that makes for an elite defense. There are some major questions at linebacker, but moving Isaiah Bagnah to WLB will be a huge lift. San Diego State and Air Force are also in the discussion.
Matt: I’ll go against the grain here, and say that Air Force will have the best. They were stout last year and have a lot of continuity. While I think that Boise will have a fantastic secondary, and SDSU is always in the mix, I believe it’s time for the Falcons to shine
Jeff: To me it’s a grab bag of several teams that should be considered as having the best defense. Boise State always seems to reload and look to be strong with their line and secondary. Air Force is returning seven starters and will be very difficult to move the ball against. San Diego State has developed the recent reputation of team defense. Stop the run, force the pass, defend, punt. This looks to be more of the same on the line and defensive backfield. My money would be 100% on the Aztecs except I think that the SJSU Spartans will surprise a few people and field the best defense when the season is done. Their line is deep and talented as is their line backing corp. They have returning secondary on Nehemiah Shelton and Tre Jenkins as well as capable Kenyon Reed. Last year was an off year, but good recruiting and a reevaluation of individual and team expectations should get the Spartans in the best overall defensive category. Of course I might be eating a murder of crows come season end especially when the Spartans take on the Aztecs which might be a 3-2 snooze fest.