Originally written on The B1g Time  |  Last updated 11/7/14

Much like most everything else on the 2012 Purdue roster, the defensive unit left something to be desired last season.

The defense gave up over 400 yards of offense per game. The Boilermakers allowed 181.92 rushing yards per contest, which placed them ninth in the Big Ten in that department. The pass defense didn’t fare any better, conceding 233.9 yards per game through the air, the third worst mark in the league.

Put the two together, and the results are not pretty. Only Indiana finished lower in total defense during the 2012 season.

The good news for this squad is that, unlike the offense, there is a certain level of continuity that has already been established. Last year, 16 different players saw action in all 13 games, nine of those players will be back for 2013, including the top-two leading tacklers.

Defensive Line

The defensive line is likely the biggest hole on this side of the football. The fact is: Kawaan Short was the only man up front who made any noise a season ago and he is off to bigger and better things in the NFL. Someone is going to have to step up and wreak some havoc in the trenches. That, in turn, ought to free up the secondary and the linebacking corps to focus on their own responsibilities and opportunities to make plays rather than picking up the slack, as they were forced to do much of last year. If the Boilermakers cannot find a way to ratchet up the pressure on the line, it is going to be a long season (again).

Linebackers

Will Lucas will undoubtedly be expected to be the anchor among the linebackers this season. His 66 tackles were the second highest total on the squad.  However, depth may be a bit of an issue for this group.  Joe Gilliam and Sean Robinson were also contributors last year, combining for 84 tackles. Each member of this trip played in every game last year.

Secondary

Given the changes in the way defensive schemes are constructed, this stat may not be as foreboding as it used to be, however it’s still hard not to cringe when a safety sits atop the tackles column at the end of the season. No offense to Landon Feichter, but he shouldn’t be (more importantly, shouldn’t have to be) leading the team in tackles. He is a talented young man with the ability to make plays, but his full potential cannot be freed up until he gets some help from the men in front of him. 

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Alex Smith out week 17 with lacerated spleen

Belichick: Garoppolo has better understanding of NFL

Lionel Hollins: 'Honored and blessed to coach Kevin Garnett'

Curt Schilling gives Johnny Manziel advice on Twitter

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Andre Johnson willing to take pay cut with Texans?

Mets star David Wright reaches out to sons of slain NYPD officer

Panthers coach replaces break-in victims’ Christmas presents

Bruce Arians benches Logan Thomas on Christmas Day

Richard Sherman: Marshawn Lynch having MVP season

Curt Schilling tweeted advice to Johnny Manziel

Frank Gore: Colin Kaepernick is 'not broke'

The story of Morgan Bulkeley and birth of National League

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things the world learned about the NBA on Christmas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

The year’s 10 most notable sports media stories

'Roberto' Gronkowski wishes Pats fans Feliz Navidad

Are the Seahawks back on track?

WATCH: LeBron gets standing ovation from Heat fans in return

15 defunct bowls that leave the holidays feeling empty

Should the NFL's playoff seeding system change?

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
THE B1G TIME

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things learned about NBA on X-Mas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Year's most notable sports media stories

'Roberto Gronkowski wishes fans Feliz Navidad

Are the Seahawks back on track?

Wright reaches out to slain officer's sons

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Dan Le Batard sums up Miami's relationship with LeBron

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.