'Cats trying to shore up defense

Originally Published: September 30, 2003
By Mark Wangrin | Special to ESPN.com
After allowing 210 yards rushing to Marshall the Wildcats are in the strange position of wondering what's wrong with their rush defense, which usually is among the nation's best. Part of the problem could be traced to missed tackles and play busts that left gaps uncovered in the attacking scheme, but part of it is that the Wildcats just aren't as talented as they used to be.

While much has been made of what the loss of cornerback Terence Newman has meant to the pass defense, the loss of Tank Reese has been equally problematic. Defensive tackles Justin Montgomery and Jermaine Berry have been average and end Andrew Shull, the only returning starter on the line, hasn't been the pass rush force he's been in the past. KSU hasn't gotten the production it usually gets from JUCO transfers, particularly linebacker Marvin Simmons, who has been banged up, and tackle Malcolm Wooldridge, who came into camp out of shape and never caught up.