Brian Losness-US PRESSWIRE
Starters: Safety Jeremy Ioane, safety Lee Hightower, nickel Dextrell Simmons, corner Jamar Taylor, corner Jerrell Gavins
The Bronco defensive secondary had one interception on the afternoon, and it could have easily been two. A Derek Carr pass hit Jerrell Gavins in the hands and he couldn’t hang on.
But more importantly, until the final minutes of the fourth quarter, the Bronco secondary was on Bulldog receivers like ice on glaciers.
The Fresno State quarterback had five of his passes broken up, and held Carr well under his per-game average of 302.7 yards per game passing with 266 through the air.
Jeremy Ioane, a redshirt sophomore, was the third-leading tackler on the Broncos with seven total. He was a strong presence in the secondary throughout the game.
Grade for Jeremy Ioane: A
Sophomore Lee Hightower continues to go for the knockdown rather than wrapping up the ball-carrier. On one occasion, Hightower had a receiver measured for a loss after a pass into the offensive backfield and went for the knockdown. The receiver sidestepped the head-down bull rush and picked up positive yardage.
Using the helmet and pads to become a crushing hitter is fine, but knowing when to keep the head up and wrap up and tackle an opposing player will score a lot more respect and tackles.
Grade for Lee Hightower: B
Dextrell Simmons, a redshirt senior, was in the right place at the right time and pulled off the interception like it was thrown directly to him… actually, it was thrown directly to him. The nickelback turned in a good performance overall, adding three tackles and a pass breakup to his game stats.
Grade for Dextrell Simmons: A-
Jerrell Gavins, a redshirt senior, dropped a certain interception, but his overall coverage was good.
Grade for Jerrell Gavins: B-
Redshirt senior Jamar Taylor continues to be a leader on the Bronco defensive unit. Taylor had five total tackles, half a tackle for loss and, on one play, put on a clinic on how to wrap up a receiver and not let him gain any extra yardage.
Grade for Jamar Taylor: A