We are breaking in completely new players at cornerback, linebacker and some of the D Line.
And 3 of the first 4 games are against offenses that will probably be (conservatively) top 25-30 nationally by most metrics when its all said and done next year. The improvements on the coaching staff both in recruiting and on the field are night and day over the last staff, in no small part due to the huge budget given to CDH to hire a good staff. Saying this team’s “floor” is 8-4 like I’ve seen some in this thread say is wildly unrealistic.
Our offense should be great, but the last 2 staffs screwed the pooch bad on defensive recruiting (take a gander at our 2015-16 classes). CDH’s staff (especially Belk, Early and Etheridge) have done as much as humanly possible to get this defense more D1 ready than when they arrived on campus. That alone should make everyone optimistic about the long-term trajectory.