Wisconsin defense faces major challenge in bid to stay elite

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin has boasted one of the nation's stingiest defenses virtually every season since Jim Leonhard took over as coordinator in 2017.

Leonhard faces perhaps his biggest test in maintaining that standard this year.

Wisconsin must replace eight of the top 10 tacklers from a defense that allowed the fewest yards per game (235.3), yards per play (4.10) and yards per rush (1.99) of any Football Bowl Subdivision team last season.

The only returning players who started at least five games on defense for Wisconsin last year are nose tackle Keeanu Benton, outside linebacker Nick Herbig and defensive end Isaiah Mullens.

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