Prairie View undoubtedly featured the most prolific offense in the SWAC in 2013.
The Panthers were ranked No. 1 in passing offense, scoring offense and total offense.
Averaging a league-high 40.4 points per game can explain the six wins the team posted on their way to a second-place finish behind Southern in the SWAC West.
Allowing 32.2 points and 433 yards per contest can explain the team’s six losses and why they didn’t win the division.
Still in the hunt by late October, Prairie View surrendered an average of 55 points per game over the last four weeks of the regular season to kill any postseason hopes.
In the offseason, head coach Heishma Northern — in an attempt to improved the battered defense — signed 21 defensive players, including more than a dozen on National Signing Day, which helped the Panthers post the best recruiting class in the conference, according to From The Press Box To Press Row 2014 rankings.
The class was highlighted by defensive standouts Jalen Graves and TyQuan Fields, who are expected to add depth to the defensive line and secondary, respectively.
The program also hired Cliff Yoshida, an experienced defensive mind, as defensive coordinator from Georgia Southern.
Yoshida has some familiarity with the conference, as he was defensive coordinator at Grambling State from 2007-2012 when the program won two SWAC titles in 2008 and 2011.
How far the Panthers go in the fall will be strictly based on how the defense performs in 2014.
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