Minnesota has a new defensive coordinator (Ted Roof) this season. He was hired in March, so he wasn't even around during the recruiting season. In other words, he has none of "his own players" to work with. He's working with the assortment of former 3-star players recruited by Glen Mason. That group was an absolute disaster a year ago, surrendering 36.7 points per game as Minn went 1-11.
This year? Minn is giving up 17.1 ppg. Let me reiterate that Minn has historically been one of the worst recruiting teams in the conference, generally battling MAC schools for prospects and regularly losing in-state stars to other schools. And despite not having a chance to recruit ANY of the players on his defense, Roof is engineering one of the best defensive turnarounds in Big Ten history.
One week after Illinois shredded us for 45 points in our own stadium, Minnesota played them on the road and held them to 20. Yesterday they held our next opponent (Purdue) to six points, also on the road. Anyone think we can match that performance?
Why is it that poor little Michigan apparently needs years before it can field a quality defense under Shafer, but Minn can field a strong defense right off the bat with this guy? If Shafer's schemes can only work well with a certain type of player, is he really the answer for us?