I think if you looked at their turnover ratio from this year to last year you will find your answer.
hat, I agree with you especially if the year-end statistics hold up for both Minnesota & Michigan. Mich's defense has obviously been disappointing and how both Minn & Mich played our one common opponent (Illinois) is a valid comparison. Though I'm sure someone will find a reason or an excuse for why it's not a valid comparison. (e.g. our offense is so bad that our defense is on the field more, etc.)
We'll see how the rest of the year plays out. Minnesota doesn't exactly have a quality win on their schedule (N. Illinois, Bowling Green, Montana St., Florida Atlantic, Indiana, Illinois, Purdue) and did give up 35 points to tOSU on the road.
I haven't seen Minn play this year, nor am I an expert on these things, so it's hard for me to evaluate whether their DC is getting more out of his crew than Shafer. The recruiting rankings are just about all we have to go on.
I don't have much of an opinion about Shafer yet. It's too early. I did find it odd that RR sort of found him in the coaching yellow pages. That is, RR pretty much relied on what he knew about Shafer (e.g. reputation, statistics, etc.) and didn't really have any kind of personal relationship before becoming leaders of this team. That probably happens a lot and more than I know, but I can't see it not mattering at all. I wonder if Brewster and Ted Roof go way back or coached together some where? Perhaps RR & Shafer's styles are taking some time to gel and that is contributing to some of what we're seeing so far. You know, the big picture stuff instead of all these details relating to scheme and personnel.
Anyway, thanks for the comparison between 1st year DC's. I wasn't aware that Minn had a new DC too.
shafer is a fairly young dc that impressed RR before the michigan job ever came open. He had been wanting to work with shafer before.
second of all comparing one teams year to year change to another teams year to year change is not very telling. Did minnesotta lose 2 of their better safties from recent years, and replace them with unproven talent, that has been very bad? does minn. have a problem with depth at that same place? how about the lb core for minn? lets look out THIS MICHIGAN team, and talk about what THIS team is lacking on defense, and a good defensive coordinator is not one of them..
Just a few numbers to consider regarding the comparison between MICH & MINN on defense.
- MINN is ranked #8 in total defense, MICH is #9.
- Both Pass Defenses are equally bad ranked #10 & #11 and giving up nearly 250 yards per game.
- Of the 46 defensive players listed on the MICH roster, 24 have played 6 or more games. These are the contributors.
- 8 Seniors (33.3%)
- 4 Juniors (16.7%)
- 5 Soph (20.8%)
- 7 freshmen (29%)
- Of the 42 defensive players for MINN, 25 have played 6 or more games.
- 5 Seniors (20.0%)
- 12 Juniors (48.0%)
- 3 Soph (12.0%)
- 5 freshman (20.0%)
- As Chris notes above, turnover margin is the glaring stat with Minn ranking #1 in the Big 10 and Mich ranking #10.
- The Minnesota secondary is contributing greatly to this T/O margin with 12 interceptions (#2 in Big 10), compared to 5 picks for MICH.
- Minnesota's DB's: 2 Juniors, 3 Soph and 3 Frosh
- Michigan' DB's: 4 Seniors, 1 Junior, 2 Soph, 2 Frosh
Until we have more common opponents I don't think it's useful to draw conclusions about how these D's, both under 1st year DC's, compare. To gsimms point, MINN has more overall experience on D especially at LB. But they also have less experience in the secondary.
Without seeing any MINN games I can't say whether the 12 INT's they've recorded from a much younger secondary than ours are having a big impact on their record. We all know that MICH's poor play in the secondary is a big reason why we're 2-6.
At the end of the year when we have more common opponents we can assess whether MICH gave up more big plays for TD's and whether our D took the ball away from our opponents more. At this point, the MINN D is doing a better job with regards to those measures. Is that inexperience? Is it coaching?
I'd say not giving up big plays is coachable. The INT's not so much. By no means does having played DB in H.S. make me an expert like gsimms but I do recall that preventing big plays was something we were drilled on repeatedly (through agility drills, pursuit angles, open field tackling) but the INT's were just a matter of who had good hands and who didn't. Sure there's a tip element that can be coached but most of the time either a guy has good hands or does not.
I'm not passing any judgment on Shafer until the end of NEXT year. I want to see how his recruits and first-year guys like Cissoko, Michael Williams and Fitzgerald progress. I thought MICH's defense showed a glimmer against MSU when it came to pass rush. That gives me hope.