Michigan's Defense in 2007 = The Worst Ever???
Finally! My 2008 Football Preview from The Wolverine came in the mail! WOOO it's like 200 pages of pure Michigan Football Overkill. Almost the best Michigan Preview Mag....Gotta give the nod to HTTV, of course. I immediately started reading, and came across a really interesting blurb entitled "Front Seven Has to Rebuild Reputation". That, of course, is a hell of an understatement. Here are few facts about the 2007 Defense:
- Michigan gave up over 200 yards rushing in the last three games of the year. They hadn’t given up 200 yards rushing in three straight games in the past 10 years.
- They allowed 156.8 yards rushing per game, their worst showing since, get this, 1969! Weird.
- They gave up 17 rushing touchdowns, the most since 1981 when they started tracking rushing touchdowns. Strange that they didn’t start tracking rushing TD’s until 1981…..how hard is it to record rushing TD’s? I digress…
- 7 running backs totaled over 100 yards against the Wolverines D…….whereas only 1 managed this feat against that dominate 2006 D……..resulting in…..
- Michigan giving up over 2000 YARDS RUSHING last year overall…the first time that has EVER HAPPENED. Wow.
The article goes on to tout how great the pass defense was last year, but, come on, how could it not be with the sieve like quality of our front 7??? Why would anyone bother throwing passes when the rush D is that craptastic?
Anyway, all credit for the stats goes to The Wolverine on this one, just thought I’d share this startling information. I’m pretty sure Brian wrote a post on this before…..but maybe not? I can’t remember.
Now the 2006 defense, in all its glory, was mentioned here. Who could forget that D??? Anthony Morelli certainly won’t…ha ha. Not to give the 2007 D any leeway, but Jesus did we lose a butt load of talent from that squad. When you think back, a good portion of the primetime talent on that team left for the NFL. Just glancing at that list somewhat explains the god awful results from 2007: Woodley, Branch, Harris, Burgess and Hall are all in the NFL. Woodley and Hall alone are two of the top defenders ever to put on the winged helmet…if you peruse the record book their names are as constant as those of Mark Messner and Charles Woodson respectively.
The 2007 defense certainly disappointed. Their failure is quite historically significant, and perhaps it says something about the great Ron English. Perhaps he’s not all that we thought? In 2006 he was the lord and savior, but maybe those kids were just so good that any bumbling buffoon could have done at least a respectable job of coaching them up. 2007 really showed how green English was and is as a coordinator. Although he seemed to be really made out of that Bo mold… a tough, hard nosed motivator who the players respected, perhaps he was a little overrated. I, of course, wish him all the best of luck in the future, but am excited about what Shafer brings to the program. His past indicates that he will have one hell of a scary defense, hopefully giving us more moments like the indelible image of Branch walking away from a decapitated Morelli in 2006.
Jamiemac I like cut of your jib. What's a jib?
Anyway, I suppose it could be said that they improved throughout the year, especially given The Horror and Oregon (The Horror II?).
I thought of something this morning, re: 2000 rushing yards given up last year. Seeing as how the NCAA moved the schedule from 11 games to 12 I suppose that stat may be misleading....so.....I guess that one isn't as bad as previously thought. The others are pretty scary.