Michigan's third down defense was also awful though. I remember a lot of good first and second down defense being soulcrushed on third and nine. I think it had something to do with a switch from heavy reliance on good corner play in Carr's D to heavy reliance on good safety play in Shafer's D. Our safeties were not up to that challenge in year one. I don't know though.
Either way, last year could not have happened without an outright catastrophe of special teams, offense and defense if you ask me. Although, you could say that our D was doomed from day one, having no one to practice against but our botched abortion of an offense.