The defense has been great this season, including (and maybe especially) against Nebraska. A lesser defense might have allowed another 30 points after Denard went down.
Big Ten certainly has something to do with it, but Bama's schedule has been potentially even weaker than ours if you take out the extra ten levels of imaginary difficulty granted to all SEC games. Vandy probably impresses me most of those teams. Pass defense rankings are pretty worthless on their own though obviously. Does show that we've definitely improved in that area, which is nice.
Yeah, but the fact that only one of Alabama's opponents has managed to stay within three touchdowns of them (just barely; Ole Miss lost to them 33-14) is a little scary. They don't seem to have any real flaws. I would be shocked if they don't repeat this year. They remind me of Mike Tyson/Mr. Dream in the NES version of Punch-Out.
Unless you're ranked 1 or 2.
Our defense is good, I love Mattison, however.... Consider:
Alabama #73 passing 220 yd/game
Air Force #121 (last?) passing 114 yd/game
UMass #112 passing 169.1 yd/game
Notre Dame #93 passing 193.3 yd/game
Purdue #76 passing 219.6 yd/game
Illinois #104 passing 184.9 yd/game
MSU #66 passing 229.1 yd/game
Nebraska #71 passing 225 yd/game
So, the offenses we have played aren't necessarily great passers...
Those offenses had to face our defense which is a cause to an extent for their passing numbers being down. Somebody do the math!
Assuming each of them has played 8 games, and assuming that our offense held them to half of their normal production, the most our game would have affected their numbers is by 1/16th or 6.25%
Why is it 1/16 and not 1/8? It's one game out of eight . . . why would the other games hold more weight?
"assuming that our offense held them to half of their normal production"
If we held a team to 0 output we would affect them by 1/8th. Since that pretty clearly didn't happen, at best it would be 1/16th.
If any of them played a defense ranked middle of the pack and we compared vs ours maybe we would see the true difference and be able to apply that back, 1/16th is probably too optimistic, we're probably talking 1/32nd at best, or 3%
Yeah, this, unfortunately. Look at how few attempts we have against us compared to everyone else on the OP's list. We just haven't played teams who throw much at all. We're not #1 in effeciency, just in total yards allowed.
The fact that we've played a number of games in inclement weather doesn't hurt either.
Agreed, though most of them would be ranked higher (better) if not for being held below their season averages by Michigan.
MSU is the best passing offense we've faced? Wow, didn't see that coming.
But as a counter-example, the best pass offense Alabama has faced is Arkansas, and when they did face them it was a shell of its current self. Typically the best pass defenses in terms of rankings are because they play mediocre pass offenses. So yeah, UM may not be #1, but it is always relative.
It's been nice to see the guys step up in Countess' stead. Kovacs leadership, some great coaching, and...wait for it...TALENT seem to be going a long way! (unlike opponents' passes...)
since the secondary minus Taylor was primarily recruited by RR?
That game also happened Halloween weekend, and Halloween 2009 we went on the road and got clobbered by Illinois.
So Halloween + Michigan football on the road = bad mojo (at least the last few years)
Yeah, I'll give RR credit for some of it. These guys aren't scrubs. They're current coaching staff is doing a good job with them, so they get credit, too. The D-line is putting good pressure on QBs, so they get credit too.
The secondary themselves are generally utilizing all three of those things, so they get the most credit.
GREG MATTISON Y U NO COACH OFFENSE??????
But then the defense wouldn't be proficient.
and Minnesota is 7th only 14 yards/game behind Michigan
Have done the job in 7/8 games to give the offense a shot. And well , the Alabama game, they are given a pass.
Was that a pun?
It doesn't really tell the whole story.
We're not near the top of that elite list in YPA, but we're still pretty damn good.
And no Countess.
It's interesting that only 20 yards separate the 1st and last team on this list when it comes to average opponent passing yards really. Another representation of the fantastic progress that Greg Mattison has made in really a short span. The other stat that I think deserves mention is pass efficiency defense, and we're 15th nationally, I believe. We allow an average of 5.89 YPA, and there are actually three teams just in the Big Ten that are better in this regard.
I looked at individuals stats on MGoBlue, and we've accumulated 7 interceptions for 127 yards, 14 pass breakups and 3 recorded QB hurries. Further, the top 5 tacklers on the team are the starting linebackers and both starting safeties, and combined, they have 9.5 TFL for 64 yards. That's sounding like a defense that is difficult to throw against, and it is a wonderful thing.
Just in the conference, 122 yards separate the best passing defense (ours) and the worst (Ohio State).
I think Coach Mallory really deserves a lot of credit here. Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention all the guys back there (Especially Kovacs), but Coach has done a fantastic job with these guys.
With that being said, can you imagine how good Michigan's secondary will be in a few years? Look at all the size/length/athleticism they are recruiting... only one word is needed.
but I think it's obvious the real strength of the D is the run defense so it seems impressive that we also have the best pass D. How is that? Has no one figured out not to run on us yet?
It is out of Coaching for Dummies (as seen in the Waterboy). You run enough to make the other team put 8 in the box then you pass over their heads to the open receivers in the secondary. Some never win the run battle.
Naturally there is the argument of offense wins games while defense wins championships.
Give credit to the linebackers... These guys have done just about everything right on the season, from getting extreme pressure on the quarterbacks and playing solid zone coverage when needed to. They are the main reason why our defense has been so successful this season. Great job boys and Go Blue!
He knows his football
at what he's been able to do with
1) hardly any defensive line depth at all that included a converted offensive lineman that has shown little promise, a fifth year senior that has been teetering on the edge of "bust".
2) outside rush ends that are undersized and under experienced
3) a linebacking core that was both young, inexperienced and undersized which included a LB who was a 3 star out of HS that now looks like a bonified all-american as a sophomore,
4) cornerbacks that were either recruited to other positions, or a fill-in freshman who wasn't expected to play because the stud got hurt
5) a nickle that was recruited as a QB
6) a former walk-on safety who is now so adept and sound at his position teams don't even try to attack him
This is what Mattison had to work with and he's done brilliantly to get them to this point. In 21 games he's turned around the entire attitude and aptitude of one of the worst defenses in Michigan football history. We are at a point I do not worry about the defense at all.
after this weekend.
no one who can throw the ball.
Some would argue differently....
7 of the teams have more interception than us.
I'm really excited about how good our Defense is and is going to be even better the next couple seasons. Hopefully they can carry us until our incoming recruits gel on the offensive side of the ball.
if a high schooler on the defensive side of the ball wants to take his game to the next level(s), then this is undoubtedly the place to be.
On the other hand, if a high schooler is offense-minded, he can come in and get all the playing time he wants... tomorrow... right now... please.
I decided to run some numbers on this subject to get some bias out due to opponents that each team played.
Here is what I did.
Running the numbers, this is what I get as the order out of these 10 teams:
So, we are significantly further down the list. However, teams like Arizona St and Minn do well because the other teams find it quite easy to run against them and don't bother passing much. Looking at the overall numbers including rushing and total yardages, we probably have a top 10 defense just behind teams like Alabama, Florida St, and LSU.
If people are interested, I will try to create a diary entry with my spreadsheet.
That would be interesting as well as other defensive catagories like run for the top teams and the B1G.
If you have time that is. I know some people are gainfully employed.
are the Big Ten's best quarterbacks. Yeah, not pretty, but I'll take it.
This No. 1 passing defense stat probably says more about Michigan's No. 52 ranking in rushing defense (rushing yards, 1,162, 145/gm).
Perhaps opponents are having good enough success rushing the football vs. Michigan?
are heavily skewed by the first two games of the season. Since that point the rush defense has been very stingy, so at least in Big Ten play that has not been the case.