Defense Appreciation Thread
I never recommend cutting off your own balls.
We should have another year of:
So we should all be excited. I know Hoke is:
We do not go 11-2 or 8-4 this year without the defense being as good as they are. Mattison was a terrific and necessary hire
The defense did keep this game within reach, I agree, and in situations where the Buckeye could have put it away earlier perhaps, they stepped up and it was great to see that. For me, that's a positive takeaway from this game.
Another kudos to Greg Mattison for, to date, yet another Top 20 defense. Including today's game, we yield an average of 155 yards in the air and 157 yards on the ground, which right now for total defense would still be good for something in the mid-teens in the way of ranking nationally (won't know until the official NCAA stats update completely).
Feels good to be back to Michigan football where the D is our strength. One of the things about Rich Rod that never felt like a fit
With a few exceptions in the modern era ('97 and '06 come to mind), Michigan has been more of an offensive team. (Aside: Your picture refers to one of the good years. Just don't go overrating Marcus Ray because of that.)
For real: Were you around when Florida State put up 52 in the early '90s? Donovan McNabb? Northwestern and its 54? First couple of '07 games? (Yes -- I *am* cherry-picking.)
The defense was *really* lousy from '08 to '10, but even in most other years Michigan had more talent on the other side of the ball.
I wouldn't say that. We generally had about equal talent on both sides. Moeller/Carr had many, many good defensive players. We were generally a top 20-30 defensive team most years, with a few top 10 defenses. If you check the numbers, our defensive PPG under Mo and Carr was generally in the teens.
There were a handful of awful outings over that time (like '98 Syracuse and '00 Northwestern) but they were exceptions. Incidentally, that FSU game isn't the best example - FSU had two defensive TDs, and scored another on a fake FG.
I think about the great Michigan teams, and I'm not sure any of them were amazing because of a lights out offense. I guess I'm thinking of the extreme like Oregon who has no problem allowing 25+ a game because the offense is capable of 45 on any night. In 2006, I think we had the best D in the country. Theres a resaon Ron English was talked about as a possible replacement for Carr, and why he ended up getting an HC gig. And back in the late 90's, we weren't always carried by our D as much, but I think if we were going to have a stronger side you would expect it to be D (When you "Zone Left" as your first play of every game no matter what can you really claim to be a offensive team?).
And also, a common theme with most of the games you bring up is a mobile quarterback. Ever since I remember, Carr era teams could have amazing defenses, but not stop a mobile quarterback. Vince young, Donovan mcnabb, Armani Edwards, Dennis Dixon.....and I'm sure there are more
Mattison is a God among men. Unfortunately, Borges is not.
Extremely proud of the players. They nearly overcame an atrociuos game plan to beat the #4 team in the toilet bowl.
That sums up what I means to be a Michigan fan. We believe it's our birthright to beat Ohio, win the conference, and win the rose bowl every year. Thats why these 4 losses have been so hard to stomach. Rather than anticipating these outcomes, the team should react to every play, every time. Thats basic football. Dont anticipate. React. Each play against every opponent is a chance to win. While having the highest of goals is a must, I dont think the fan's expectations do the kids on our squad justice. They played their tails off this year! That team gave us so many great memories. Sparty and NU stick out in my mind. Here's to hoping that our administration, coaches and players make the necessary changes in the coming months to turn days like these into days of elation.
I generally agree with your sentiment. However, I'd leave the "played with backup QB and RB" excuse out of the equation. Gotta play with who you've got -- its not like OSU was at full strength either with Simon out.
At Michigan, the expectation is for the position not the player.
That may be, but even Bo (the guy who coined that line) would acknowledge that it got tough in '84 when Harbaugh went down. We played in the Shoe that year with our backup QB - and also lost.
Players need to step up, and for the most part they have. I thought Devin was generally great and will have a big year next year.
We're going to need a lot of players to step up for the expectation of their position next year.
Great job by the whole team(minus Hoke and Borges).
So Hoke gets zero credit for preparing his outmanned team to take on and nearly beat a top 5 team on the road? There's more to his job than just deciding whether or not to punt on 4th down.
Maybe did a better job than last year. Sure last year's record was better and we beat Ohio. But this year's schedule was much tougher, and we clearly didn't have the same talent on the offensive or defensive lines this year as last. Despite this, our only losses (not counting Nebraska, because well, you know why) were to teams with a combined 35-1 record this year, and two of those losses could easily have been wins.
Hoke did just fine this year and just fine today. The only call I think was questionable on his part was the 4th and 3. That play didn't lose the game.
Our defense was so good that I predict more "hello posts" to come.
I thought our defense was outstanding in the second half but not very good the first half.
Frank Clark's hit was badass
For sure, I want a gif of that hit and if it is possible I want to put that gif as my desktop wallpaper so that I can watch it 100x a day.
since I laughed as hard as I did when Frank leveled Braxton. It was pure joy. Too bad it didn't last.
Thank you for posting this.
Victory has many fathers and defeat is an orphan - to paraphrase JFK (could be wrong and if so I'm sure someone here will identify the proper source).
When Brady Hoke took over the HC duties he faced many challenges. Beating the traditional rival OSU, restoring the dominance of UM in the Big House, and squashing the up and coming teams (like MSU, Illinois, NW). He's largely done that and he led the UM to a bowl game.
I'm not overlooking the dismay many have had over issues with the offense this year which are real but we should look ahead with confidence - a realistic confidence and not the usual "wait till next year." Greg Mattison has re-established Michigan as a defensive power in the Big Ten and nationally. OSU only scored 6 second half points - six on two field goals.
The defense will only get better. Why? Look at some of the better academic institutions which also play good college football - namely, Stanford, Northwestern and even Notre Dame. They show that there is a pool of players who can qualify here and really play. Michigan is and will be in the near future a top school so we can hope to draw on that same pool.
We may not have a once in a generation player like Denard Robinson (the best running QB ever at the UM, eclipsing Steve Smith) next year but the team will be strong and a contender.
Now UM needs it on O. Why should UM settle for anything less? UM ha the money, go get an elite O coach to go with Mattison.
Finally, a thread I can appreciate without wanting to light my hair on fire (ok, maybe not, because I'm still bitter). GMAT is the man as usual. I hate that this effort by the defense was wasted. It was painful to watch them make play after play limiting Ohio to fgs only to be let down. What Mattison has done these two years simply proves the value of coaching. Perhaps the same applies to Borges, just in an opposite manner (shit, it was too hard to resist that).
Really excited about the future of our Defense! If our LB's continue to get better, we may be very difficult to run on for years to come.
Our defense is getting better every year, and gets better as the season goes along. I genuinely believe that within a year or two, we will have the best defense in the conference year in and out, as long as Mattison is at the helm. Especially with the studs we're bringing in. I can't wait to see the continued improvements in speed, size, and especially the physicality that Hoke and Mattison will bring.
The defense played their hearts out today and gave us a chance to win. For that matter, the players all played their hearts out. They didn't have their best outing, but they left it on the field. Disappointed with the loss (though I'm sure not nearly as much as the players and coaches), but still very proud to call Michigan my team.
... and Van Bergen, then Countess in the opening game. He leaned heavily on Kovacs and Ryan and was generally rewarded (although Nebraska exploited Ryan, OSU and Miller did not) and generally managed to compensate for a weaker D-line.
At the beginning of the year I feared we'd see a steady diet of power running designed to exploit our O-line and avoid our solid-to-good secondary. Mattison managed to scheme and coach to prevent that and I am very pleased to be wrong about that.
the defense played really well as a team. Injuries during the year really hurt. I am most dissappointed with the play of the 2 big guys in the middle on running plays. They never stopped anyone all year. Very inexperienced guys.. Campbell should be ashamed of himself for the way he treated the program. He didn't come to play until his senior year when he recogninzed his draft status was in jeapordy.
" Even today they did everything they could the second half to keep the game within reach."
Agree on their valiant performance in the second half. However, I thought the defense was pretty bad in the first half. OSU had 20 points and something like 225 yards of offense in the first half.