that is nice bonus change
For all the "youth youth youth" talk - we stll don't seem to have a ton of depth at key positions. It is still light years ahead of the Rich Rod teams though. Remember having a converted WR playing at CB?? LOL.
On the DL - I understand they want to sub-in fresh bodies every few plays, which is good, but why is Heitzman playing so regularly? It just seems like certain guys play and play and play because they are consistently... unspectacular.
talented O that plays power football. We're very thin at DT, so the loss of Pipkins and QWash at less than 100% seriously limits our run D.
Hopefully Pipkins return plus another yr of growth for young guys like Wormley, Hurst, Poggi, Henry, Heitzman will yield a more stout Dline.
I think the absence of a 0T nose tackle who can command a double team a lot of the time is a key ingredient to successful defense...because then its like having an extra player out there more or less.
I think we all underestimate the Mike Martin effect and what he was able to do. There are no stats for grinders like this but they literally tip the balance of the team over center.
While we're on DL, I like to see M get an actual position coach for DL to replace J. Montgomery to allow Hoke to be freed up to go address other shortcomings. Obviously that's Hoke's call...being the captain of the ship...but it makes a lot of sense to me.
I'd like to see our linebackers add more beef, and I think they will get there, no doubt. Michigan has subsisted on quality LBs for a long time, and that gives us the ability to stop these bigger backs like Hyde and Weisman (LeVeon Bell, etc) as they are going to be here in this conference going forward. Have to be excited about a bigger guy like Furbush as I think he will fit right in with the proper development.
I loved the way Ray Taylor played the majority of this year. Seems like teams 'picked' on him a lot more due to Countess on the opposite side, and I kept saying, you can only pick on #6 so many times...then he intercepts. It appeared his run support was dialed up a lot higher for the ohio game, which was great to see.
I think M purposefully played some softer pass D this year due to younger players, especially in the DB ranks. I think that could be tightened up at any moment, per Mattison's commands. I think it makes sense given what we were working with in terms of youth. But you see the potential for when the front 7 are studs and you have stud corners too (witness MSU). The safeties can then cheat up near the line for additional run support on obvious running downs, and be available for blitzes on passing downs.
Braxton Miller is really tough to defend, just because of his foot speed. Its like Denard except played back the other way. Send the receivers deep, spread out the D, Miller can juke anyone playing the line of scrimmage, then the WRs just block. Unless there's someone playing "Spy" who is actually faster its a difficult proposition.
Roy Manning replaced Montgomery but he's coaching outside linebackers. And Montgomery wasnt really the DL coach he shared duties with both Mattison and Hoke.
And if we hire a DL coach, some other position group loses its coach, because of the NCAA limit of assistants. It's pretty common for the HC to take over a position group, actually.
D-line has been a weak point all year and we were down probably 1.5 linebackers. They spread us out and when the D-line got unsurprisingly busted open, there was a lot of room to run. I imagine the best way to stop that team is to be able to hold the LOS and play man with your back 4 or 5. OSU was just murdering us to the tune of 8 ypc.
Just my observation from the game. I had the opportunity to sit somewhat close to the fid and the thing that stood out to me was how small our DL was. OSUs offensive line dwarfed us.
Finally someone sees the same thing. Our DL is small. Guys like Ojemudia and Beyer and so on, are simply undersized. The OL looks the part but boy does the DL look small.
What defense by either team?
It's difficult to play defense anymore at any level. They allow way to much holding, shoving and pushing.
On the final touchdown, I think. It was scheme also. Our DT were overmatched. If you watch the replays we have two inside guys against 4 OL and a FB, we had no chance, they called the right play. That was just one example, but they spread the line out pretty well, it would have been very hard to pack it in. Need two dominant dt, to eat up double teams, only chance. Lets see how we do next year against OSU and MSU, their offensive lines are gonna be young and inexperienced. We should have 4 legit inside guys if Mone can adjust early. If we regress, we have real problems.
That was one of the best OLs in the B1G and Hyde had a lot of yac because he is huge. I am pretty sure I saw Ryan and Gedeon spying Miller at times but that would have also been where Ross could be a huge asset (not to take anything away from the guys that played).
In terms of scheme, I agree with stacking the box or at least playing closer to the line but you still run the risk of a big play if they get to the second level. Power spread teams are hard to defend when they have a good OL but they basically dominated the LOS and overpowered Michigan all game.
Agree with a lot of people on here. From what I saw our d-line just got pushed around and once Hyde gets moving he's a load to bring down. Can't really blame our LB's but Hyde was getting hit 2 yards past the line of scrimmage and dragging guys for another 5 yards all day. The dude is good.
UM defenses cant stop the spread offense.
Michigan's defensive issues yesterday had nothing to do with spread. Hyde YAC'ed his way into 2nd and short all day and when we cheated to stop him, we got balls thrown over our safeties. The read option burned us once or twice, but the way Ohio got us is a lot more like a Stanford style offense than a true spread and shred outfit.
Agree 100%. With the added element of speed, b. miller. Not making excuses. If M could have stopped the run with it's base D, whole new ball game. Just can't do that right now.
A very good defense will take away 1 weapon from a team like OSU - Hyde or Miller. Make them 1 dimesnional. We are not good enough to do that. Not close it seems. You saw what Stanford did to Oregon. You saw what Ok state did to Baylor. We are not at the level of those teams on defense.
Having a special teams player start at safety did not help, nor did loss of Ross although Gedeon played great for a freshman. We contiue to lack playmakers outside of Countess and Jake Ryan.
With all guys healthy (Ross, Pipkins, WIlson, etc) we had a chance, maybe. With all those guys out, we were going to get YAC'd to death and then thrown over the top of on occasion just like Ohio has been doing all year.
As has been said by many above, OSU's running game was at the expense of our interior defensive line. Hyde is a big back and has to be stopped by equally big guys at the line. He gets to the second level and he's getting 5+ yards a carry easy. It's tough to beat a team who can do that consistently.
Now for OSU's real tests:
I think OSU beats MSU, but it'll be another game where OSU's weak links are exposed.
I think FSU torches OSU.
I feel like we have gotten talented players that need to keep developing. Not sure if anyone else feels this way, but I feel like looking at our players compared to many other teams, our guys just "look" smaller. I understand we supposedly have a good strength staff but I always get this sense we are smaller and weaker looking than the other big boy programs
Or the lack of talent that hurts the defense. Small size, lack of any real speed guy pass rushers, and some recruiting misses have led to an average defense. They aren't even remotely close to elite.
Inside backers are just too small. Defensive tackles simply can't get off blocks. That's an indictment on Hoke since he coaches the interior line. And guys like Avery and Furman are not national championship caliber safeties. Guys like Wormley, Heitzman, and Mario O. really need to make that leap next year to show that they aren't just below average, non-playmaking dudes.
Michigan needs better defenders than what they have. They need NFL type guys. That's why getting Peppers was so huge, and losing Hand was so disappointing.
not big enough, or athletic enough up front. Nor fast enough in the secondary.
We seem to have little options in safeties, reduced to playing a 4 year guy who barely played the first 3 years because he just wasn't that good.
We seem to have a team with lots of potentially good pieces that don't seem to fit together with many more missing pieces.
I think Ben Gedeon has a great chance to be a SERIOUS playmaker at LB. He has the size that we are seriously lacking right now, I think he's damn close to 240 now. Our front 7 will be a little better next season, hopefully Jake Ryan stays healthy and we get some help from the RS freshmen/freshmen on the d-line.
By midseason Gedeon will be our best defender. He played quite well as a true freshman.
Osu had one of its best dous ever. excuses aside they will score on anyone if they're healthy.
With Ross in there, many 10-12 yard runs would probably have been limited to 5 or 6.
Furman simply does not stay with/behind deep receivers. Wilson would have limited those wide open deep balls. Miller's inaccurate passes saved us from 2 more TDs.
Having PeeWee to help eat up space/linemen could have helped, but he's been out, and by now we should have some alternatives - every team has injuries.
IMO, having a blazing fast ball hawk in the secondary could make a huge difference, and another year of bulking up should help stiffen our line and linebackers.
OSU has a great line, Miller is an incredible athlete, and Hyde will be playing on Sundays. Tough task to stop them - but we shouldn't get gashed so easily.
This is why we need guys like peppers and sadly, hand. OSU has these guys in droves, we are getting them next year. I love countess, but he's unlikely an NFL guy. Same with Ramon Taylor.
We just haven't seen this yet, because except for ND, nobody on our schedule has this kind of elite talent.
I don't know why Countess wouldn't be an NFL guy. He's a redshirt sophomore who has a bunch of tackles and 6 picks on the year, including a return TD. I don't think he'll be a first rounder, but I definitely think he's on track to get to the next level.
Frankly, I don't know why Taylor wouldn't be an "NFL" guy, either.
He probably will be an NFL guy on special teams... but he's 5'8", 180lb corner who runs about a 4.5.
I just don't see him playing much DB in the NFL.
The roster lists him at 5'10", 182 lbs., which probably means he's 5'9", 182 lbs. I looked at the height of Pro Bowl cornerbacks a couple years ago, and 10% of Pro Bowl cornerbacks from 2001-2010 were listed at 5'9". Twenty-three percent were 5'10".
I'd say more like 5'8", 170lbs at a guess. We'll see at the combine.
...and while a number of shorter corners have done well, I think you'll find most ran a tenth or two faster in the 40.
Countess is a great college corner - but he has NFL linebacker speed.
Aaron Glenn, Antoine Winfield, Cortland Finnegan, and Dre Bly, all of whom measured in at 5'9"
Aaron Glenn - 4.38
Antoine Winfield - 4.4
Cortland Finnegan - 4.32
Dre Bly (at 5'9 7/8) - 4.51
Bly is the only real comparable IMO.
Denard Robinson was listed on Michigan's roster at 6'0", 197 lbs. He measured in at 5'10", 199 lbs. at the Combine.
Mike Martin was listed on Michigan's roster at 6'2", 304 lbs. He measured in at 6'1", 306 lbs.
David Molk was listed on Michigan's roster at 6'2", 286 lbs. He measured in at 6'1", 298 lbs.
Jonas Mouton was listed on Michigan's roster at 6'2", 240 lbs. He measured in at 6'1", 239 lbs.
I have a strong suspicion that Denard was listed at 6'0" because he was a quarterback, and any quarterback under 6'0" is automatically put under a certain amount of scrutiny. For the rest of the guys, it has seemed for a while that they are listed on rosters at approximately 1" taller than their Combine height and approximately the same weight.
Therefore, I sincerely doubt that Countess is 5'8", 170 lbs. If he gets invited to the Combine and/or measures in at the pro day with those measurements, I will be extremely surprised.
The effect when it comes to seasonal averages is sort of intriguing - before the game on Saturday, we were the #16 rushing defense, allowing 116.4 yards per game on the ground on average. Right now, we fell 16 places to #32, with the average now being 139.4 yards per game.
Now, the numbers are tight, so it isn't as if there is a lot of separation between most places, but it is a significant hit in our FBS rushing defense ranking all the same. Interestingly, it only drops us in the conference rankings from 4th to 5th (7th best if adjusted to conference games only).
Wasn't surprised one bit. I said in at least six threads everyone was severely overrating our defense.
Its all about scheme. The best way to stop Ohio States offense is by playing 8 man boxes and playing tight press coverage on their wide recievers. There is no other way. We don't have the secondary capable of this yet. Hopefully Mattison and Hoke realize this and are recruiting accordingly.
That was before no JRIII and too much Furman. Not a lot better, because we are undersized/under-talented on the line. Preseason previews said we had a solid back seven with the strength in the LB core, and the line just had to eat blockers to let the LBs slow down the run. When we met an O-line that could handle our front seven, we lost that strength. Not sure how much to read into it other than "Hyde and some lineman will be playing on Sundays" and "Get well soon Pipkins".
The one thing I question with regard to Mattison is why we started rotating safeties in the first place, but hindsight suggests that Wilson has had an injury for some time and playing through it is possible but performance-impacting. Couple that with Gordon's foot injury and here we are.
Hopefully Thomas is ready to step in next year - that punt block is still a fine introduction and I'm waiting to see the next chapter. Henry looks to be maturing nicely as well, which gives me hope the defense will improve.
I tend to agree with Magnus that it is both an experience and talent deficit. I'm not sure if you play Henry and Washington you even get there. If we run blitz up the middle they will stretch with Miller and if we blitz the edge they put Hyde up the middle. The difference last year is we had two space eaters in the middle (Campbell and Washington and to be honest a much healthier Washington I think) and Jake Ryan was max level Jake Ryan and they just couldn't run Braxton stretch. Hyde still got a lot of yards last year - we were just able to contain Miller much better and a large part of that was max Jake Ryan.
In addition, those are some big boys in the same system for two years, and I mean most of the meat on the inside is senior level NFL caliber talent. Moving a mis positioned Black and Washington with undersized linebackers on the second level is not that much of a surprise.
I think we respected Braxton Miller's arm a little too much. He isn't going to throw seam routes and outside routes for him will also be a challenge. But unless you can stop the inside running game, all else will fail. I would have just run blitzed the middle and taken the risk at some point. Does this open us up to play action and getting gouged on the edge? Yes but at least you get to flow to the ball that way and can use players like Ryan to make tackles in space. But honestly it seemed like a damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario. There is no Kovacs back there, so guessing wrong (as evidenced by the game) has disasterous affects.
Give MSU's DC a year with our group and see how their "talent" and "experience" improves vastly. Other teams' defenses out perform us with much less. Recruiting 5 star athletes is not as important as recruiting teachable, eager kids and knowing what to tell them. I would swap fro MSU's DC today if I could.
Lololololololololl MSU's defense is filled with SENIORS. narduzzi is putting this finished product on the field in year 7.
4-5 years ago, the Spartan fans were demanding that Narduzzi be fired. Four years ago, they lost to schools like Central Michigan, who put up 29 points against them, and Minnesota, who put up 42 points against them. At that time, defense was considerd their weak link.
The title should read, "Mattison and defense at the game?"