The most surprising thing about THE GAME yesterday was the complete reversal of what I and probably most of us assumed would be the story if we were in the game, that is we expected the defense to hold OSU while a sputtering offense scored just enough points to make it a game. But, of course we got a defense that could not stop Miller or Hyde, and an offense that matched OSU score for score. What happened to our defense ( keep it in mind I am not at all critical of Mattison ) ? I am hoping for the usual thoughtful and honest analysis we get here on a regular basis.
Mattison and defense at the game
They played one of the most explosive offenses in the nation. Let's be real.
being unreal, just would like to know where our weaknesses were. The blog members here could likely have some great analyses.
I was really scratching my head at those who thought our defense would slow down Ohio. Mattison hasn't been able to do it for the past 3 years. I shouldn't blame Mattison, we just don't have the horses up front to stop them. Our D-line is undersized/ineffective up front at stopping the run. Couple that with Braxton Miller is probably the best running qb in a long time, we were going to be in trouble. That being said, we did force some turnovers. However the biggest influence for us going for the win at the end was Ohio did whatever they wanted to all day. I think the depth is coming, we just need that NT that gets the automatic double team, we don't have it yet.
We did OK last year in Columbus. Wasn't fantastic, but holding them under 400 yards and to two TDs when our offense couldn't do shit all day and turned it over 4 times is fine. We just need the talent + experience, which is getting there.
Well, last year was actually a pretty good defensive effortn mainly in the second half. Miller only had 57 yds rushing total, and they only scored 6 points in the 2nd half. Offensively, we score one touchdown in the 2nd half, we win that game
The simplest answer is 4 senior offensive linemen + Miller + Hyde vs. a youthful front 7 that hasn't been tested like that before this year and was missing some key parts. And not enough speed in the secondary to feel safe playing the safeties at the line/cover the constraint plays (or just flat bombs) that Meyer runs.
I'm not 100% that Mattison really understands how to stop spread offenses, but I'm not sure that game is a great indicator for us to look at. Their offense really is terrifying.
When does "youthful" front 7 excuse go away? Let me know what year?
I count Black, Washington, Ash (who played quite a bit yesterday), Beyer, Ryan, Morgan, Clark. That is 7 players in a rotation of about 11-12. Will people stop calling it young front 7 when it is all seniors? Because no team in the nation has a 2 deep of all seniors and juniors.
We are partly youthful, but we are also partly just not very good. It's a talent deficit, not a coaching deficit. Morgan is not an elite athlete, Ash probably should have been a SDE instead of bulking up, Washington is limited athletically, Beyer has played three different positions this year, Black has gone from WDE to 3-tech to NT, etc. It's a group that's been in flux.
"We are partly youthful, but we are also partly just not very good."
I agree - I don't think many UM fans see the reality though. All I see is the "youth" meme. They think it is all about youth when the evidence says no. It is also troubling when Taco Charlon is bigger than guys 2-3 years older than him, as is Ben Gedeon. We lack elite size and/or athleticism at these positions in the front 7. Maybe it is coming in Wormley, Charlton, Pipkins, Henry, Gedeon, Winovich, et al. Ross 15 lbs heavier would be another but he might not have the frame to do it.
I think the youthful thing is less about who is playing, and more about where the talent is. Of the guys you listed, probably only Ryan and Clark are out there because of talent. I think, at least to some degree, the rest of those guys are playing a ton because the more talented guys, and the guys that fit what Mattison wants to do, are young.
I think that if Mattison went with his guys, you'd see just how young the defense is.
On of the other LBs playing hurt the last few weeks. JMFR cannot be 100% yet - especially speed-wise. Most of that showed in OSUs run game, and then there was poor Furman back there all by himself.
Wonder if they are having a pass defense catharsis over at 11 warriors.
Right away the first comment is dickish. Look, either give some analysis or don't post.
To me, we just aren't experienced enough up front to deal with that pounding style. This is the game we missed Pee Wee the most. Needed that depth and size. Had to cheat in to deal with that, made us vulnerable to Miller taking off when he had space at the tackles.
Without their starting WLB (Ross), backup WLB (Jenkins-Stone), and starting FS (Wilson). Guys like Gedeon did a decent job in relief, but having guys like Furman and Avery in there hurt.
Jenkins-Stone has been almost exclusively a special teams player this year. The four rotation guys at ILB have been Ross, Morgan, Bolden, and Gedeon.
I was not surprised. We gave up 47 a month ago to Indiana, after all, and got run over by Iowa a week ago. The D has never been all that great at stopping either the run or the pass this season. The pass rush has been minimal, the DL has struggled to get a push up front, and the DBs have struggled to stay with their men in deep coverage. Not a recipe to stop the OSU offense.
I think their ability to to run was pretty predictable. We struggle bringing down bigger backs like Weisman and Hyde. I obviously wouldn't have predicted giving up 400 yards rushing but gotta give osu's offense credit. They are pretty lethal when they get Hyde rollin
Playing Avery & Furman was a big mistake. They suck. Also missed Ross
Who did you want to play instead? Wilson was injured.
Thomas has to be better than Furman if not then we are screwed back there. And I know he's a freshman but so was Wilson last year and he got time which prepared him for this season.
Thomas has to be better than Furman if not then we are screwed back there.
I think it's option B.
Marcus Ray and Tommy Hendricks. Gosh darn Mattison kept them on the bench!
I didn't even see them on the dress list. Maybe they're redshirting.
although I thought Ben Gedeon did okay. I guess at this point Furman is a better option than Dymonte, (hopefully that changes soon). OSU picked on Furman all day long. In regards to Hyde, he is a train, no question, in the end though, I think #5 makes him who he is.
And why wouldn't we basically have Jake Ryan shadowing Hyde? Realize he isn't a middle LB but I would think he could try and shadow him, on one side.
In some ways, it is more embarrassing to get dominated like this on the ground. A passing attack over the top of our D might have scored the points too - but it also might have left Miller injured! Instead, we seemed to play a soft zone, and 6 man fronts and this became a dominant effort by OSU.
I remember one 4-play drive they literally scored in 1:16 - on 4 runs! LOL. Embarrassing.
like the bomb that tied the score at 7-7
thought the biggest thing was their tackles dominated us. I think we should have been blitzing Ryan off the edge every dam play, he was the only one that disrupted anything in the backfield.
Their tackles held our ends all game.
i really don't think BIG refs call holding anymore unless you literally tackle someone. osu actually did this once and the ref reluctantly threw a flag. however, they did call a BS holding on norfleets long return. go figure it was the ref standing near Urbs. probably the same ref that threw the 15 yarder on clark too.
the BIG Ten had to protect the conferences only chance to NCG.
i thought the officiating was TERRIBLE, for both teams. The lack of holding calls was embarrassing. their tackles held quite a bit.
Avery sealed our win 2 years ago with INT. He is a solid nickel corner playing our of position. Furman hasn't seen much time at all and looked lost. Is that his fault or coaching? Maybe both. I don't think these guys "suck" at all.
I do think the inability / unwillingness to play 7-8 in box or throw some run blitzes hurt. And I am not sure but I think Jenkins-Stone getting ejected hurt too - though I hadn't heard him in game prior?
terrible post. Avery, we have much better options than him. Just because he is a senior and had an interception a couple years ago doesn't mean anything. He is out of position a lot of times, takes poor angles, and even when he is in position he gets out of position because of lack of speed. He does nothing well.
And how does losing RJS hurt us? We lost a special teamer compared to a starting guard for Ohio and another player who is a key offensive contributor. RJS probably will never start while at Michigan. He isn't even on our 2 deep and it isn't too far fetched to think he never will be.
I am not defending Avery's overall performance as a safety - but in 2011 he WAS a decent nickel corner who came up big in key situations. Doesn't that count for something? Maybe as a safety he is out of position, and not physically suited to play it - but then who makes the decision to throw him out there? Um, coaches? Why is a 5-10 corner our best option at back-up safety? What the heck is going on there? Why do we always seem to have questions about safety depth?
I am not sure if losing RJS hurt us - hence my "?". Because the announcers said it would hurt us - which didn't seem right - so I was checking. We were out what, 2 LBs though right? So it could have conceivably hurt us had we lost another in the game due to injury.
Were just not good enough in the middle of the DL. Pipkins was a massive loss this season and QWASH hasn't seemed to be healthy all year long.
Next year as much as I hate using that word should be better, while young hopefully the younger Redshirted guys like Poggi/Hurst can put on some weight to help in the middle.
Frankly, the most disappointing aspect of this year have been the respective lines. Both need to make huge strides for their to be drastic improvement in 2014. I think Hoke and co understand that which is why I believe a huge emphasis will be placed upon improving the offensive and defensive lines.
It would've been nice to have Peewee all year and in this game as well.
I said earlier in the year that we should play two DT and not a NT and a 3T against the power teams and am not sure how much we used that against OHIO. With Pipkins out I wanted Henry and Washington all game with Black and Wormley used more as ends for contain. Thought i saw more typical 3T used and their larger experienced line manhandled smaller UM DL players all game. I guess you could say pick your poison as the pass was contained and Meyer would have done more spread passing if we did use a stouter line to load up on the run. I thought people say make Miller beat you with his arm so a lot of blitzing with lane discipline ala MSU approach may have worked if tried and we had the right people doing it. Borges may have saved his job and likely did but Special teams were a disappointment again and still. How does the rest of the B10 seem to have better than average kickers and UM struggles..I hope to see more ST focus and teaching and a QB coach under Borges at least for better results. Hart can replace Fred Jackson if he retires also. Hecklinski safe and a lhelluva recruiting coordinator.Poor tackling was again evident yesterday and stark compared to OHIO tackling. How good the LB coach (Smith) is versus Manning I question. Maybe red Deer antler spray like the other teams use is the answer?
that gave up 600 yards of offense I do not know. Their tackling was not all that good so I don't know what you are talking about. It appears to me that both defenses need a lot of work.
Most of our starters/upperclassmen on defense are not the same level of athlete that they were facing. Also OSU's offensive line is better (way better) than any we have faced this year, and our d-line is still young. They dominated the line of scrimmage. I actually was surprised how few opportunities our secondary gave them to make plays in the passing game.
"Most of our starters/upperclassmen on defense are not the same level of athlete that they were facing."
It sure seemed that way - it seemed like men vs boys at some level. In fact Gedeon who was a freshman seemed to be bigger than most of our upperclassmen which either says a lot about Gedeon or a lot about the other players on the team. Morgan seemed to get run over constantly.
Well, Pipkins was out and so were James Ross and Jarrod Wilson. We started a freshman (Gedeon) at WILL, and their running back was bigger than our inside linebackers. We were down to playing a third-string nose tackle (Richard Ash). And a lot of our talent is very young.
There are lots of reasons. I'm not really sure why anyone would have expected Michigan to stop their offense. They have pretty good players everywhere. Heck, my prediction was one of the most optimistic ones I saw, and it said that Ohio State was going to score 31. They ended up scoring 7 fewer points than their season average, so that's not a bad day for our defense.
Our defensive ends, I don't think any of them scare anyone as a pass rushing threat. Our tackles are either small, Black, or young, Henry, or injured, Washington. We still have yet to get that recruit that is a DE that will give us 6 or 7 sacks in a year. Wormley and Beyer are not those kinds of guys, Hand would have been that guy.....
I think Henry will be great next year as he improves his leverage and gets stronger. Hopefully Pipkins is back and healthy as he can be a space eater.
Mone will be a huge key to the difference in a couple years as I believe he will eat up two blockers. I don't know what impact he could have next year as DL is typically a very tough position for Freshman and DTs tend to develop a lot slower.
He has shown flashes.
Taco can be that kind of end and I believe Wormley has the ability to do so. If u watched Wormley yesterday, he was getting held constantly which means he was winning his one his match up.
1. DT needs more power to hold the POA.
2. dEs need more explosiveness to generate pressure.
3.ILBs need more size (Ross might be 220 lbs, Bolden is just over 220 and Morgan is 228) although true frosh Gedeon is already 236.
4. Safeties need more lean mass to tackle effectively.
Lots of youth and large frames to mold. S&C program must step up if we're going to play "big boy" football.
"S&C program must step up if we're going to play "big boy" football."
Agree. A lot of guys seem about 10 lb underweight on the defense - either they don't have the frames to hold the weight or something is amiss in the S&C. I am not talking about the underclassmen but the older guys. I am hoping it is a case it is mostly body frame as a guy like Charlton is already as big as most of our older ends...Gedeon bigger than our older LBs.
I love your point #1 thru #3 but I think that is the blueprint for every defense in America ,save for apparently Rich Rods.
If we want a shutdown D that's the recipe. We have supposedly recruited the potential to play elite D with this blueprint, but the payoff isn't evident.
This year we just don't look or play like a physically strong team. Hoke wants a big, mauling squad so hopefully it's just youth and our S&C is effective this offseason but I don't see encouraging signs yet.
Michigan's defensive rankings having been misleading these past few years. Are we greatly improved from Rich Rod years? Yes. But I think our D ranking are inflated due to below average Big Ten offenses. Put this team in Big 12 or PAC 12 and we'd be shredded weekly.
Secondary play has been downright mediocre and the D passing stats are greatly helped by crappy QB play in Big Ten. This defense has a long way to go to be elite.
Whats funny is that GERG has ironically did a pretty good job with Texas' defense after they were terrible to start the year. Go figure...
It speaks to how poorly they were coached that a team with so much defensive talent could be so bad.
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:
- Michigan State has the #1 rushing defense in the nation; the #9 rushing defense.
- Florida State the #13 rushing defense; the #1 passing defense.
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?"