This will be the thread for thoughts about the defense and defensive playcalling.
Hoke was top notch at this aspect of his job.
The defense should have been worse. If this was a Nebraska blowout, I could've turned the TV off earlier.
Bend but don't break FUCKED us on that last drive yet again. Bunch of shit from Mattison again. Just as culpable as Borges. O scored 13 straight and gave them the lead only to have it shitted away. Just far too passive.
You only give up 17 you expect to win...this offense is offensive
I dont want to hear any defense of the defense. They gave up a 15 play drive when they needed a stop. Mattison needs some examination as well.
That was a team without their QB, with the 2nd and 3rd string backup QBs playing. Without 2 starting OL, and a 3rd who got hurt, and their best WR Kenny Bell playing at 60%. Enough with the apologists.
Defense couldn't come up with the stop when they needed to.
Stribling needs to tackle better. Other than that, the last drive is frustrating, but we allowed what, 275 total? With Nebraska's defense that should be a 20 point win.
If you give up just 17 points to an offense like this you played well. We should hope that they don't just pack it up and go home with the offense leaving them out to dry all the time.
Northwestern's very average defense gave up 20 pts on the road and that included a hail mary. (1 of Neb TD was on a defense score last week). So 13 pts not including the last second hail mary ...on the road, with a roster full of 3 stars. Stop with your apologizing. This is a 1 player offense with the RB without Martinez in it. Its not the Neb offense of early in the year or 2012 without Martinez. They have a ton of injuries.
At no point did you disprove my point that giving up 17 points you played plenty well enough to win. If by the grace of God Michigan had scored, say, 20(!) points they would have won. Btw, 20 points is not a lot.
Second, Northwestern gave up 27 dumb fuck. They scored a pedestrian 24. Had we done that we win!
Hey "Dumbfuck" - Neb scored 7 on a defensive TD. They scored 7 on a hail mary at the end. NW gave up 13 in 59 minutes and 50 seconds. And that was on the road at Nebraska - teams play better at home at home. Got it "Dumbfuck"?
I did not know about the defensive touchdown and I am sorry! But that doesn't change the fact that 17 points is a good defensive performance and Mattison doesn't warrant blame.
I agree giving up 17 pts should mean you win. I am saying this game the defense - like many games - did not step up when it needed to. Giving up a 15 play drive is unacceptable to an offense with 3 backup OL, a backup QB, themain WR hurt, and one key player at RB. This is not a great offense without Martinez and the starting OL. Again UCLA held them to 21 in nebraska when they had EVERYONE. NW held them to effectively 13 and Northwestern is bad on defense.
They did enough to win. Not having someone cover the pitch-man on almost every single option play was pretty maddening.
Somebody explain to me why Taco Charlton hasn't been playing more before today. I thought he was one of the bright spots on D in this game.
Was he hurt, or did he break team rules again?
Where did Countess go?
Wtka said he was out hurt. Sprained ankle?
We have given far too many opposing quarterbacks the opportunity to play the games of their lives.
The problem with the defense is that we start slow and finish slow, particularly in big games. When we truly truly need stops they rarely get it done consistently. The biggest problem I have are 2 plays. First on 4th and 2, why the hell is Stribling? 10 yards off of their best receiver and then when they did the 4 yard out route that everyone saw coming, he didn't bring him down and he goes for 10 more yards . No team is throwing it deep on 4th and 2. Someone use their head. Then the touchdown. Frank Clark cannot crash down on the QB there when he is the last line of help on the edge. I know typically you're supposed to take the QB, but Abdullah is a 100x more threat than Armstrong there. You can't bite on it. Overall, very few people played well today. James Ross had a good game, I thought Jibreel Black had a good game as well. And Taco when he was in there.
Not going to complain about defense if we could sustain drives it might allow our defense to be more aggressive.
We held Nebraska to 273 yards across 66 plays, which is 4.13 yards per snap allowed and pretty respectable. It is also a much better performance than some recent ones. The defense really did keep the game manageable and I would give props to Greg Mattison for keeping us within earshot in this one.
Considering the QB carousel, the patchwork OL and the fact that they ran the same play seemingly 30 times, I expected more. Why is Mattison so passive? Did M blitz at all in the second half? Play press coverage against 2 inexperienced QB's? This is the second loss I hold Mattison accountable for, along with PSU.
And everyone knew it was going to happen
We are still pretty young and those young players are making awful mistakes. Let's just take true freshman Stribbling as an example. If he makes either of two plays against. PSU, we win that game. If he doesn't give up the 4th down conversion against Nebraska, we win that game. Heck, even if he gives up the conversion but tackles the receiver, we're in OT right now.
Michigan has Clark, Black, Washington - 3 upperclassmen on the line. Throw Beyer in there - it's 4 without Heitzman. They have Cam Gordon, JMFR, and Desmond Morgan - all upperclassmen on the LB. Only Ross and Bolden are underclassmen. The front 7 is very experienced. No excuses. Only the secondary you can complain about and even there if Gordon was playing they have a 1 sr and 2 corners (Taylor and Countess) who have 1.75 years of starting experience. The youth excuse is out the window. Stop apologizing for the team and blaming it on youth. p.s. I understand Gordon did not play today - and Lewis and Stribling get plenty of playing time, I am just saying in a general sense this is not a too young to suceed defense. Not even close.
I generally agree with your post and I think that the defense has generally played well enough to win. It's just frustrating that we have true freshman playing big minutes and failing at critical junctures in the game.
I'm not ready to call for Mattison's head . . . but I knew Nebraska was going to get that TD. This D just hasn't given me any confidence in clutch situations.
The defense is the least of our worries. Still not sure why we never change calls when our blitz packages are revealed and the offenses stop, call it out and audible.
Were not the ravens
The defense has gotten worse for the third year straight and now players are showing regression. Third down is a nightmare and the calls are safe and predictable.
I feel like Mattison and the rest of the defense have too much respect for our opponents, and that there is too much bend in the bend but don't break defense. College offenses are not that skilled and you can accomplish much more with constant pressure on the QB. Few college QBs are able to pick apart a steady barage of blitzes, but we rarely put them to the test. I feel our DBs are competent enough that I trust them in the one on one battles for a quick pass. You saw what Nebraska's D was able to do constantly blitzing, and M quiclkly settled into a war of attrition. Maybe there are personnel issues, and I know giving up a big play sucks, but I think it would be advantageous for Mattison to put the extra pressure on early to set the tone.
Played great. He is a play maker. Should be a starter
We hold then we win. But we just couldn't
every them takes advantage of Michigan's OL but Nebraska glues together an OL and Michigan can't take advantage?
I will answer my own question by saying Michigan plays afraid on both sides of the ball. Players are not playing instinctively, they are playing not to make a mistake. Coaches are calling the same kind o game, trying to minimize mistakes.
Anyone watch the end of the PSU vs. MINN game?
After Minn handled the PSU offense and their freshman QB fairly easily with a lot of aggressive playcall and blitzing, they interviewed the MINN coach immediately after the game. He said: (paraphrased)
"Everyone knows that with a young QB, you have to not let them get comfortable. You have to blitz them and take away the play that is most comfortable for him. We did that and it worked."
It just reminded me of the terrible defensive play calling by Mattison vs. PSU. He did the exact opposite. I just don't understand.
I think Mattison gets a very long leash because he has done suprisingly well in the last two years, but there have been non-aggressive play calling that has really frustrated and confused me this year.
I think with the offense either turning the ball over and/or sabotaging field position, Mattison's bend but don't break philosophy just hasn't worked like it did in the past. We'll essentially be better in each and every position on defense next year, so I'm willing to look past the defense.
My eyes are trained solely on the offensive ineptitude.
Our DL lumbered after Armstrong, LBs struggled to tackle on the spot, and DBs were a yard behind.
I think we simply stink. Coaches cannot scheme and develop this group to put any pressure on the opposition.
In the doghouse?
I'm just sick of this passive shit. Why not be aggressive? What could he possibly feel the problem would be in being aggressive? How many times do the opposition have to throw the same hitch route until you press? How much time does a QB have to have before you blitz? Why did the stunt that got a sack in the 3rd Q not get called again?
Please get rid of this stupid bend and don't break defense and start playing aggressively. It always seems to pay off when we go aggressive. Every time we sit back in zone we give up big plays. There may be reasons why GMAT doesn't want to go all out with more blitzesmore frequently but I sure don't understand what those reasons may be.
Aggression seems to work for pretty damn well. We've got nothing with a 4 man rush so quit trying that chit!
Every game this year we go immediately into a passive, rush-four-and-see-what-happens shell, just waiting to be shredded. We gave up crucial 3rd and longs throughout this game because we refused to pressure the QB. Where is the 2011 Mattison, who drew up creative blitzes?
Also, Nebraska has about four plays, one of them being an option pitch. We played this correctly once in the 1st quarter. After that, the RB was always free. How do you not prepare adequately for this basic play?
But this is nothing compared to what you could say about the offense. Overall, this defensive performance should've been enough to win the game.
Not this defense, but I did enjoy seeing that Ray Vinopal, former Michigan player, got two INTs to seal Pittsburgh's win over ND.