Brandon Herron and the Michigan defense

Submitted by mscharbo15 on September 18th, 2010 at 8:26 PM

We all saw the abomination that was the Michigan defense today ... it wasn't even mildly mediocre. However, today also marked the first game that Brandon Herron missed due to injury. Without Herron in the lineup, Craig Roh is forced to play exclusively linebacker and Greg Banks is forced into starting at defensive end. The pass rush dramatically suffers as a result, giving the opposition ample time to pick apart our inexperienced and depleted secondary. The secondary has always been a problem ... it's just been disguised by a decent pass rush. When that disappeared, so did the defense's mediocrity.

All in all, the Michigan defense really isn't as horrible as they looked today. I'm sure they can play better, and mistakes were made that weren't present these past two weeks. But this does not mean that every Big Ten team will slap 40+ on us. UMass is not a bad team; their offense looked just as good as UConn's, if not better. The top FCS teams are almost all elite MAC quality ... this wasn't a fluke.

So don't panic. The team is still very young and a close call like this could refocus everybody going forward. A win is a win. Go Blue.



September 18th, 2010 at 8:33 PM ^

we get some talent in this next class at lb and db. Lb more so, even, as we should be ok at cb going forward and even safety may not be skeletal next year. Lb, however...


September 18th, 2010 at 9:42 PM ^

Absolutely right on the keep it qualifier. Cissocko, Turner, and Dorsey are all 5 star talents that for some reason or other is no longer with the team. Last March, secondary was considered to have amazing depth. THe difference 6 months make.


IN conclusion, give me anything we can get that plays on the D side of the ball


September 18th, 2010 at 8:40 PM ^

Kellen Jones looks like a solid prospect and hopefully we find a way to get Kris Frost, then in 2012 we got Jenkins-Stone and Ross in our backyard to go after.

Bottom Line is we have to win games and the recruits will come....


September 18th, 2010 at 8:50 PM ^

No offense to Herron or the OP, but it's hard for me to believe that the absence of a guy who barely played against UConn (if at all) and was behind Mike Jones on the depth chart (IIRC) was a hugely significant part of today's awful performance.

The OP's case reduces to the idea that Brandon Herron is much better than Greg Banks (different positions aside).  Sorry -- I don't buy it.  I haven't taken a close look at the game, and of course the UFR isn't available yet, but I think there were a ton of other problems that ranked ahead of Herron's loss.


September 18th, 2010 at 8:56 PM ^

I'm not necessarily implying that Herron >>> Banks. What I'm implying is that the drop-off from Herron to Kevin Leach is significant enough that Roh cannot play defensive end. Our pass rush suffers drastically as a result.

This also isn't the only reason the defense struggled; just one that I don't think many people recognized.


September 18th, 2010 at 9:06 PM ^

IMHO, what happened is that after Uconn and ND we had expectations...we thought our D was serviceable.  We forgot about the actual condition of the D, starting RS Freshman, a walk-on and converted WR's.  While this game wasn't our best showing, the sky isn't falling.  I am concerned that the more games we play the easier it will be for other teams to find our holes...which are numerous.


With D. Rob I think we can be competitive in most of our games...but until we gain experience and get a defensive team which is mainly led by Jr and Sr we will have this uneasiness...unfortunately I don't see that happening this year.


September 19th, 2010 at 2:38 PM ^

however, the hope is that with the hard work put in over the summer for some and the last two years for others and good coaching our 'D' will be good enough and get in the right spots to be successful.  because our offense is GOOD and WILL be tough to stop for any "D"!


September 18th, 2010 at 9:17 PM ^

I think that Roh is a much better DE than LB so that when he has to play LB we lose twice. We lose his motor and edge rush from the DE and his LB play is just not as good as his DE play.  I think we are palpably better with Roh at DE and Herron at LB.  Hopefully Herron will be back soon.


September 18th, 2010 at 9:17 PM ^

I think that Roh is a much better DE than LB so that when he has to play LB we lose twice. We lose his motor and edge rush from the DE and his LB play is just not as good as his DE play.  I think we are palpably better with Roh at DE and Herron at LB.  Hopefully Herron will be back soon.

ND Sux

September 18th, 2010 at 9:21 PM ^

about our LB's against ND, they were a no-show today.  Where the F were the LB's after the RB broke the line today?  The also lost contain to the outside several times from what I could see.  I'm sure they will see the errors on the tape and hopefully make adjustments. 

I the plus side, I thougth Rogers and Floyd were respectable again, especially since we didn't rush the passer very well.  

All in all, I give UMass a LOT of credit for their play calling.  They mixed it up pretty good, ran the ball very well, and kept our D guessing much of the day.   

Evil Monkey

September 18th, 2010 at 10:32 PM ^

Herron's injury did have an affect. However I think the lack of motivation was more of the problem. We looked flat and didn't play as hard as we could have. But I am not to worried about. Hopefully we look better next week.


September 18th, 2010 at 11:02 PM ^

I'm not a football coach, I coach hockey but I can tell you that any injury this team suffers to a starter or his backup is critical. RR is coaching his way thru and out of a "limited" depth situation.  Take this win, be happy and hope other players emerge to fill positions of need in the near future. GERG is playing musical players with his D, there are good players in waiting they just need game experience. Be patient this team will do much better then last IF it stays healthy.

As a coach I would rather learn about my players abilities with a non-conference win then a conference loss. 


September 18th, 2010 at 11:14 PM ^ it's not a fluke that an FCS team has the ability to run up 37 points and nearly 500 yards on our defense...

...but we shouldn't expect every Big Ten team to hang 40+ on our defense.

I'm confused.  You're either saying that UMass has a better offense than most teams in the Big Ten...or you're saying that Michigan's defense is so bad that we should expect FCS teams to score approximately 37 points.

I don't welcome either of those options.


September 18th, 2010 at 11:30 PM ^

Well, Herron's healthy return for Big Ten play certainly factors into my conclusion. Also, UMass does have a good offense. FCS or not, they looked a hell of a lot more impressive than Connecticut/Crist-less Notre Dame.

I'm basically trying to express the notion that we're not heading for a total implosion because of one bad game. Michigan's defense wasn't awful through 2 games with Jones/Herron and was in one game without them. Maybe it isn't a coincidence.


September 18th, 2010 at 11:38 PM ^

Michigan's defense wasn't awful through 2 games with Jones/Herron

Boy, oh boy . . . your definition of awful is a far cry from mine.  I consider 535 yards in a game where a starting QB missed almost an entire half qualifies as an awful performance.  And if UConn's receivers didn't have butterfingers, we might think differently about that game, too.


September 18th, 2010 at 11:46 PM ^

I guess I consider awful as bad enough to lose the game. 535 yards is pretty absurd, but the defense kept us in the game when the offense couldn't move the ball in the 2nd half. Points allowed are more simply important than yards, even if they don't indicate a team's true performance.

We all know Michigan's defense is not good. I feel that this is a talent/inexperience issue more than anything else and there's really nothing that will fix it but more time. I also don't think they're totally horrendous. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose. Go Blue.


September 18th, 2010 at 11:49 PM ^

You're not being totally unreasonable, and I think we pretty much agree.  But one final point and I'll move on...

I really do think our defense was bad enough to lose both the ND and UMass games.  It just so happens that Denard Robinson and Co. put enough points on the board in crunch time to save our D.


September 19th, 2010 at 2:51 PM ^

Not that it makes it all better, but we gave up 439 yards.  That's not exactly nearly 500. 

I do think the D got a little winded in the fourth quarter.  Asking it to be on the field 37 minutes is too much.  I'm not one of those who thinks TOP is meaningless.  Our D was out there for a long time in the fourth quarter and we saw them miss more tackles than in the first half.


September 19th, 2010 at 11:59 AM ^

which is rushing a passer. We didn't bring him to UM because he was picking off so many passes, the kid terrorized QBs and was making TFLs in all his highlights.