Defense Appreciation Thread

Submitted by UM2018 on November 24th, 2012 at 8:11 PM
The past two years our defense has kept us in and won a lot of games. Even today they did everything they could the second half to keep the game within reach. Borges was obviously pretty bad today, but I just wanted to start a thread of appreciation for Greg Mattison, whos defense has been huge for us ever since he got here.



November 24th, 2012 at 8:28 PM ^

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). 


November 24th, 2012 at 8:59 PM ^

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.


November 24th, 2012 at 9:09 PM ^

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.




December 3rd, 2012 at 12:35 PM ^

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

no joke its hoke

November 24th, 2012 at 8:34 PM ^

I'm very proud of the whole team. We lost by 5 with our back up qb and rb. The defense is who i expected to fall today but they were great. This game could have been a blow out at one point but the defense rose up everytime. Great job by the whole team(minus Hoke and Borges).


November 24th, 2012 at 8:47 PM ^

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.

Dallas Walmart…

November 24th, 2012 at 11:43 PM ^

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.


November 24th, 2012 at 8:39 PM ^

Said this immediately after the game. That defensive performance was about as good as it gets versus their offense led by a prototype QB for said offense. Defensive play/coaching was game winning. Offensively, all was fine until the 2nd half and suddenly Borges' brain went to shit. Stopped doing what worked and/or at least made the osu defense THINK and work to stop us. I cannot explain that. Not calling for his head but, aside from Bama, what loss cannot be partially blamed on offensive gameplan readiness or execution? None, IMO.


November 24th, 2012 at 9:05 PM ^

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.


November 24th, 2012 at 10:03 PM ^

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).


November 24th, 2012 at 10:40 PM ^

I love Brady Hoke. I love Greg Mattison. I think he does things the right way and is in this for the right reasons. He is in the 99th percentile for hatred of losing to ohio. I can't imagine that he was too happy with the play calling on offense and I'm sure he wasn't happy with the turnovers. However the attention to detail on defense and hiring of Mattison has won us many games in two years that we surely would have lost in the previous era.

My big concern going forward is the offense. I understand that Borges needs his time and his players for us to properly see what he is capable of. However what concerns me is his lack of risk taking and his predictability.

Greg mattison is the opposite of Borges. He never shows his cards and takes risks when he finds it necessary. Most successful people will tell you that without taking risks you can never be highly successful. Sure there will be exceptions but that statement is generally true.

Thank you defense for never giving up and for always keeping us in games.

Perkis-Size Me

November 24th, 2012 at 11:03 PM ^

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.

Dallas Walmart…

November 24th, 2012 at 11:49 PM ^

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.


November 25th, 2012 at 12:17 AM ^

... 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.



November 25th, 2012 at 11:14 AM ^

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.


November 25th, 2012 at 11:46 AM ^

" 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.