Defense of the Defense

Submitted by ThePrivileger on September 26th, 2009 at 5:03 PM

-6x three and outs by our offense
-Quick scores by our offense
-Time of possession probably around 2:1 in favor of IU
-Two offensive turnovers giving IU great field possession

Not saying our defense doesn't have some big issues, but holy fuck everyone. We're obviously hoping to lean on an effective, efficient offense to carry us through some poor LB play and youth in the D line and secondary, but how can some of you throw the defense/GERG completely under the bus like this? Of course you can look at that stats and see OMG yards given up, but that's what you have to deal with when the offense is either scoring quickly or going three and out. An opposing team is going to put together a few decent drives when given enough opportunities, and today's turnovers obviously help.

Today, I saw a defense that was able to weather a few storms and force field goal attempts when they could have easily given up TDs. Even after considering the one long run we gave up, our D came out with halftime adjustments that limited IU to only 10 points. It's by no means perfect, but whether you would like to admit it or not, there are still some growing pains on both sides of the ball. We may currently have more potential on offense than on defense, but don't sit there and say we'd be so much better if our defense wasn't teh suck.

And yeah, we'll have times this season where we sit back and say "WTF -insert LB's name here-" but the RichRod Era of Michigan Football is still a work in progress. So enjoy the ride, cheer your ass off, and have confidence that we are on the right track.




September 26th, 2009 at 5:09 PM ^

Besides the long TD run, they looked good in the second half. I was particularly impressed with the red zone stops today.

I was surprised Turner didn't get any time today. I have a hard time believing he is drop off from Floyd.


September 26th, 2009 at 5:13 PM ^

The defense held IU to about 200 yards and 10 points in the second half (compared to 260+ and 23 points in the first half), and that second half includes one 85-yard TD score. So while the defense certainly has some holes, you definitely can tell that GERG is making adjustments and the team is responding to some extent.


September 26th, 2009 at 5:14 PM ^

came out almost even, UM turned it around in the 2nd half, it was almost 19 minutes to 11 in the first half, IU ended up with a few seconds advantage.

The defense today got no support from the offense at all. UM had 2 sustained drives the whole game.

MI Expat NY

September 26th, 2009 at 5:14 PM ^

I also think that the long touchdown was a result of a mixup on the defensive call. Looked like we switched the "strong" side of the defense at the last second and then failed to shift at all when IU motioned their TE. IU ended up pulling two linemen who didn't have anyone to block. Even if Floyd does a better job getting off the WR, he would have gotten blown up by the lineman.

Kovacs did take a terrible angle, but all in all, I feel like this play was more of a fluke than anything else.

The defense didn't play particularly well, but I'm guessing that when Brian does UFR, the defense is going to grade out better than expected.

Crime Reporter

September 26th, 2009 at 5:22 PM ^

The defense saved our ass today. Despite some big plays here and there, they held up when Indiana was threatening to score touchdowns. There are still a lot of issues to fix, but plain and simple, we won. Next.


September 26th, 2009 at 5:32 PM ^

It's hard to fully put the blame on the D. I think the defense had a better day then the offense by all means. They played at the level that you'd expect them to at this point. Offense, on the other hand, was a bit disastrous. The mistakes they made included 2 turnovers deep in our territory, 2 huge losses due to snaps that killed field position, and several 3 and outs. This contributed to at least 12 IU points and put their offense in great starting positions. The defense mopped up the mess quite well IMO save the long TD run, where you saw the two guys closest to the play were our backups, and we all know about our depth issues.


September 26th, 2009 at 6:54 PM ^

Great post. The defense is clearly not championship caliber but the bottom line is they held both quick changes to field goals. They played on a short field the whole first half and forced 5 field goal attempts. It wasn;t fun to watch today but the bottom line is we got a win, and as weird as it is to say, the defense played a part in that.


September 26th, 2009 at 7:07 PM ^

wasn't watching closely enough IMO. Yards against matter, and you can't dismiss them because some came on big plays. The game I watched showed truly bad tackling, missed assignments, and guys that could not get off of blocks. I don't throw anyone under the bus because these are college kids--I've never booed them and never will. But this effort was really poor.

Blue Durham

September 26th, 2009 at 7:22 PM ^

good, but the performance wasn't.

There were major problems on D last year, particularly LB's and DB's. The problems were deep and were not going to be solved in 1 off-season, unlike when the team had Bo's talent.

Not to dump on Carr, but I really think that the biggest indictment of the talent on D was Ezeh, Sears, and Stevie Brown. LB's were so thin in '07 at LB that Ezeh started. A further indication - Brown, a barely functional safety, is now our best (or 2nd best to Mouton) LB. Sears, well, Brian documented that well last week.

I think the LB play is exacerbated by the DB play and vice-versa. But, my biggest concern is the DL other than Graham. The team needs the DL to play well against the opposing OL's, and pressure the QB without much blitzing, and right now that is far from what is happening.

On the positive side, the defense played well when it had to, and the team won. Many good and all great teams win the close games. This team is 2 for 2 in that department this year. And compared to last year, that is one hell of a good thing.


September 26th, 2009 at 7:42 PM ^

There lack of defensive depth should help GERG on the recruiting trail. Playing time will be a valuable selling tool to get the defensive recruiting pool caught up with the offensive one.

PSALM 23 Rod N…

September 26th, 2009 at 8:11 PM ^

One glaring difference today was our tackling.

Pursuit angles were off. It also seemed like there were many yards given up after initial contact.Perhaps it is focus? Perhaps weather? We just seemed a little "Off" on both sides of the ball. Despite this we did not lay an egg. We won ugly.

Our Defense is suspect and vulnerable. It gravely concerns me when a walk on safety is making way too many plays. Plus, I agree our depth is horrible. When Martin and Wolfolk were banged up, I cringed.

I have always felt smaller sized defensive backs put the entire team at a possible disadvantage when in single coverage. However, when BC is overmatched (ND) in single coverage, he needed someone to help him by sacking/pressuring QB. Its a team game. (I just wish BC would concentrate on doing his job, instead of the Refs. It drives me crazy when he signals incomplete after getting beat and the receiver drops a pass )

The D did shut IU down in the redzone, especially after two damaging turnovers.


September 27th, 2009 at 1:26 AM ^

I just wish that the tackling were better.It's better than last year for sure, but it still needs to be a point of emphasis.

Other than that they played well enough today. Always room for improvement.


September 27th, 2009 at 8:55 AM ^

On Willis' TD run, people need to remember that every play that hurts our team isn't going to be a result of a mistake, or a bad play - sometimes a Michigan player isn't going to be fast or strong enough to make the play. Kovacs is a Redshirt Freshman walk-on who has never had an off-season of NCAA-level conditioning. Would it shock anyone to learn that he may just not be that fast for NCAA football right now? To me, it looked like his angle/decision-making were fine. I think Willis just out-ran his angle.