Defensive Optimism Reckoning

Submitted by Meeechigan Dan on October 15th, 2010 at 9:23 AM

In a post that seems to support the Infinite Monkey Theorem...

... I argued for optimism about our defense. This optimism was not that we would unexpectedly see stardom or even competence out of Ezeh or Cameron Gordon, but that we had plumbed the depths of bad defense with the current style of play (one cannot bleed out more than their total blood volume), we had see it's ghastly face, and it was, roughly, 35 points (somewhere in the mid thirties).

Given normal production from our offense (average: ~ 37), this suggested we'd be in every game. To quote myself:

The proof will be coming shortly - I will return to mgoboard to take my beating these next seven weeks if this prediction doesn't come true: no Big Ten offense will score more than 40 points on Michigan...

So far I am correct, although I was certain that I was going to be wrong in the 3rd quarter; MSU certainly could have scored more than 40, IMO.

That said, we move on to Iowa, where I feel somewhat safer with my prediction. Don't know if that means we'll produce near our average on offense, but you have to like proto-Denard's stat line (sans interception) against Iowa last year:


Rushing 9 rushes 49 yards 1 TD
Passing 3 comp 4 att 30 yds



October 15th, 2010 at 9:28 AM ^

Maybe its a reach, and I know there are other factors involved, but when looking at our secondary and overall D, I lean on the Florida 2007 Defense.

They played freshmen and redshirt freshmen and were torched over and over again. Now, they had more talent tham Mich does now on the front 7, so its not a perfect comparison.......but the Gators planted the seeds of a good secondary by taking the youth hit that year.

That's what I am clinging to because I like the talent in our DB, but their youth, inexperience and overall lack of field savvy kills us. But, I think a couple of them will All Big 10 contenders in a season or two. Just not this year.


October 15th, 2010 at 9:52 AM ^

True, but I think we can overcome that. Also, their game speed ought to pick up with more experience and confidence. I just think it stinks now, but it'll be a decent to good group in the next year or two due to this trial by fire.

We all cling to whatever we can cling too. Here's hoping at a 2012 tailgate we're laughing and recalling their days as freshmen


October 15th, 2010 at 10:00 AM ^

Here's hoping at a 2012 tailgate we're laughing and recalling their days as freshmen

+1 on that. The entire team is playing exciting football right now.

(just some of it is exciting in not the best of ways)


October 15th, 2010 at 11:18 AM ^

@ jamiemac

I seem to always have to explain your above points every football season...just because someone runs a 4.3 or can lift 300 lbs does not translate into a great football player.  It's about what you do on the field.  A 4.3 - 40 time is straight line speed, but does not translate to quickness or playing fast and decisive football on Saturdays (or whatever day you play the game).  That's why I like to pay attention to a players clocked time in the shuttle drill as well as their 40 time.

I expect a "year two" jump for our secondary.  They have the talent and the game will slow down for them drastically as they get more playing time and confidence.


October 15th, 2010 at 12:00 PM ^

just because someone runs a 4.3 or can lift 300 lbs does not translate into a great football player.

Accurate as this is, and mind you I absolutely agree with it, "straight burner" speed translates to closing speed, and we lack a lot of that. Steve Brown is a good example. He's fast, and in the wrong position he MADE PLAYS that absolutely blew up our defense. In the right position, he MADE PLAYS which absolutely blew up the other teams offense.

Players will always make mistakes, but right now we lack the necessary athleticism to make up for it and it is undeniably hurting us.


October 15th, 2010 at 9:40 AM ^

While the scheme has been bashed repeatedly his adjustments (not results) from the Indiana game to the MSU game show that he has a good idea as to what will work. Although we had some breakdowns, showing some man to man and getting Talbott and Avery in the games will pay off. I think Demens will turn a few heads tomorrow and Iowa's offensive line looks young and possibly vulnerable if we can stop the run effectively.


October 15th, 2010 at 9:41 AM ^

You could come in with 1 foot as a freshman and crack the 2 deep, god we need him.  If we pulled Grant, Brown and Hollowell I would be feeling pretty damn good next year.


October 15th, 2010 at 9:54 AM ^

Please refer to the depth chart by class in the upper right corner.  The 2011 depth chart at CB looks like this.....Redshirt Senior Troy Woolfolk, Redshirt Junior JT Floyd, Sophmores Avery, Christian and Talbott....that's 5 guys with game experience and a years worth of workouts ahead of any potential cb the 2 guys already committed in theri class...Brown and Hollowell. 

Could a stud come in and pass all these guys on the depth chart?  Maybe, but I direct your attention to a man with plenty of hype,  C. Christian and his current status.  People need to get their freshmen expectations in check....thankfully this is the last year that freshmen will see the field at any position unless they are an All American in the making.  The only players I could see not redshirting next year are D. Hart and K. Jones.  Jones for opportunity and Hart for potential and RB they substitute liberally.  Ideally I'd like him to sit as well.


October 15th, 2010 at 10:18 AM ^

You're right, I did literally mean that someone with one foot could crack the 2 deep.  Next time I'll remember that a sense of humor is not welcome, and that sarcasm won't be taken lightly. (that was sarcasm by the way, I figured I should brief you)


October 15th, 2010 at 10:39 AM ^

I understand what you meant.  There have been spots the last couple of years that if you showed up on campus you could see the field...Tate, Odoms etc....  What I am saying is that if Doran Grant comes to Mich he will have to be a) very very talented and b) be prepared to work his ass off and prepare like a mother to move ahead of any of the 5 guys currently ahead of him and the 2 next to him, so no he's not going to walk into the "2 deep".   I get that a guy with 1 foot is not going to play, it's hilarious, but the meaning behind your sarcasm is incorrect.  What you are saying is that we are so thin at CB any stud recruit can come in and contribute right away.   That would have been true last year, but it no longer applies.  He'll have to earn it.


October 15th, 2010 at 10:03 AM ^

to coaches and fans. Only a stud safety or linebacker is going to come in and really make an impact. Martin, Van Bergen, probably Black or Will Campbell, Roh, Woolfolk, Floyd and Kovacs are likely not going anywhere. You also have to think that Demens, a guy who will be entering his fouth year, and Cam Gordon (somewhere) will be holding down spots. Things could change if Woolfolk moves back to safety though. Loves it!