Northwestern Snowflakes - The Defense

Submitted by LSAClassOf2000 on September 30th, 2018 at 12:00 PM

This will be your thread for snowflakes and hot takes for the defense and defensive playcalling. 


The Fan in Fargo

September 30th, 2018 at 5:38 AM ^

I agree, if Uche keeps playing like that, you have to get him in there on those pass rushes. I don't care who he plays over. Seems to me, he rivaled Gary's production in this game. Healthy or not. I could be wrong.

Another guy I saw play early in the replay here and no one has really talked about that I've saw is Devin Gill. I think you have to keep that guy out. He reads and analyses the play really slow. He's more often than not a step or two late. On top of that, his foot speed is very slow. He will get gashed in a bigger game. Mike McCray could read the play faster than Gill but had similar foot speed to me. Not good though for Gill to play a ton. Sorry Mr. Gill if you see this buddy.


September 30th, 2018 at 8:42 AM ^

I agree on Gil. I’ve said each game: he is slow to react. He looks like he needs to eat more and move to line, but he really is the worst linebacker getting time. I don’t care how well he may practice—every game he is late to the ball and gets caught in traffic. When they go to Ross and Furbush, the defense tightens. 

Plus, Gary must be injures more than he let’s on. He has no bull rush or inside moves. He tries the outside speed rush, and not much else. The shoulder seems to be getting worse. He needs to develop some spin moves—study Dwight Freeney tape. 

One reason our defensive line does so well in the fourth is the depth. All that talent behind Winovich is fresh. Uche and Paye and Dwumfour come in and just lay into tired offensive lineman who’ve had to deal with Win, Gary, Big Mone, and Kemp. 

If Aubrey returns healthy, this line is even scarier.


September 29th, 2018 at 8:17 PM ^

Either Chase or Bush is the best on D... Bush didn't have the most impactful game against NW although I'm not sure why (I'm sure someone with better football IQ could explain).

Gary is a good player but he hasn't lived up to the #1 overall ranking yet.  I'm not sure if that is a hot take or not, I'm rooting for the guy but he hasn't dominated like Suh in college at any point.

Mr. Owl

September 30th, 2018 at 11:02 AM ^

Every time I have thought that & focused on Gary specifically on a play it is obvious that the offense is focusing on taking him out of the play by a combination of double (and triple) teaming, holding & running away from him.  Every time you wonder how Chase goes unblocked you can rewatch the play & find #3 has nearly the entire team trying to stop him.

With that said, the elite find a way.  Hope he comes back & makes that next step that will make him a top-5 pick.


October 1st, 2018 at 1:46 AM ^

Nonsense. He was dominant last season. Best lineman in the Big Ten not named Bosa. Dude was getting double and triple teamed all the time, and still creating havoc in the backfield. Part of the reason that Mo Hurst did so well last year had to do with offenses scheming to mitigate Gary's impact. If you haven't seen his speed and strength overpowering defensive tackles starting his freshman year, you haven't been paying attention.

That being said, a knock on Gary has always been that he isn't consistent play in and play out. He's been known to take plays off here and there, while Winovich is always 100% all the time. 

But Gary has looked like a shadow of his former self this season. He appears to be playing hurt.


September 29th, 2018 at 8:17 PM ^

Dwumfour pressure led to the Paye sack late. He may not be living up to offseason hype but he could play a big role as a penetrator on obvious passing plays


September 29th, 2018 at 8:17 PM ^

Way to step up after getting punched multiple times in the first half. It felt like Michigan had no pass rush in the first half, which allowed Thorson to throw absolute dimes. In the second half, the pass rush was hitting home which totally shut down NW's offense.


September 30th, 2018 at 11:42 AM ^

According to the presser, Don Brown made some second half adjustments with Dline twists and stunts which Northwestern had completely diagnosed coming into the game, explaining the lack of first half pressure. Those adjustments were responsible for giving Uche free runs at Thorson in the latter part of the game.

Btw, Michigan has given up 1163 yards and 74 points through five games putting them sixth in the nation in fewest yards allowed for rushing and passing and near best nationally in points allowed.  And that number would rank them higher nationally, but for the fact that Iowa with 1042 through four games tops the nation. Michigan is averaging 84 yards  rushing per game and 14.8 points allowed.

Let's also remember that Northwestern had two weeks to prepare, so they came up with some good plans to attack Michigan yesterday. Sometimes bye weeks help and sometimes they don't. NW used that extra week to its advantage along with some considerable help from the officiating.