Official Snowflake Thread: Defense

Submitted by LSAClassOf2000 on October 5th, 2013 at 6:27 PM

This will be the official snowflake thread for thoughts on defense and defensive playcalling. I know these are early, but the system seems to work. 



October 5th, 2013 at 6:42 PM ^

D-Line is getting pushed around too much up the middle and I am really not a fan of the bend don't break approach.  Hope it is just a matter of scheme rather than poor play and lack of strength. This will not stand against better teams coming our way. This will not stand, man.


October 5th, 2013 at 6:50 PM ^

and will be heavily exposed in the Big Ten.


Oline is soft and can't move people unless we have 3 tackles in the game.


Gardner is what he is and we're going to have to live with it.


On the positive side Funchess looks great at receiver, a move is iminant in my opinion.


We may scrape by and get to November unbeaten, but it isn't going to feel good.


Perkis-Size Me

October 5th, 2013 at 6:56 PM ^

Today was the epitome of bend-don't-break defense. I know Minny only found the endzone once, but wow, that TE of theirs was mauling us all day, and Leidner, aka Tim Tebow, aka John Elway, aka Joe Montana, seemed to have all day in the pocket.

Our defensive line is just very, very average right now, and if we lose Pip, it could get a lot worse. I still believe that Mattison knows what he's doing, but up until the end of the game, he called a very vanilla game that barely ever got pressure on the QB. Getting JMFR back next week should help, if he comes back next week, but playing this kind of defense against the likes of OSU would not bode well.

I guess a silver lining in all of this is that Da'Shawn Hand has to look at this kind of game and realize he'd essentially be a shoe-in to play and possibly start right away were he to commit for next year.


October 5th, 2013 at 6:57 PM ^

Ace was playing the voice of reason on twitter, constantly reminding that Minnie's first drive averaged less that 4 yards per play.

Which is nice, but Michigan needs to get off of the field. Too many quarterbacks look terrific against our secondary. I suspect this is because our coverages are conservative, because otherwise our DBS could get incinerated deep.

Probably a good choice if true, but frustrating.

Dilithium Wings

October 5th, 2013 at 7:05 PM ^

The lack of blitzing is the most frustrating. Michigan has been unable to pressure the opposing QB with just the front four. It's been a very vanilla defensive approach, but hey, it's getting the job done

Leaders and Best 21

October 5th, 2013 at 7:09 PM ^

Any update on Pipkins' injury? I seriously hope he's not seriously hurt. He's our best interior D-lineman even tho some people will say Q-wash. But either way, would be a rough loss.


October 5th, 2013 at 7:11 PM ^

I'm sorry, but it seems to me people here are being awfully harsh. There seemed to me that a fairly large majority of Minnesota's runs were completely stuffed for very little, so it confuses me to hear people talk about how soft our d-line was in this game. I did see the aforementioned lack of pass rush, but usually the term "soft" is reserved for poor play vs the run.


October 5th, 2013 at 7:18 PM ^

It would be crazy to blitz heavy against a team that is able to do little more than run for 3 yards or dump passes to the TE for 7.  Why put high risk on the table when they can barely score against a vanilla defense?


October 5th, 2013 at 7:32 PM ^

Against a team with no playmakers, you're not putting yourself at high risk.  In fact, you may force a mediocre QB into bad passes or fumbles, taking a sack, throwing the ball away on third down.... Maybe you can get off the field instead of letting them go 80 yards in 9 minutes.  We're giving a lot of mediocre offenses time to get comfortable.  It could be argued that is a bigger risk than attacking them and possibly forcing them into mistakes.


October 5th, 2013 at 9:48 PM ^

Yes, but the game was quite a bit closer than the score indicates, right? It was 14-7 at the half.

Both the o-line and d-line have looked very average at times against inferior opponents. Its worrisome. 

Yes, the Big Ten isn't good, but I don't see this team beating MSU or Northwestern on the road or Ohio State at home. Happy Valley next week could be tough, too.


October 6th, 2013 at 8:59 AM ^

it was 14-7 at half because there were only 7 real drives. Michigan powered the ball the entire way down the field on the first one, went 3 and out on the second, got the no call on blatant pass interference on the third, and scored a td on the fourth. If we had started at a normal field position rather than the 1, on that third drive, we'd have been in field goal range after moving the distance that we did. Our offense was good the entire game. the problem was that the drives were taking so long that there were less than 2 opportunities to score per quarter.


October 5th, 2013 at 7:37 PM ^

Lack of pass rush again, which is discouraging because the d-line looked like it was making strides in that regard against UCONN last week. Vanilla playcalling by Mattison is becoming somewhat frustrating, particurly against inferior opponents. Pipkin's injury is obviously not good. Defense also didn't do a great job getting Minny off the field on third down. Pass coverage issues by LB's also seems to be a recurring trend.

With all that said, the defense only gave up 13 points, 280 yards and less than 3.5 yards a rush so it is hard to be highly critical. Still would like to see more dominant performances against inferior competition, but at least a Mattison led defense playing poorly can still hold teams to a respectable point total.


October 5th, 2013 at 7:44 PM ^

I liked our defensive game plan. Bend but don't break is fine by me when were playing against a young QB and a generally poor offense. Keep everything in front. No big plays to give them quick points and confidence. Make them run a bunch of plays, which gives the D a chance to get a turnover or two.

Michigan Arrogance

October 5th, 2013 at 7:52 PM ^

280 yards and 13 pts defensively isn't too bad. how many non EOG possessionsdid they have? 9-10?

we're getting some pressure, but not too often w/ 4. it did look like we are executing blitzs a bit better.


October 6th, 2013 at 10:32 AM ^

It isn't too bad - actually, it is the third time this year that we've held a team to under 300 yards of total offense, which is a good overall performance for the season. The sole abberations there would be Akron (418) and Notre Dame (410). 

In addition to this, we held Minnesota to an average of 4.53 yard per snap, which is within a few hundredths of the season average of 4.56 yards. In other words, based on data to date, a typical performance for us. I will take it. 


October 5th, 2013 at 8:37 PM ^

I thought Cam Gordon and Brennan Beyer both looked pretty good.  When Jake comes back, can we just play all three SLBs at the same time....


October 5th, 2013 at 8:44 PM ^


  • We won and only gave up 13 points
  • Pick 6 is always nice even in garbage time


  • Tackling was uggh...  I think part of that assessment was Leidner was deceptively fast and a bigger load than our guys were expecting
  • Lost the war on a lot of 3 and short situations
  • Maxx Williams is still wide open.  Guy looks to be a stud, but man we didn't do a great job of covering him.
  • Pass rush was marginally better from 4 man rush, but nowhere near what we would like.
  • 3rd & Medium - QB draw anyone - everyone knew it was coming everytime but we couldn't stop it

This game was kind of hard to figure out.  We played bend don't break and we won.  It didn't feel dominating and it wasn't a blow out like 42-13 would suggest.  We're really young on D and I'm thinking that is part of the issue.  We only struggled tackling the QB. The front four was average for the most part - there were some sparks with Jibreel and Clark on a few plays.  

Overall, it was kind of meh but we won.  Obviously areas we could stand to improve on and getting JMFR back will huge.  He could really ignite our pass rush.

Red is Blue

October 5th, 2013 at 9:05 PM ^

Countess had an interesting game.  Beaten pretty badly on a long ball, but bailed out by pretty severe underthrow.  Pick six.  Also notice he was off the field for a while with Taylor and Avery at CBs.  Didn't seem to be hurt, but maybe I missed it.


October 5th, 2013 at 9:45 PM ^

1st half we looked meh against a team Iowa pretty much dominated. The d-line seems to generate zero pass rush, hopefull pee-wee is okay...i do think the defense will get better once JMFR comes back. The secondary seems to be worst, particularly CB's. Raymon Taylor and Countess seem to get beat a lot. Happy with win, I think we`ll get better each week. big test on the road next week.