OUR DEFENSE

Submitted by arod on September 27th, 2009 at 2:30 AM

has not lost us a game all season. I'm happy with that. You should be too. In the words of Eddie Murphy,quoting (allegedly) Richard Pryor, "have a Coke and a smile and shut the fuck up."

Comments

Don

September 27th, 2009 at 7:30 AM ^

I was at the game and the only times I saw him on the field were on special teams. The player participation log at MGoBlue says the same thing, but just wanted to confirm.

If he can't play his way onto a defensive line that seems virtually incapable of getting pressure on the QB or stopping a running game with any consistency, he must really be sorely lacking in some major departments.

blueloosh

September 27th, 2009 at 7:53 AM ^

Campbell is a true freshman. It would be extremely unusual for a true freshman to play regular snaps as a D-I lineman. It does not mean he is sorely lacking in anything. I think Tate has made people lose all rationality when it comes to teenage Wolverines. Campbell is reshaping his body and style of play. I think he will be great. Wait a year.

Don

September 27th, 2009 at 8:52 AM ^

He isn't getting ANY playing time on defense. Brandon Graham got snaps on D as a pure freshman in ten games. Alan Branch played in five games as a pure freshman. Mike Martin got significant minutes last year as a freshman. Gabe Watson played in 8 games on defense in his freshman year, and he was a fat tub of goo.

I've read the same comments as everybody else has about Campbell's conditioning and technique issues, and if that's the case, then he seems to be an obvious and sensible candidate for a redshirt. Yet he keeps appearing on special teams, so at this point it doesn't seem like he's going to get the RS. Why burn a season of eligibility for that, if he supposedly has so much talent?

IF our current defensive line was consistently controlling the line of scrimmage, then the question of whether and why Campbell is getting PT or not would be irrelevant. I don't know how anybody could watch yesterday's game and conclude that the current level of line play is going to be competitive as we get into the meat of our conference schedule. Unfortunately, the time to assess Campbell's progress via actual game playing time would seem to have passed, since the easiest part of the schedule is now done.

James Burrill Angell

September 27th, 2009 at 8:15 AM ^

I agree with your point. Thusfar they haven't LOST the team any games yet. Plus, they've repeatedly held tough in the red zone and forced teams to chase field goals instead of yielding touchdowns.
That said, how many games can you realistically give up 450 to 500 yards and expect to win. Just not a situation you can be expect to sustain you through a season.
I'm nervous about two things:
1) Lack of depth scares me A LOT.
2) Line and Linebacker play isn't great (granted they're double teaming our top two players). We don't seem to have much on the bench in terms of young up and comers (hopefully Campbell and Fitzgerald come around but the fact that they're not getting reps this year is not encouraging). We also need to get some more recruits for next year into the pipeline than we've already got committed.
For now, I guess we have to hope for the bend and don't break theory.

Maize and Blue…

September 27th, 2009 at 8:40 AM ^

When the big guy got here it may have been a concern. Did you see the pics of him during fall practice? I don't think that's the concern as much as he use to stand straight up in HS because he was bigger and stronger than anyone else. That won't work on this level.
As for D recruits, we have S. Floyd (unofficial), Tony Grimes, Cullen Christian, Josh Shaw, and others lined up for OSU week. Not to mention a very good shot at Furman and A. Olaniyan who were here ND week. Now we need to find out about Hagerup who is here this weekend because your punter can be a big defensive weapon.

chitownblue2

September 27th, 2009 at 9:01 AM ^

You obviously can't consistently give up 450 - 500 yards and expect to win every week.

Next question: Who expected us to win every week?

You're essentially saying that "we're going to lose at some point, and it's going to be because of our defense". Well, yes. That's almost certainly true. We will not go undefeated, and the weaker of our two units is more likely to be the contributing factor in that outcome.

victors2000

September 27th, 2009 at 8:39 AM ^

is that we did hold IU to 5 FG attempts in the redzone. That was huge; if any of those had been a TD instead, we are possibly discussing the loss right. The defense has some things they need to work on this week, but there were some bright spots as well.

chitownblue2

September 27th, 2009 at 9:07 AM ^

Not to mention that the defense was left on a short-field on two of those, and held them to 3. You don't have to squint very hard to say that the defense played a huge part in winning this game.

I thought they had 3 bad plays - the option, where there should have been one more player out there guarding the pitch-man, the bomb to Doss, and Willis' long run.

jg2112

September 27th, 2009 at 11:05 AM ^

then what do you suggest when we play stronger opponents starting this Saturday - that we hold out the allegedly superior player because we hope to have him around in 2013?

Furthermore, wouldn't you want a freshman to get experience against allegedly inferior opponents so that his first experience in college football isn't on the road against Sparty or Iowa? Maybe the plan is to save him for Delaware State??

No dice - if Turner is better than Floyd this week in practice you will see number 2 on defense Saturday.

helloheisman.com

September 27th, 2009 at 11:15 AM ^

I agree with you, but I was thinking that Floyd was just replacing Cissoko today bc he got banged up a bit. If that was the case, then I wouldn't expect too much of Floyd or Turner for the rest of the year anyway, and so a redshirt might be more valuable.

tpilews

September 27th, 2009 at 10:55 PM ^

Why not get them in for a series or two every game? It makes no sense to hold a guy out for half the season, and then play him the rest of the way. It's a waste of a year. I agree with HH; it looks like it's a redshirt for JT Turner barring injury to everyone else.

NJWolverine

September 27th, 2009 at 10:18 AM ^

There are only two players on defense that have played well to date, Brandon Graham and Donovan Warren. Mouton, Williams and S. Brown have been okay. Everyone else has struggled. The interior has struggled stopping RBs at the point of attack, which will be an issue against teams with power back. That's a huge problem given the youth at the spinner positions and Ezeh, who continues to struggle. Cissoko has been a disaster. He was beaten on a straight route by an Indiana receiver, which is unacceptable. While they shouldn't give up on him yet, another poor performance should result in a benching. J.T. Floyd is okay, but all opponents have to do now is line up a taller receiver against him. Woolfolk has been late on help, which is disappointing. Perhaps the plan from here on out is just to leave Warren on one on one coverage and have a safety protect the other corner on every play.

Teams are now going to pick on the opposite corner (not Warren) and DE (not Graham). You could see that with the D-Line movement all day and the opposite corner constantly being picked on. The movement on the line to try to get Graham in on the play as opposed to having the play go the other way or have him matched one to one instead of being doubled is really a desperation ploy that will continue unless Van Bergen improves significantly or Campbell is installed with Martin and they both do well stopping the point of attack, all unlikely. Roh should get better at run defense, but he's still a freshman.

There are personnel issues on defense that will not be resolved until better players step up/are recruited. The bend but don't break defense, which is predicated on not giving up the big play at all costs, will likely last until the end of the season.

bryemye

September 27th, 2009 at 11:22 AM ^

I think his shoulder is bothering him a lot and actually affecting his running. No way should a healthy booboo get burned like that. If he does, then there's not a lot of talent there, frankly. But I think he's hurt.

I didn't think Floyd looked THAT bad. I mean, I'm confident in Warren going one on one against any receiver that's not incredible, and then we should just provide the safety help for the other guy. It won't be great, but, what the hell, we're 4-0 and we were 3-9 last year, let's be happy with not totally sucking this year.

NJWolverine

September 27th, 2009 at 11:32 AM ^

I was referring to Cissoko being benched for the remainder of the season in favor of Floyd. I'm not sure that should happen just yet, as Cissoko does theoretically have better measurables. He should be a on a very short leash next week.

As far as picking on players, of course that's already happened, but I haven't seen the utter desperation that I saw yesterday with the D-Line shifts. Also, I don't think any team from here on out is going to want to touch Warren because he's made two key plays at the end of games (the 2nd and 10 play against Tate in the ND game, and yesterday's interception). Given Woolfolk's inability to help in time, other teams might be content with a double as opposed to single coverage with Warren. That's really rare, but I can see it happening.

umchicago

September 27th, 2009 at 10:20 AM ^

i am much more concerned with our LBs and safeties than the d-line or CBs. they are ususally at fault for big run and big pass plays. and there were at least 3 such plays this week.

The King of Belch

September 27th, 2009 at 3:38 PM ^

Keep turning this season into a Festival Of Nervous Retards. First, everyone was all "Hey, man, don't question the Rod...I trust the coaches...do you think you know more than the guys who are paid to coach..." and all the never ending bullshit from stiffs who wondered why people dared question any moves by this staff.

Welp. Ww have things changed. All the sudden with the team 4-0 and looking really good (expecially with most of the team in its first or second year) and being more exciting than at just about any time in the last 40 years, the coaches are back to being dumbasses again who don't know who to use their players and it's all "Wow, GERG suck. Defense bad. Why aren't da coach play all him players derrr Me Michigan Man I are smart den coach"

Buckteeth, mullets, PBR and Skoal all around now.