carolina blue

August 19th, 2018 at 9:52 AM ^

I think we’re going to notice Mo Hursts departure. After watching some of last years defense highlights, he was the main disrupter. I’m not saying it’ll be much, but I think  we’ll see a slight decrease in stuff rate, and that’s about it. We will be elite but I’m saying there will be a few times where we realize it’s not him in that spot. 

gustave ferbert

August 19th, 2018 at 10:04 AM ^

yes.  This defense was third in the nation last year in total defense behind wisconsin and Alabama.  9 starters are returning. It's expected this year that our offense won't be subject to the sudden changes that forced the defense into difficult scenarios.  Both of the starting corners are considered to be in the top 5 in the country thanks in no small part to Zordich.  We have two defensive linemen who have the potential to be all americans who are coached by one of the best defensive line coaches in the country in Greg Mattison. 

This is Don Brown's third year.  Brian analyzed Don Brown's coaching history and noted that his defenses begin to run at their highest potential in year 3.  Boston College had the number one defense when he was coordinator and they didn't have anywhere near the talent level that we have.  Indeed, Don Brown said that this could be the fastest team he has ever coached. He expressed further that Devin Bush is the fastest linebacker he has ever had. 

It's one of the most talented defenses and arguably the best staffed. There is no question as to whether this is the best defense in the country.  I believe it is. 


August 19th, 2018 at 12:16 PM ^

"There is no question as to whether this is the best defense in the country."

There is also no question that there isn't a single shred of evidence—since this defense has yet to play a single game—to prove your assertion is unquestionable.


August 19th, 2018 at 12:40 PM ^

This is objectively true. Thank you.


Every year we Michigan fans get the hype train going in ways that are wildly unrealistic and then the bitter disappointment is equally extreme when we lose. We go from "we are the best!" to "we are the worst!" faster than any fan base I have ever seen. I have no advice or anything, just an observation. 


August 19th, 2018 at 10:05 AM ^

DE, LB and DB will be great. DT and  Safeties should improve through the season. If Mo was still here the DL would be a knock out but the DT should improve and do a good job. It will be interesting to see how the DL handles the bigger ND OL.


August 19th, 2018 at 10:25 AM ^

The good news for the ND game is that by all accounts they should be pretty one dimensional. Wimbush seems like a poor man's JT Barrett: good runner but not accurate enough in the passing game to take advantage when bad defenses aren't overcommitting to the run. I fully expect our secondary to shut down their passing game one on one, which allows everyone else to stack the box. Long story short, I don't think the ND offense will do anything all day.

The real question, and concern, is how our offense will do. A decent offensive showing, combined with our defense, should see us win handily. A bad offensive showing puts us in a close, low scoring game where a flukey play can decide it, and we haven't had good luck with those lately (or historically in South Bend).


August 19th, 2018 at 10:05 AM ^

Not unless at least one of our starting DTs ends up being elite, as opposed to just very good. Solomon and Dwumfour have both gotten a lot of buzz, but both are unproven in starting roles. Gary needs to start living up to his hype as well. He needs to be playing at an undisputed All-American level this year, not just a very good all-conference level. We could also use a bump up in safety play. Our guys there are solid, but we have no great safeties.


August 19th, 2018 at 10:27 AM ^

Agree completely on Gary. I know this board will point out that he’s double teamed and that he’s so close but just getting unlucky. Bottom line is he has to make more plays this year. (Even PFF agrees. He was an 84 last year which is great, but not top 5 draft pick one in a generation talent)


August 19th, 2018 at 2:22 PM ^

He reminds me more than a little of Peppers..super hyped recruit, a freakish athlete who does make some eye-popping plays, but just not enough game-in, game-out production.  He was touted as the best defensive line recruit in the last 10 years, and he has not looked like that so far. A guy like that should be wreaking constant havoc in enemy backfields. If he does not end up as first team AA this year, his college career will have to be considered somewhat of a disappointment, the opinion of scouts as to how well he will do at the next level notwithstanding.



August 19th, 2018 at 1:05 PM ^

I mean literally the only position we are going to maybe take at step back at is DT. Every other position is getting more experienced and should be better. So I tend to disagree that we need our DT rotation to be elite and that Gary needs to take a huge step up in order for our defense to be #1


August 19th, 2018 at 10:26 AM ^

This was posted a while ago, but still a great watch. Mo Hurst wasn't Mo Hurst until last year, and what I mean by that was, he didn't get all the snaps he got last year until Glasgow, Taco and Wormley graduated. He stepped up, like I expect Dwumfour, Mone, and Soloman to step up this year. Our LB's will be better. Our CB's will be better. Our DE's will be better. Not sure if our safeties will be and our interior guys will be, but if they are just as good, we will be dominant. If they aren't other players will step up, I'm sure of that. 

Red is Blue

August 19th, 2018 at 12:07 PM ^

Interesting that you expect DEs and CBs to be better.  Same players, so presumably that is based off having more experience.  Yet, you are hoping the safeties are just as good, even though they too are the returning players.  Why don't you expect the additional experience will make the safeties better? Or, even worse, why might they even backslide 


August 19th, 2018 at 12:26 PM ^

Gary, Bush, Hill, and Long were all Sophomores. Mettelus will only be better if they bring someone else in to cover speedy slots. Kinnel played great, even when getting beat, he had pretty good coverage. I think they have reached their ceilings. They won't get faster, so if they maintain, I'll be ecstatic. 


August 19th, 2018 at 12:12 PM ^

Videos are presumptuous... Just prove it and play. Hope we get back to a time where, for instance, we don't dump on a Gittleson to overly praise a Barwis who still hadn't done shit yet, and then also we stay humble.  I truly hate this new Michigan fan style.  


August 19th, 2018 at 12:56 PM ^

Wasn't Solomon the #1 rated DT coming out of high school or something? He was still pretty green this year and could be a force (especially under the defensive coaching staff we have). Players the caliber of Hurst will always be missed, but I don't think the drop off will be that severe.


We don't know for sure because we've yet to see them play this year, but it's entirely possible we have the best defense in the country. We return all but 2? players from a defense that was dominant the season before. If we have an offense that can keep the defense off the field for a while longer, then they're going to destroy. 


August 19th, 2018 at 12:58 PM ^

It should be good, no question, I want to see it on the field. To be elite, it HAS to create turnovers. I want to see it stuff msu and osu. I want to see it stuff psu and Wisconsin. It has the potential, but I want to see it, not hear about hype. 


August 19th, 2018 at 2:28 PM ^

Agree on the turnovers. Our defense does not generate a lot of short fields and points off of takeaways. Lack of INTs you can maybe put down to our coverage schemes, but the fact remains that we don't get very many. Our defense has also not been very effective at forcing fumbles, for whatever reason.


August 19th, 2018 at 1:42 PM ^

Clemson's entire DL returned and they all could have been very high draft picks in this year's draft.  They're terrifying.  I dunno who would be better other than them or Alabama.

Frank Booth

August 19th, 2018 at 8:54 PM ^

The best? Maybe not. Losing Hurst hurts, but I have confidence that Mattison will help Solomon and Dwumfor become excellent, if not serviceable interior linemen. Add a fantastic linebacker corp and top tier CB's, and I think Michigan will have a very good defense. I predict Winovich and Gary will create havoc in the backfield. I'm really excited about Michigan's desfense this season.