Time to get super high on defense

Submitted by massblue on August 12th, 2014 at 8:57 AM

I listened to Mattison's interview on BIG network last night. When he was asked what are the weaknesses of the defense, Mattison paused for a moment and then basically said none. Then he went to praise every unit and say that we are going to be very aggressive because the DL will put pressure of QBs. This morning, there is additional information on MLive with Mattison defending Hoke, but also sounding really high on the defense. I think we are going to have a really good defense this year -- May be the best in BIG. http://www.mlive.com/wolverines/index.ssf/2014/08/greg_mattison_defends…


Edit: sorry for the typo in the title: "Heigh"



August 12th, 2014 at 9:00 AM ^

The best thing is, on paper the defense should be even better in 2015.  We have recruited the talent and it is being developed.  If our Oline can find a way to be average, we may have a great season.


August 12th, 2014 at 10:13 AM ^

And it's not like we don't have talent on the OL. Sure, they will be young, but if this unit is as bad as last year's I think it falls directly on the coaches. There is no way we shouldn't be able to get a push against freaking Akron.

It's becoming hard for me to not be excited about this team. We have more talent and depth than we have since at least 2007, and will have one of the most talented teams in the conference, behind maybe only OSU. We have a great D coordinator, presumably a great O coordinator. The offensive line just needs to be serviceable for this year to be a potentially special year. Next year also looks bright.


August 12th, 2014 at 10:50 AM ^

Every year we hear about how great player/group/unit X is and every year we're disappointed by the tire fireishness of the whole thing. Last year, the playing off 10 yards by the DBs combined with the inability of the DL to get any push doomed the team because the OL looked like they had never seen the field together. If it weren't for Gardner, they would have gone 2-11 last year. I'll READ about improvement and other peoples' increased expectations, but I'm really at a point the team needs to SHOW they have improved for it to be believable. 


August 12th, 2014 at 12:39 PM ^

to hype and buzz this time around, whether it be recruiting hype, practice buzz, media hype, blog hype, coaching hype or teammate hype. I'm going to wait to see it on the field this year.

Still, there's good reason to be optimistic about our D, and certainly every reason to think it will be better than last year. What I'd really like to see is a defense that stays tough to the end of the game. Last year we gave up more points in the 4th quarter than any other, which was killer. It cost us at least two games and could have cost a couple more. If we can be a defense that still generates a strong pass rush and shuts people down in the 4th quarter, we will win most close games, and have more comfortable ones, even with a shaky OL.

True Blue Grit

August 12th, 2014 at 11:06 AM ^

I was watching the NU game replay last night on the BTN (I was at the game too in November) and our OL screwed up so many times in that game it was an utter miracle we won.  Getting stuffed for no gain or losses a number of times by NU's defense, and Schofield giving up a huge sack were some of the lowlights.  But yes, all we need to do is be serviceable this year, especially early in the season and we can have a good year.


August 12th, 2014 at 11:26 AM ^

I wouldnt read much into this statement.

There was a highlight film of Nuss last week and in it there was a play that if in a real game Devin would have been sacked, when he hesitated , double clutched etc.  So if we saw that in highlight reel video... well.

This is a QB talking up his line.


August 12th, 2014 at 1:09 PM ^

Worrying about our offensive line is well-based. Don't get me wrong. But most here seem to think it's completely hopeless, which is crazy to me. We have a lot of young talent, and for once, we have depth. Top it off with a new coordinator and things could very well turn out to be Not Terrible.

Also, the OL is the only thing about this team that really causes any concern. The defense will be good, the skill positions on offense should be good. This team is a lot closer to being a championship-caliber team than most are giving credit for. We are certainly closer to it than we were at any point since 2007, in terms of talent and depth.


August 12th, 2014 at 1:55 PM ^

Totally agree with you.  We are still an incredibly young team, with hardly any seniors.  The o line can only improve, and with Nussmeier"s proven teaching abilities, I think we will see a mature poised Gardner, and backups who are capable of coming in and not being a complete mess.  We have tons of talent on the team.  Like everyone says, the oline is the key to the season, but i have enough faith to be hyped up.


August 12th, 2014 at 1:53 PM ^

Last year was a total tire fire that was built on a bed of hopes and dreams at the beginning of the season.  It changed people's perceptions of the program and of the overall media relations piece.  Skepticism is just going to be built in at this point.  Be happy you're not broken, but realize that you are......indeed....one of the few.

yossarians tree

August 12th, 2014 at 10:58 AM ^

I agree that this defense is going to be a lot better than people expect, especially as the season goes on and they get some confidence rolling. One of the reasons they struggled some last year was that the offense couldn't get them off the field.

I think this has the potential to be a very sucessful season, regardless of the tough road schedule. One thing for sure: the game in EL is going to be a friggin' WAR.

Blue in Yarmouth

August 12th, 2014 at 9:12 AM ^

I hate when I do this. After each season I tend to form what appears to be a realistic picture of what this team will be like the following year and if anything, I keep things on the pessimistic side to guard against getting disappointed the following year.

Then fall camp starts and all the practice buzz starts whirling around and I forget all my guarded expectations and get caught up in the hype and before you know it we're back in the national championship picture (in my expectations I mean).

I do believe this defense can be great this year but the offense scares the crap out of me. I am hopeful to be sure, but to say I'm practicing guarded optimism for that unit would be an understatement. 

Sten Carlson

August 12th, 2014 at 9:19 AM ^

There's something sad about your statement B in Y. Although I appreciate the Zen-esque aspect of your sentiment, yours lacks serenity and is full of torment and fear. It's ok to be excited, especially about a defensive unit which we've all said WILL, undoubtedly, develop into a juggernaut under GMAT given the level at which we're recruiting.

As my 4 year old is so fond of signing: "Let it go, let it go ... Can't hold it back anymore!"


August 12th, 2014 at 9:12 AM ^

I'm still waiting for a DC to say, "I'm really excited about our defense this year.  We're going to sit back in a soft zone and play bend-but-don't-break all day.  It's the least aggressive defense I've ever had and I love it."


August 12th, 2014 at 9:18 AM ^

I'll withhold from getting "heigh" on defense until about game 5 or 6. If we were carrying over a top-rated defense from last year, yeah, we would be justified in a few tokes. But now? I dont think so. 


August 12th, 2014 at 11:23 AM ^

Why is it hard to take a lot of stock in this? They said something good about Michigan. I find it very easy to take those statements as cold hard facts.

"Michigan will finish 5th or lower." - is this guy credible at all?

"Michigan will be amazing." - best analyst in college football.


August 12th, 2014 at 10:19 AM ^

really gelled in the last half of the season, but there were times that they seriously struggled with the following: WMU, USF, Indiana, Iowa and Purdue.  Obviously moving to Cook after the USF game needs to be considered, but if the offense takes a small step back this year, they could lose 3 or 4 games (Oregon, OSU, UM, PSU being most likely).  I don't see them losing 4, but I also don't really see them going 11-1.  


August 12th, 2014 at 11:20 AM ^

Let's see what happens after they travel to Oregon.  I think their first game is against a high school team but then Sparty will have a real test pitting their new defense against a heisman candidate QB on the road.  If they get spanked (a real possibility), the wheels could fall off quickly.  If they win the game, they'll be en route to a good season.


August 12th, 2014 at 12:13 PM ^

Stout defenses from Stanford and USC have been the downfall of Oregon recently - especially Stanford. I can see MSU winning the game 24-17 pretty easily, but that would obviously depend on if they can maintain a top 10 defense