WTF is wrong with our defense?

Submitted by artds on September 17th, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Over the past 4 years, we've gone through three coordinators, two coaching staffs and a multitude of different players, and we have sucked EVERY YEAR.

It's like someone flipped the "terrible" switch the minute Lloyd left.

I'll tell you right now that these kids are going to get their asses kicked by Hillman and SDSU next week if they don't correct some things fast.


Jon Benke

September 17th, 2011 at 1:40 PM ^

It's how you finish.

Clearly - and it doesn't always work, but it's pretty clear that these coaches, on both sides of the ball, are trying to see what they have to work .. in an IN GAME situation, and they adjust from that.  That's having a completely new coaching staff.


September 17th, 2011 at 7:25 PM ^

But I wonder how much of that is due to defensive success and how much is due to offensive failure. Their running game is great this year, but their passing is dismal. Against a more well-rounded offense, I seriously doubt we could hold them to 3.


September 17th, 2011 at 1:42 PM ^

without your gramatical errors, I still don't understand this post, seems like flamebait to me.  It is very hard to expect major change in a few games; it is a process.  It takes at least two years to install a zone defense, even for NFL players.  As the coaches continue to stress technique and accountability, you will continue to see improvement.  I've seen some already. There is, absolutely, a lot of work left for these players and coaches to become a big ten title contender, but the strides are being taken in the right place.

When you're starting on the bottom, the only direction to go is up.  Give it some more time, please.


September 17th, 2011 at 1:44 PM ^

If we keep contain, we will be fine. I'm not sure what film they watched during the week, but the D almost looked surprised at times. They've had a chance to settle in though and the coaches will make the proper adjustments.


September 17th, 2011 at 1:45 PM ^ you remember last year that we had the worst defense in the history of Michigan football.  Guess what--we have the same players.  Yes our defensive staff is much better but they are still working with the same pieces.  It is going to take time to get these players enough game experience as well as to get new recruits in that are ready to play.  It is also quite clear that this staff is better at making in game and between game adjustments.  Relax and step away from the ledge.


September 17th, 2011 at 2:07 PM ^

Our defense hasn't been the problem this game, so I don't know what sparked this post. Today, they've been put in awful field position all day long, but only given up 3 points, forced two turnovers, and made big plays when necessary. They struggeled earlier on, but after the second EMU drive, have looked much better. In EMU's last 21 caries, they only have 62 yards, but if you take away the garbage yards Michigan gave them before the missed field goal at the end of the half, it's 17 for 42. Throwing the ball they're 3/5 for 29 yards and pick. Our defense has been fine. And as I'm typing, we get a sack, making the yardage even better.

The two biggest problem I see are revolving around Denard. One is the fact that he's had to run the ball this much in a game vs EMU. I don't like seeing all the hits he's taking. Second is his passing. He's looked very bad passing the ball, and there may be some cause for concern there. Luckily our RBs as a unit have looked solid as a unit. Our special teams have been inconsistent though, which could be a cause for concern, but they should improve when Hagerup gets back.



September 17th, 2011 at 2:08 PM ^

Part of this is the fact our O rarely sustains drives. They have only played 7 quarters on both O and D to learn and adapt to very different styles...chill. We can make conclusions on both units after the bowl game. I for one am happy with the progress teh D has made


September 17th, 2011 at 2:12 PM ^

If this was a Llyod defense no one would be complainig about the defense if it gave up 3 points in the first 3 quarters. It is a work in progress. We have upgraded the tackling and general soundess of the defense already, the rest will come as the defense is better understood by the players and as the ability of our guys on defense rises with coming classes. Patience is a virtue.


September 17th, 2011 at 2:15 PM ^

Dude you heard the BTN announcers...NO SLEDS for practice.....WTF!   I really wounder what kind of focus RR put on the any?!   Give them time this year the starters to bring them self to the surface and let the system set in.


September 17th, 2011 at 2:40 PM ^

Question: why is Woolfolk playing with that big cast on his arm? Seems like it might make it a tad difficult to catch a ball or even just grab on to something.


September 17th, 2011 at 2:43 PM ^

In the first year? Not only is this still a young defense, but they're not nearly as deep as anyone would like and they're playing under their third defensive coordinator in four years.

While they're nowhere near consistent, they do seem to be making improvements. Unfortunately they will be up and down, and they will continue to be up and down until Hoke has the talent *and* experience level back to where he wants it to be. Which won't be next year either.


September 17th, 2011 at 2:43 PM ^

I thought this was going to be a productive thread, but I should have figured that it was a reactionary thread. Our defense looks much better than last year. It doesn't look great, but they're making play and even forcing turnovers. I don't like everything I've seen, but I've seen progress too. It's going to take a while.

Blue Durham

September 17th, 2011 at 4:45 PM ^

on the basis of points per game, Llyod Carr had 8 of the 10 (as I recall, I calculated this a year ago) worse defenses in the history of Michigan football at the time of his retirement.  The downward trend on defense began the day Bo retired.

Under Rodriguez, the trend was accellerated.  Hopefully Hoke and Mattison can reverse this and get us closer to Bo-type defenses.  But it will take a few years, not a few months.

Blue Durham

September 17th, 2011 at 6:22 PM ^

general have gotten more sophistocated and better.  But to a lesser extent, so have the defenses.  The Big 10 is also currently better overrall, but our out-of-conference schedule is currently a lot easier than what it used to be (we never used to schedule MAC teams, only schools from major, or what is referred to today as BCS, conferences). 

Point taken, there is an effect, but under Carr Michigan in the 2000's was giving up almost twice what Bo's teams were giving up in the '80's, and about 3 times that of Bo's teams from the '70's.  I saw those teams, I don't think the numbers lie, Bo's defenses were much better.

Carr's potent offenses compared to Bo's one dimensional ones, on the other hand, is a totally different story.


September 17th, 2011 at 6:40 PM ^

It's all offenses. The game rules and style has heavily skewed to offense at all levels. And the Big Ten has gone from a league all running offenses like Bo's but with a lot less talent (scholarship reductions evened it out), to a sport where passing is king. I think you could find any great program and see their defensive numbers not look as impressive as they did in the 70's. Same thing in the NFL (look at Monday night). The only thing you can really look at is where they ranked in a given year among all the other teams of that era (and that's still not fair because playing defense in the Big Ten or PAC-10 in the 70's was a whole different animal). I don't know that one more OOC cupcake really accounts for dregs like Wisconsin and Northwestern being offensive machines. It's just a different sport now.

Blue Durham

September 17th, 2011 at 6:51 PM ^

favored more offense, and that it is best to compare teams within an era as opposed to across eras.  Still holds that Bo's teams' strengths (when compared to their contemporaries) were defense and running the ball.  Carr's was a balanced, potent offense; a strong defense was not characteristic with the important exception of 1997.

Funny thing, though.  Now that I think about it, there were quite a few similarities in the kicking game that RR's had and that of Bo's.