What You Need To Know About The Michigan Defense
– If this isn’t one of the five best defenses in college football, it’ll be close. Nine starters return from a group that finished third in the country in yards allowed and 13th in scoring D, giving up 271 yards and 19 points per game.
Heart-and-soul tackle Maurice Hurst is done up front, and second-leading tackler Mike McCray is gone, but the rest of the Wolverines are terrific, with a whole slew of them destined for all-star status.
Rashan Gary might be stuck in a year when defensive tackle talent is at an all-time level, but when it comes to the 2019 NFL Draft – if he comes out – he’s as talented as any in the country. With him working as a big end or ultra-quick tackle, and with pass rushing star Chase Winovich on the outside, the line will be fantastic again.
– The 5-11, 222-pound Devin Bush might not be all that big, but he’s a tackling machine – leading the team with 102 stops – flying around from his spot in the middle. He can get into the backfield, too. Put him on several All-America short lists.
Khaleke Hudson isn’t Jabrill Peppers, but he’s a productive tweener on the outside finishing third on the team in stops. Now the job is to find another outside playmaker for McCray, with 6-2, 220-pound Devin Gil the likely first option after being a part of the rotation last season.
Biggest Key To The Michigan Defense
24 points. That seems to be the magic number for the Michigan defense. with nine of the 11 losses in the Jim Harbaugh era coming when the D allowed 24 or more, starting out with the 24-17 opening era loss to Utah.
With an improved offense – at least that’s the hope – a little more scoring should take the pressure off the D after going 0-4 last season when giving up 24. But lock down, and all is fine, going 25-2 under Harbaugh when allowing under the mark.