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My name is Eric. My love of and loyalty to the University of Alabama football team is unparalleled and completely inappropriate. I hate all other teams, and wish them peril. Also, you can hear my music at www.reverbnation.com/EricBlackerby or www.youtube.com/EricBlackerbyMusic

Friday, August 24, 2012

Scouting Michigan (The Defense)

Greg Mattison with FS Thomas Gordon
On defense, Michigan went from 106th in the country in 2010, allowing 35 points a game to 6th in the country in 2011, allowing somewhere around 17. That is due to their defense coordinator Greg Mattison, who was there for his first year in 2011. That is a HUGE jump and Mattison really deserves a hell of alot of credit for such a turnaround

Today, I will go position by position and tell you what to expect to see Alabama's offense going up against on Sept. 1


Michigan will be having to replace their ENTIRE D-Line this year. They will be starting ALL NEW STARTERS against Alabama. Every player on their line will be starting their FIRST GAME against the best offensive line in the nation

That is not a good recipe for success

This is all assuming that their best D Lineman, Frank Clark, doesn't play in the game. He was arrested for DUI recently and Hoke is stating that he will be suspended for at least the 1st game.

Both defensive ends that could be the starters, Craig Roh and Brennan Breyer, are lightweights compared to who they will be facing on the Alabama line. Roh is about 270 and Breyer is about 230. They will each face a 6-6+ 330+ giant in Cyrus Kouandjio and DJ Fluker

There really isn't much reason to expect this line to get after AJ very much. Our running game will have to worry more about the linebackers than the defensive line


As much of a liability the D-Line will be against Bama, these guys should make alot of the tackles in the game. This will be the strength of Michigan's defense. Kenny Demens is the returning vet in the middle. He's a really good player. Most of the other guys they played at these positions last year were freshmen and sophomores, but several of those guys have bright futures.

The other two projected starters are Jake Ryan and Desmond Morgan and Mattison has spoken highly of these guys as potential vocal leaders. To play LB for Mattison you have to be vocal and play with passion. Does that sound familiar, Bama fans? 

I think they will be fine at this position and really awesome in the next couple years with Mattison


The secondary is an area that Michigan has had a little trouble recruiting over the last few year, but with that said, this should be an improved area of the team, and another strength that will make up for the line

The starting tandem of JT Floyd and Blake Countess are pretty decent. Not SEC level, but should be above average in the Big Ten. Floyd had a shaky start last year and allowed alot of big plays. He isn't very good in man coverage, and that will be the area he has to improve upon this year

Countess on the other hand, should be considered for All-Big Ten honors this year. He is their best pure cover corner. The only knock on him has been his size, cause he's a small guy and wasn't very good tackling bigger players last year. That would be a huge problem for him against Bama, but he is said to have bulked up and gotten tougher over the offseason

Jordan Kovacs. You will hear this name alot Saturday
Michigan also returns both starters at the Safety position. Jordan Kovacs is the leader of the defense. Their best defensive player. Kovacs will be the name you hear most often in on the tackles and breaking up passes, if AJ is off the mark, or even if he isn't. Kovacs is better at blitzing and tackling than he is at covering though, but he is one of the smartest guys on the team. He seems like kind of a Vinnie Sunseri type. Thomas Gordon is the Free Safety. He isn't as tall as Michigan fans would like for him to be, but he is good against the run as well

Overall, the secondary and linebackers should be a challenge for Bama. In the Big Ten, they will be among the top units. In the SEC though, they would be behind 4 or 5 teams in talent level

Either way, this defense should be a good early test for the passing game, which Saban has said we are going to open up more of this year

I trust AJ will have a good game, with the protection he should get from our line against theirs

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