MICHIGAN FOOTBALL DEFENSIVE LINE

The 2013 Michigan Football Defensive Line has been a continuing disappointment in Wolverine Football History. One thought that the addition of Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison would improve the defensive line, but it has not.

2013

Category Defensive Rank Big Ten Rank
Rushing 31st 5th
Passing 63rd 8th
Total 42nd 6th
Scoring 66th 8th
Pass Efficiency 52nd 6th
Sacks 67th 7th

Tackles for Loss

Turnover Margin

Turnovers Gained

91st

35th

22nd

9th

3rd

2nd

First Downs 48th 7th
3rd Down Conversions 53rd 8th
Red Zone 93rd 9th
Over the last 53 years since 1960, the Michigan football program has had a tremendous reputation for offensive linemen; the opposite is true on the other side of the football. Our defensive linemen have been traditionally linebackers who have been "beefed up" from 220-230 lbs. when they arrive to 260 to 280 lbs. after Mike Gittelson, Mike Barwis, and Aaron Wellman and their appetites help to increase their body size. There are many examples, but recent ones include Craig Roh and Brennan Beyer. We also use an "angle" scheme with our lineman which smart offensive lines learn how to defeat. It is no mistake that some of our best teams in the modern era (since Bo in 1969) had great defensive linemen; for example, in 1997, Glenn Steele, in 1986, Mark Messner, late 1970s, Curtis Greer, 1971-74, Dave Gallagher, Greg Morton, etc. Here are some facts about our defensive line and its history:
History of Defensive Tackle/Nose Tackle/Middle Guard position on the Michigan Football team

All-American Defensive Tackles at Michigan (11): Bill Yearby, Henry Hill, Dave Gallagher, Curtis Greer, Mike Hammerstein, Mark Messner, Chris Hutchinson, Jason Horn, Will Carr, Glen Steele and Bob Renes

Academic All-American: Bob Renes
2nd Team: Chris Hutchinson

Outland Trophy: None

Vince Lombardi/Rotary Award: None
Finalist: Mark Messner
Semi-Finalists: Bob Renes, Lamarr Woodley

Big Ten Linemen of the Year: Mark Messner and Chris Hutchinson

All Big Ten (30): Tom Keating, Joe O'Donnell, Bill Yearby, Tom Cecchini, Tom Mack, Don Bailey, Tom Goss, Pete Newell, Henry Hill, Fred Grambeau, Dave Gallagher, Jeff Perlinger, Tim Davis, Greg Morton, Curtis Greer, Mike Trgovac, Kevin Brooks, Al Sincich, Mark Messner, Mike Evans, Chris Hutchinson, Buster Stanley, Jason Horn, Will Carr, Glen Steele, Bob Renes, Gabe Watson, Lamarr Woodley and Brandon Graham

Academic All-Big Ten (10): Joe Dayton, Juaquin Feazell, Jake Frysinger, Dave Gallagher, Chris Hutchinson, Bill Keating, Dale Keitz, John Marcum, Joe O'Donnell and Bob Renes

Big Ten Medal of Honor: Dave Gallagher and Bob Renes

Elected Captains (15): Bob Brown, Joe O'Donnell, Tom Cecchini, Henry Hill, Dave Gallagher, Mark Messner, Chris Hutchinson, Juaquin Feazell, Bob Renes, Eric Wilson, Grant Bowman, Pat Massey, Lamarr Woodley, Brandon Graham and Mike Martin

Most Starts: Craig Roh 51 (not all on DL, some at LB), Mark Messner 49, Bob Renes, Glen Steele and Al Sincich 37, Billy Harris 35, Greg Morton and Josh Williams 34, Buster Stanley, Chris Hutchinson, Curtis Greer and Dale Keitz 33, Pat Massey 32

Michigan Linemen drafted by the Pros (seriously) and/or played in the NFL (25): Tom Keating, Arnie Simkus, Joe O'Donnell, Tom Mack, Bill Yearby, Dave Porter, Cecil Pryor, Tom Beckman, Fred Grambeau, Dave Gallagher, Doug Troszak, Walt Williamson, Greg Morton, John Hennessy, Curtis Greer, Kevin Brooks, Mike Hammerstein, Mark Messner, Brent White, Mike Evans, Will Carr, Ben Huff, Glen Steele, Josh Williams, Bob Renes (even Mark Messner was converted to a linebacker in the pros by the Los Angeles Rams)

The only 1st round draft picks were Bill Yearby in 1966, Dave Gallagher in 1974, Curtis Greer in 1980 and Kevin Brooks in 1985-Will Senior Bowl MVP Brandon Graham become a 1st Rounder in May, 2010

All Pro Defensive Lineman: Tom Keating 1964-75; All Pro-1966-67

Year Sacks

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

25

22

30

18

21

29

32

42

24

21

2003 29
2002 42
2001 50
2000 21
1999 29

1998

1997

37

42

In 2011 and 2012, we improved from the 2008-2010 teams under the leadership and coaching of Greg Mattison.

2012

Category Defensive Rank Big Ten Rank
Rushing 56th 6th
Passing 2nd 2nd
Total 12th 3rd
Scoring 20th 3rd
Pass Efficiency 35th 8th
Sacks 87th 10th

Tackles for Loss

Turnover Margin

Turnovers Gained

52nd

100th

83rd

3rd

10th

9th

First Downs 25th 4th
3rd Down Conversions 36th 6th
Red Zone 70th 9th

2011

Category Defensive Rank Big Ten Rank
Rushing 35th 3rd
Passing 17th 6th
Total 17th 5th
Scoring 7th 3rd
Pass Efficiency 35th 6th
Sacks 26th 4th

Tackles for Loss

Turnover Margin

Turnovers Gained

73rd

26th

26th

6th

3rd

1st

First Downs 16th 4th
3rd Down Conversions 30th 3rd
Red Zone 4th 1st

In 2010, we ranked 109th in total defense with only 18 sacks. In the Big Ten, we rank 10th in rushing and scoring defense and 11th in total and pass defense plus first downs allowed. Our red zone defense was ranked 6th in the Big Ten.

Category Defensive Rank Big Ten Rank
Rushing 94th 10th
Passing 110th 11th
Total 109th 11th
Scoring 102nd 10th
Pass Efficiency 97th 9th
Sacks 94th 7th

Tackles for Loss

Turnover Margin

Turnovers Gained

75th

110th

75th

5th

11th

n/a

First Downs 104th 11th
3rd Down Conversions 84th 8th
Red Zone 70th 6th

Michigan Football Position Greats

Michigan Football Sack Masters

2008 versus 2009: Lack of Michigan Defense

2008 Big Ten Rank NCAA Category 2009 Big Ten Rank
51st 6th Rushing 91st 10th
87th 9th Passing 67th 7th
66th 9th Total 82nd 9th
90th 10th Scoring 81st 9th
81st 10th Pass Efficiency 74th 7th
107th 11th Turnover Margin 112th 11th
35th 6th Sacks 72nd 10th

2007 Season: Our defense was ranked #27 in scoring defense, #58 in rushing defense, #10 in pass defense, #17 in pass efficiency defense and #26 in total defense. We are ranked #30 nationally in sacks with 31, #28 in turnover margin and #24 in tackles for loss. Defense did a horrible job against the run this year especially against Wisconsin, Ohio State, Oregon and Appalachian State, our four losses. We obviously can't stop spread offenses because we don't practice against spread offenses, and we don't recruit the personnel who can simulate spread offenses in practice. Our defense had zero sacks against Wisconsin and Ohio State to close the season, and the defense only created one turnover in each game. They couldn't stop teams in the second half when we needed them to do so; however, they did come up with strong closing efforts against Penn State, Illinois and Michigan State in the end. Our pass defense really improved when Donovan Warren became the starter, and Johnny Sears left the team. If we can recruit some strong safeties to go along with the strong linebacking core that we recruited, and four returning starters on our defensive line, that will help give us a strong nucleus for next season. I'd give the defense an overall grade of B- for 2007; they did a good job and our losses were more attributable to a lack of offense than a strong defense. The offense left them out on the field way too long in the Wisconsin and Ohio State games, and offensive failure to convert early opportunities contributed to the Oregon fiasco. Pin the Appalachian State loss on the defense, but had Engelmon started the season ins