The Wolverine

2013 Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Under Mattison, the Wolverines ranked No. 13 in the nation in total defense last year, surrendering 320.0 yards per game, and they were No. 20 in scoring defense, allowing an average of 19.9 points per contest. M Fast And Furious By John Borton ichigan's defense will long remember how the 2012 season ended. No game hinges on one play, but when a team gets beaten in a bowl by a bomb with 11 seconds remaining, explosive little mental reminders go off in the consciousness all winter long. DEfense Q&A U-M's defenders still think about the Outback Bowl and their last-second loss to South Carolina, but only in the sense of learning and growing. They excitedly talk about this being the fastest, most athletic defense since Brady Hoke rolled into town. They'll have a chance to build on some pretty solid defensive numbers from the past two seasons. Last year, the Wolverines ranked No. 13 in the nation in total defense, surrendering 320.0 yards per game. They were No. 20 in scoring defense, with foes checking in at an average of 19.9 points per contest. photo by lon horwedel Coordinator Greg Mattison Sees U-M Defense Getting After It U-M stood fifth in the nation in pass defense, allowing 169.5 yards per contest. Still, the Outback Bowl and the Gamecocks' big plays through the air underscored the work left to do. Areas of concern involved the pass rush, producing an average of 1.69 quarterback takedowns per game, no better than tied for 78th in the nation. Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison intends to rectify that issue in a very hands-on fashion, coaching Michigan's defensive ends this season. He also knows the Wolverines need to 128  ■  The Wolverine 2013 Football Preview force more turnovers. Mattison sees in this group of Michigan players the sort of pursuit ability to get that accomplished. He's excited as always for the fall — but his 2013 crew features more weapons backing him up. The Wolverine: Why are so many people, starting with the head coach, excited about this Michigan defense? Mattison: "First of all, you have a bunch of guys that are like old Michigan. They love football. They're athletically talented, and

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