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What Ever Happened to UM's Once Vaunted Defenses

+1 HS
jpfbucks01's picture
December 2, 2019 at 9:12am

I have been an OSU fan for my entire 57 year life. My earliest memories are the 1968 season.

Reflecting on how we have dominated UM in the last 20 years or so, i have been struck by just how bad UM is on defense against elite offenses anymore. And this goes back many years

Since teams started moving to more west coast, air raid and Spread concepts on offense, UM has had major struggles keeping those teams under 30 a game.

Back in the 90's and earlier UM was not only consistently a dominant defense against the little sisters of the poor as they are now, but also in big games too

Take their 97 title team, the most points they allowed in a game that year was 24 to Iowa and otherwise it was 16.

But soon after that, thru the end of Carr's tenure, into Rich Rod and Hoke and now Harbaugh, against essentially equal talent, they get torched

in 1998 his team gave up 30+ 4 times losing 3 of those games, in 99 there were 3 more games of plus 30 and 2 losses, in 2000 they gave up 54 to NW, in 01 they gave up 45 to Tenn

in 04 they ended the year giving up 37 to us and then 38 to Texas, in 06 they gave up 42 to us and then 32 to USC to end the year and soon there after came Rich Rod's terrible defenses and even Hoke's next to last team gave up 30+ 5 times that year losing 3 of them and in his last season allowing 30+ 4 times losing all of them

Now we have the Harbaugh regime where at least the number of games giving up over 30 has diminished, but still against spread type teams they often still get torched

In 2015 UM gave up 41 to Indiana and 42 to us

in 16 it was 30 plus in the last 2 games, in 17 it was 42 to PSU and 31 to us

in 18 it was 62 and 41 in the last 2 games and this year 35 to Wisky and 56 to us

IE anytime they have played a good offense, their defense, going back almost 2 decades has played poorly.

All teams have bad games defensively now and then

But since 1998, UM has had 74 games in which they have allowed at least 30 points

OSU in that same time frame has allowed 30+ only 38 such games or essentially half as many

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