Michigan Football: 3 keys to improving Wolverines defense in 2019

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(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

There have been a lot of questions about the offense this offseason, but what about the defense? Here are three ways it can improve in 2019.

Over the past three years, Michigan football has put up some great numbers defensively. The numbers just haven’t always been great when it matters the most.

Last season, Michigan football’s defense was spectacular for most of the season. There were the first-half struggles against Notre Dame, but outside of that, just four of the first 11 opponents scored 20 points or more and none more than the 24 scored by the Irish in that opening week.

The dominance of that unit, along with the efficiency of the offense, made the Wolverines very tough to beat. It’s why they won 10 consecutive games, including three over ranked teams in Wisconsin, Michigan State and Penn State.

The Wolverines beat up teams during their 10-game winning steak. They ran over them and punched them in the mouth. Only that didn’t happen in Columbus. The Buckeyes threw all over Michigan football and ran up 62 points in the most embarrassing defeat of the Jim Harbaugh era.

Then, Florida followed that up by scoring 41 points in a 26-point triumph. Turnovers helped and so did the fact that the defense didn’t have Devin Bush Jr. or Rashan Gary. But still, some weaknesses were exposed and even though the defense has continually ranked high under Brown, it hasn’t been great against elite teams.

Of course, in today’s world of college football, expecting a defense to completely dominate elite offenses is just foolish. That’s not the name of the game anymore. But the Michigan defense has to be better in big games than it was a year ago and here are three ways it could improve in 2019.

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