The Michigan football defense has been suffocating so far, is it the best under Jim Harbaugh?
Jim Harbaugh and Michigan football have had some great defenses since Harbaugh arrived on campus in 2015. In the 2017 NFL draft, eight players from the elite 2016 defense were drafted. In 2021, Michigan football had the best EDGE tandem in the nation with Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo.
The Wolverines have had seven defensive first-round draft picks under Harbaugh (there would have been eight if Ojabo didn’t tear his Achilles). In short, Michigan has had some elite defenses under Jim Harbaugh. But could 2023 be his best defense yet? There’s a strong ‘yes’ case here.
This is the third season of Michigan’s new defensive scheme, brought over by Mike Macdonald. The defense is based on the premise of bending, not breaking. The Wolverines have prioritized stopping big plays, and that has allowed them to have tremendous team success.
With it being year three of the system, the players know the defense like the back of their hand. There should be very few miscues, and thus far in the 2023 season, there haven’t been many. In this article, I’m going to make the case for the 2023 Michigan defense being the best that Jim Harbaugh has ever had.
Through three games, the Michigan football defense is the best in the nation statistically. They rank as the number one scoring defense, allowing only 5.3 points per game, and number two in total yards allowed. Oh, and the starters have only allowed six points, and even that was lucky considering the turnover problems the Wolverines had against Bowling Green.
Yes, they’ve played nobody yet. They’ve also been without two All-American candidates in the secondary Will Johnson and Rod Moore and are only going to get better as the season progresses. So why is this the best defense Jim Harbaugh has had? Two words. Starpower everywhere.