Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Wolverine Wednesday: Time to Shift Worry from OLine to DLine

How many years did we worry about Michigan's offense line?  10 years maybe?  It seem liked forever that Michigan couldn't block anyone and was going through offense line coaches like Harbaugh goes through khaki's.  

Then Harbaugh hires Ed Warriner and he starts turning talented prospects into NFL prospects.  There is even camp noise that a walk-on (Andrew Vastardis) may challenge for a starting spot.   The offensive line is in good shape with little to no concerns they will play well this season.   

The area where we haven't had any concern is Defensive Line.  The likes of Big Mo, Winovich, Taco, Danna, Gary, and Mone made this one of the best units in the Big Ten.   Those guys are now in the NFL and Michigan is struggling to fill the voids.  Carlo Kemp has been in the program for 10 years and has yet to be a difference maker, Jeter who gets hype every year has yet to see success on the field, Mazi Smith has little to no camp buzz, Hutchinson and Hinton both have a very high ceiling, and Michigan has a high round draft prospect with Paye. 

Is Depth a concern?  It depends what they get out of this group that Don Brown mentioned: "The guys that improved, Luiji Vilain is certainly playing at a higher level. Gabe Newburg and this Kris Jenkins is going to be a really good player. He's a freshman, and you're going to hear about him as we move forward. Over behind Kwity, Taylor Upshaw is much bigger in the 256 to 260 range where he was probably 235 a year ago, so he's able ot handle the run game but still fast and quick and his pass rushing ability is outstanding. Mike Morris is a guy that was hurt most of last year. He's also out there. He's 6-6, he's 275 pounds."

We also didn't mention Phil Pea and Jess Speight who we hope have made improvements on clogging up the middle.   Let us not forget, Michigan has a FB playing on the Dline last year.  

This unit has to play well, because Michigan is going to have issues in the secondary.   The best way to protect a secondary is getting to the QB fast and against Minnesota this will be a huge priority.   I also hope Don Brown's blitz aren't so obvious because Minnesota has been preparing a "hot receiver" off of those blitz for a couple of months.   Michigan has great LB's and I hope they are not in the backfield watching a Gophers RB running catching a pass wide open for 15 yards.  

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