Michigan’s defense deciding factor against Norte Dame

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 9: Rashan Gary /

The Michigan football season opens against Notre Dame this year. Michigan’s defense will be the reason why they will win.

In just a couple of days, the Michigan football team will head to South Bend to face Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish for their football season opener. After a three year hiatus, the old rivalry has been renewed.

The last game didn’t go so well for Michigan, where the Irish crushed the Wolverines to a tune of 31-0. The Wolverines are looking for blood. They want to avenge that loss and make Notre Dame feel the wrath.

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Michigan returns a plethora of returning starters for their defense this year. They will have 9 of their 11 starters from last year heading up the defense. The continuity they bring to the table will be the reason why Michigan will be on top this year.

The Wolverines bring one of the best 1-2 punches along the defensive line in college football, with Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich leading the pack. Gary is being talked about as a Top 5 pick in the 2019 NFL draft. Winovich brings plenty of experience and will play on the opposite side. Aubrey Solomon looks to have an increased role this year and Michael Dwumfour is looking good as Maurice Hurst‘s replacement.

The linebackers are no slacks along the front seven for Michigan. Devin Bush is returning as the heart of the Wolverines defense. Bush recorded 102 tackles and five sacks last year. Expectations will be high for Bush especially returning another year in Don Brown’s system where he is able to showcase his talents as a blitzing linebacker. With Khaleke Hudson sporting a nice season last year, these two should pick up where they left off.

The reason why Michigan was the best pass defense last year was the cornerback tandem of Lavert Hill and David Long. Hill started last year in place of the departed Jourdan Lewis. Hill was able to break up seven passes, pick off two, and record five tackles for loss. On top of that, he only allowed 13 receptions against him. Long upped Hill by only allowing nine receptions. With both of them returning, they should have no problem making Michigan the best pass defense again this year.

The safety position is probably the weakest group out of the bunch. They are returning last years starters Josh Metellus and Tyree Kinell. Both of them were bullied against the likes of Penn State and Ohio State last year, especially in man coverage. Michigan has enough depth behind them just in case things go south quickly but expect these two to step up and learn from last years mistake.

Expect the Irish to run a lot in this game. Notre Dame’s QB Brandon Wimbush lives on his feet because of his inaccuracies as a passer. The expectations are the Wolverines will continue their regain as the best pass defense, so don’t expect Wimbush to get far with his arm. With a stout front seven, it’ll be even more difficult for Notre Dame to run the ball as well. It’ll be a long day for Norte Dame if Michigan’s defense is completely in sync.

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This defense should make a lot of Wolverine fans excited. Yes, they have a new QB in Shea Patterson, but the defense is what is going to make this team fun to watch. They have talent in every position and plenty of depth right behind them. They will get their first test against Notre Dame on the road. If they are able to showcase what everyone is anticipating, they should have no problems with the Fighting Irish.