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Friday April 18, 2014
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Reanimating Michigan Football

 

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The DL lost two starters, but Quinton Washington is back at the nose and will be pushed by sophomore Ondre Pipkins. With three quality rush ends (Frank Clark, Mario Ojemudia, and true frosh Taco Charlton), Mattison was able to move Jibreel Black inside. Black is a bit undersized, but the plan is to overcome that with his quickness. (That may sound silly, but Mattison has some history of making these kinds of adjustments work.) Willie Henry, a promising redshirt frosh, will also play. Redshirt frosh Chris Wormley may get a look here or at the strong side defensive end. There is plenty of depth--a Mattison staple is using many defensive linemen to keep them fresh.

Aside from the strong safety, the biggest question is at the strong side DE. While Mattison has highly regarded recruits lined up to compete there, the position, like center, probably won't be decided until a week or two before the opener.

So, Michigan has holes or maybe just potential holes. On offense, it isn't clear what the structure will look like, or if the structure can overcome the hypothetical weakness in the middle of the line. I am betting, though, that this will work. On defense, as Lloyd Carr has said, "You are only as good as your worst player." This may be a slight exaggeration, but the fact that nine of eleven positions seem solid doesn't mean the D will follow suit. One or two of Hoke's young players will need to break out.

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