Cutting down on penalties a focus for the Michigan secondary moving forward
Mike Zordich is the secondary coach at the University of Michigan, which at the moment isn’t something one wants slipping out in mixed company.
The Wolverines secondary has been on the defensive—and not in the good way—all season, playing poor technique while consistently taking terrible, critical penalties at the worst moments, costing their team not just first downs, but points.
Coach Zordich—once a defensive back himself out of tough old Youngstown, Ohio before playing under Joe Paterno at Penn State—has made fixing it a priority. Over Michigan’s first four games the Wolverines have taken 29 penalties for 209 yards averaging out to more than seven per game and 74-yards. While not all of those penalties have been on the defensive backs, a concerning percentage has been.
“Shoot man,” Zordich told the Detroit News. “I think we’ve already maxed out from last year’s DPIs [defensive pass interference] and or holdings. In the past we might have had one a game. Certainly that hasn’t been the case this year. It’s certainly something we’ve focused on.”
The pass interference penalties have taken a toll on the groups confidence as they’ve been consistently torched during Michigan’s startlingly bad 1-3 start to the season, a start that has amplified noise from across the country calling for the immediate dismissal of head coach Jim Harbaugh. The Wolverines might have an opportunity to get back on track Saturday in Piscataway, New Jersey, where they kick off at 6:30 pm ET against Rutgers on the Big Ten Network.