Michigan defensive staff says secondary 'in a little slump' right now
Michigan is off to a 1-2 start and a major factor is the subpar play of the pass defense.
Michigan ranks 104th nationally in passing yards per game (287.3). In the last two weeks, Michigan has allowed 323 passing yards to Michigan State and 342 passing yards against Indiana.
Next up for Michigan is a primetime showdown on Saturday against visiting No. 13 Wisconsin. Wisconsin has not played the last two weeks due to a COVID-19 outbreak but its passing game looked strong in their lone contest.
Quarterback Graham Mertz completed 20 of his 21 passes for 248 yards and 5 touchdowns in a 45-7 rout vs. Illinois.
Michigan cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich said on the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show that his unit is currently in a “little slump”. First-year starting cornerbacks Vincent Gray and Gemon Green are taking their lumps as they learn on the job.
Zordich believes Michigan can rectify their woes in the secondary.
“Guys are working hard. They’re working on their techniques. We’re going to get it fixed, for sure,” Zordich said via The Detroit News. “You’ve got to take the good with the bad. Right now, we’re just in a little slump, but we’re fighting through it.”
Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown lamented the criticism aimed at the players.
“I could care less for me. We have an outstanding coach (Jim Harbaugh) who does a tremendous job, and I just think he’s a perfect head coach, so that part of it, and I don’t like to see criticism of players,” Brown said on 97.1 The Ticket. “I just think that’s over the top when you’re talking about 18- to 22-year-old young men that are just trying to do the best they can for Michigan.”
In practice, Michigan’s pass defense looks solid but once game day rolls around it’s been a totally different story.
Zordich is taking full accountability to ensure what he sees during the week is translated during games.
“Why is it different? That’s something that I’ve got to figure out, and I’ve got to get these guys right,” Zordich said. “We’re going to do some different things in individual (drills) to help them fix that problem.”