Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Mattison feels good about Michigan's defense

The Michigan Wolverines didn’t have their best year ever. In fact, it was quite a disappointment considering the expectations of the Brady Hoke era.

By this point, Michigan was expected to be competing for the Big Ten Championship, if not better. Instead, the Wolverines finished the season with a 7-5 record, and that included losses to rivals Ohio State and Michigan State.

One of the big disappointments of the season was the play of Michigan’s defense, especially considering the success defensive coordinator Greg Mattison has had with the unit in years past. He took unit that was truly abysmal in the Rich Rodriguez era, and made it more than respectable.

The Wolverines’ defense was ranked No. 17 nationally in total defense in 2011, and No. 13 in 2012.

This season though, the Wolverines were ranked No. 38. Michigan gave up 26.5 points per game (65th nationally), 228 yards per game through the air and 139.42 yards on the ground.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Still, with all that said, Mattison feels good about his defense heading into Michigan’s bowl game with Kansas State, per Chantel Jennings of

“It seems like we’re freer, like we’re flying around and the guys are kind of communicating better,” Mattison said. “They’re kind of talking before every drill, ‘Let’s do this, let’s do that’ — the things you’re looking for all the time for a young defense that grows up. It’s like they really have a sense of urgency.”

Michigan’s defense is going to have to play urgent against the Wildcats, because they’re putting up 33.4 points per game. The two will meet in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on Saturday, December 28th.

Tags: Big Ten Brady Hoke Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl College Football Michigan Wolverines Rich Rodriguez

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