Michigan Football Preview 2013

2013 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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GettingWill Be Young Better The Secondary But Talented In 2013 DB Fifth-year senior Thomas Gordon started all 13 games at free safety in 2012 and posted a career-high 81 tackles, plus added four hits for loss, one sack, one forced fumble and two interceptions. photo by per kjeldsen F By Chris Balas ootball coaches always enter seasons hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. For Michigan's staff last year, losing sophomore cornerback Blake Countess would have been secondary coach Curt Mallory's worst-case scenario given the lack of depth in the defensive backfield — and probably defensive coordinator Greg Mattison's, too, given Countess' importance as one of the team's top playmakers. The 2012 Wolverines weren't even halfway into the first game when Countess went down with a freak, non-contact injury while covering a punt. A team already reeling caved in a blowout loss to Alabama at Cowboys' Stadium in Arlington, Texas. While the secondary did improve, surrendering big plays in the passing game was the culprit in many of the team's five losses. The Michigan mantra "the expectation is for the position" was put to the test, and the group responded with mixed results in an 8-5 campaign. "Guys had to step up," Mallory said, matter of factly. "Fortunately we had a guy like [senior cornerback] Courtney Avery who had played a lot of football, and [junior] Raymon Taylor who played a significant amount his freshman year. It was time for those guys to take a new role and step up their game. "Now we're getting Blake back, and that adds some competition. We also had guys who stepped up their roles in the spring like [junior cornerback] Delonte Hollowell." Pass Defense Year-By-Year YardsTDs Year Yards Per Game Allowed 20122,203 169.5 16 20112,476 190.5 12 20103,404 261.8 21 20092,657 221.4 18 20082,760 230.0 19 YardsTDs Year Yards Per Game Allowed 20072,325 178.8 14 20062,924 224.9 19 20052,494 207.8 14 20042,435 202.9 14 20032,374 180.5 9 The Wolverine 2013 Football Preview  ■ 153

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