MICHIGAN FOOTBALL DEFENSIVE LINE

Year Sacks

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

45

32

30

25

22

30

18

21

29

32

42

24

21

2003 29
2002 42
2001 50
2000 21
1999 29

1998

1997

37

42

Over the last 56 years since 1960, the Michigan football program has had a tremendous reputation for offensive linemen; the opposite is true on the other side of the football. Our defensive linemen have been traditionally linebackers who have been "beefed up" from 220-230 lbs. when they arrive to 260 to 280 lbs. after Mike Gittelson, Mike BarwisAaron Wellman and Kevin Tolbert help their appetites in an effort increase their body size. There are many examples, but recent ones include Craig Roh and Brennan Beyer. We have used an "angle" scheme with our lineman which smart offensive lines learn how to defeat. It is no mistake that some of our best teams in the modern era (since Bo in 1969) had great defensive linemen; for example, in 1997, Glenn Steele, in 1986, Mark Messner, late 1970s, Curtis Greer, 1971-74, Dave Gallagher, Greg Morton, etc. Here are some facts about our defensive line and its history:

History of Defensive Tackle/Nose Tackle/Middle Guard position on the Michigan Football team

All-American Defensive Tackles at Michigan (12): Bill Yearby, Henry Hill, Dave Gallagher, Curtis Greer, Mike Hammerstein, Mark Messner, Chris Hutchinson, Jason Horn, Will Carr, Glen Steele, Bob Renes, and Alan Branch

Academic All-American: Bob Renes
2nd Team: Chris Hutchinson

Outland Trophy: None

Vince Lombardi/Rotary Award: Lamarr Woodley (2006)
Finalist: Mark Messner
Semi-Finalist: Bob Renes 

Big Ten Linemen of the Year: Mike Hammerstein (1985), Mark Messner (1988), Chris Hutchinson (1992), and Lamarr Woodley (2006)

All Big Ten (32): Tom Keating, Joe O'Donnell, Bill Yearby, Tom Cecchini, Tom Mack, Don Bailey, Tom Goss, Pete Newell, Henry Hill, Fred Grambeau, Dave Gallagher, Jeff Perlinger, Tim Davis, Greg Morton, Curtis Greer, Mike Trgovac, Kevin Brooks, Al Sincich, Mark Messner, Mike Evans, Chris Hutchinson, Buster Stanley, Jason Horn, Will Carr, Glen Steele, Bob Renes, Gabe Watson, Lamarr Woodley, Brandon Graham, Alan Branch, and Mike Martin

Academic All-Big Ten (10): Joe Dayton, Juaquin Feazell, Jake Frysinger, Dave Gallagher, Chris Hutchinson, Bill Keating, Dale Keitz, John Marcum, Joe O'Donnell and Bob Renes

Big Ten Medal of Honor: Dave Gallagher and Bob Renes

Elected Captains (16): Bob Brown, Joe O'Donnell, Tom Cecchini, Henry Hill, Dave Gallagher, Mark Messner, Chris Hutchinson, Juaquin Feazell, Bob Renes, Eric Wilson, Grant Bowman, Pat Massey, Lamarr Woodley, Brandon Graham, Mike Martin and Chris Wormley

Most Starts: Craig Roh 51 (not all on DL, some at LB), Mark Messner 49, Bob Renes, Glen Steele, Mike Martin, and Al Sincich 37, Billy Harris 35, Greg Morton and Josh Williams 34, Buster Stanley, Chris Hutchinson, Curtis Greer and Dale Keitz 33, Pat Massey 32

Michigan Linemen drafted by the Pros (seriously) and/or played in the NFL (28): Tom Keating, Arnie Simkus, Joe O'Donnell, Tom Mack, Bill Yearby, Dave Porter, Cecil Pryor, Tom Beckman, Fred Grambeau, Dave Gallagher, Doug Troszak, Walt Williamson, Greg Morton, John Hennessy, Curtis Greer, Kevin Brooks, Mike Hammerstein, Mark Messner, Brent White, Mike Evans, Will Carr, Ben Huff, Glen Steele, Josh Williams, Bob Renes (even Mark Messner was converted to a linebacker in the pros by the Los Angeles Rams), Alan Branch, Mike Martin, and Willie Henry Mark Messner Tribute

The only 1st round draft picks were Bill Yearby in 1966, Dave Gallagher in 1974, Curtis Greer in 1980 and Kevin Brooks in 1985-Will Senior Bowl MVP Brandon Graham become a 1st Rounder in May, 2010

All Pro Defensive Lineman: Tom Keating 1964-75; All Pro-1966-67

Our defensive line in 2015 has been outstanding, and had three shutouts in a row for the first time since 1980. Chris Wormley, Maurice Hurst and Ryan Glasgow all really had good years, and the unfortunate injuries to Ojemudia and Glasgow really hurt. 

2015 Defensive Statistics

Category Defensive Rank Nationally Big Ten Rank
Rushing 16th 5th
Passing 3rd 1st
Total 4th 2nd
Scoring 6th 3rd
Pass Efficiency 1st 1st
Sacks 35th 5th

Tackles for Loss

Turnover Margin

Turnovers Gained

42nd

92nd

117th

4th

12th

14th

First Downs 12th 3rd
3rd Down Conversions 4th 1st
Red Zone 37th 9th

In 2011-2014, we improved from the 2008-2010 teams under the leadership and coaching of Greg Mattison. One thought that the addition of Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison would improve the defensive line, but it has not. We are not a "tough" football team defensively, and it shows in the red zone and when we need a big stop. Greg Mattison's own words about a great defense said that they are measured in 3rd down conversions, red zone, and turnovers gained, and we came up short in all 3 categories in 2014. As a result, we had 7 losses as a team.

2014 Defensive Statistics

Category Defensive Rank Big Ten Rank
Rushing 15th 4th
Passing 22nd 5th
Total 10th 4th
Scoring 28th 4th
Pass Efficiency 63rd 11th
Sacks 40th 7th

Tackles for Loss

Turnover Margin

Turnovers Gained

26th

120th

123rd

9th

14th

14th

First Downs 14th 5th
3rd Down Conversions 46th 8th
Red Zone 66th 7th

2013 Defensive Statistics

Category Defensive Rank Big Ten Rank
Rushing 31st 5th
Passing 63rd 8th
Total 42nd 6th
Scoring 66th 8th
Pass Efficiency 52nd 6th
Sacks 67th 7th

Tackles for Loss

Turnover Margin

Turnovers Gained

91st

22nd

n/a

9th

2nd

n/a

First Downs 48th 7th
3rd Down Conversions 53rd 8th
Red Zone 93rd 10th

2012 Defensive Statistics

Category Defensive Rank Big Ten Rank
Rushing 56th 6th
Passing 2nd 2nd
Total 12th 3rd
Scoring 20th 3rd
Pass Efficiency 35th 8th
Sacks 87th 10th

Tackles for Loss

Turnover Margin

Turnovers Gained

52nd

100th

83rd

3rd

10th

9th

First Downs 25th 4th
3rd Down Conversions 36th 6th
Red Zone 70th 9th

2011 Defensive Statistics

Category Defensive Rank Big Ten Rank
Rushing 35th 3rd
Passing 17th 6th
Total 17th 5th
Scoring 7th 3rd
Pass Efficiency 35th 6th
Sacks 26th 4th

Tackles for Loss

Turnover Margin

Turnovers Gained

73rd

26th

26th

6th

3rd

1st

First Downs 16th 4th
3rd Down Conversions 30th 3rd
Red Zone 4th 1st

In 2010, we ranked 109th in total defense with only 18 sacks. In the Big Ten, we ranked 10th in rushing and scoring defense and 11th in total and pass defense plus first downs allowed. Our red zone defense was ranked 6th in the Big Ten.

Category Defensive Rank Big Ten Rank
Rushing 94th 10th
Passing 110th 11th
Total 109th 11th
Scoring 102nd 10th
Pass Efficiency 97th 9th
Sacks 94th 7th

Tackles for Loss

Turnover Margin

Turnovers Gained

75th

110th

75th

5th

11th

n/a

First Downs 104th 11th
3rd Down Conversions 84th 8th
Red Zone 70th 6th

Michigan Football Position Greats

Michigan Football Sack Masters

2008 versus 2009: Lack of Michigan Defense

2008 Big Ten Rank NCAA Category 2009 Big Ten Rank
51st 6th Rushing 91st 10th
87th 9th Passing 67th 7th
66th 9th Total 82nd 9th
90th 10th Scoring 81st 9th
81st 10th Pass Efficiency 74th 7th
107th 11th Turnover Margin 112th 11th
35th 6th Sacks 72nd 10th

2007 Season: Our defense was ranked #27 in scoring defense, #58 in rushing defense, #10 in pass defense, #17 in pass efficiency defense and #26 in total defense. We are ranked #30 nationally in sacks with 31, #28 in turnover margin and #24 in tackles for loss. Defense did a horrible job against the run this year especially against Wisconsin, Ohio State, Oregon and Appalachian State, our four losses. We obviously can't stop spread offenses because we don't practice against spread offenses, and we don't recruit the personnel who can simulate spread offenses in practice. Our defense had zero sacks against Wisconsin and Ohio State to close the season, and the defense only created one turnover in each game. They couldn't stop teams in the second half when we needed them to do so; however, they did come up with strong closing efforts against Penn State, Illinois and Michigan State in the end. Our pass defense really improved when Donovan Warren became the starter, and Johnny Sears left the team. If we can recruit some strong safeties to go along with the strong linebacking core that we recruited, and four returning starters on our defensive line, that will help give us a strong nucleus for next season. I'd give the defense an overall grade of B- for 2007; they did a good job and our losses were more attributable to a lack of offense than a strong defense. The offense left them out on the field way too long in the Wisconsin and Ohio State games, and offensive failure to convert early opportunities contributed to the Oregon fiasco. Pin the Appalachian State loss on the defense, but had Engelmon started the season instead of Stevie Brown, we would probably not have been in that position.

Fixing Michigan Football

2006 Season: Our defense was #2 in rushing defense. We were #6 in total and #12 in scoring defense. We led the Big Ten in sacks, and were #4 nationally; we are #2 in the Big Ten in total defense. We are #11 nationally in tackles for loss (#1 in the Big Ten) and #4 in turnover margin (#2 in the Big Ten). Kudos to Ron English, Steve Stripling, new defensive backs coach, Ron Lee, and new linebacker coach, Steve Szabo. This is one mighty fine defense led by Captain and Lombardi Finalist Woodley and All-Americans Hall, Harris and Woodley. Hall and Woodley were quarterfinalists for the Lott Trophy. Hall was a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
We have held our opponents to only 33 rushing first downs and 5 rushing touchdowns (two for Ohio State, two for MSU and one for Ball State). Michigan has limited their opponents to only 9 red zone touchdowns (tops in the Big Ten), and have the second least opponent 1st downs and best 3rd down conversion percentage in the Big Ten.
2005 Season: 5 losses (by a total of 21 points, 4 of the 5 losses were come from behind wins due, in part, to a lack of defensive stops), unranked, 161.6 net rushing yards allowed per game, 20.33 opponent scoring average per game, 23 sacks (less than 2 per game, 12 by defensive line-1 per game average), shredded for over 200 rushing yards by Minnesota and Northern Illinois and over 400 yards in total offense by Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa, Northwestern, Minnesota, Penn State and Northern Illinois. We recruit Greg Banks, John Ferrara, Brandon Graham (originally for linebacker), Jason Kates and Adam Patterson for our defensive line, and lose out on potential recruits: Dexter Latimore, Jason Adjepong, Jermaine Cunningham, Micah Johnson, Corey Peters and Kenrick Ellis. Our defensive line starters were Pat Massey, Alan Branch, Rondell Biggs and Lamarr Woodley with backups Will Johnson, Jeremy Van Alstyne. Pierre Woods moves from linebacker to start for Woodley in the last five games.
Year Starting Defensive Tackles, Nose Tackles, Middle Guards Opponent's Rushing Average per game Opponent's Scoring Average per game Total Losses End of Season Rank Notes

2004

Gabe Watson/Larry Harrison/Alex Ofili/Rondell Biggs/Pat Massey/Alan Branch

133.3

(21 sacks)

23.2 3 14

Texas quarterback, Young, shreds us for 5 TDs with 192 of 264 net rushing yards and 4 TDs. Ohio State gains 205 net rushing yards with Troy Smith netting 145. Michigan State nets 368 yards in rushing with DeAndra Cobb netting 205 yards and 2 TDs. Notre Dame's true frosh, Derrick Walker, nets 115 yards and 2 TDs. Northwestern's Noah Herron burns us for 156 net yards.

Recruits: Marques Walton, Alan Branch, Tim Jamison, Will Johnson, etc.

(Terry Taylor, Marques Slocum, Eugene Germany and James McKinney for 2005)

Lost out on: Dewayne Hendricks, Vernon Gholston, etc.

2003 Grant Bowman/Norm Heuer

116.6

(27 sacks)

16.8 3 6 Minnesota runs for a record 424 yards; recruits lost: Carnell Stewart (LSU), Kevin Brown (UCLA), Doug Van Dyke (Purdue), Kirston Pittman (LSU), David Patterson (OSU), Quinn Pitcock (OSU), Mo Dampeer (OK), Tim Washington (LSU), Calvin Thibodeaux (OK), Turk McBride (Tenn.), Conrad Bolston (MD), Victor Abiamiri (ND)
2002 Grant Bowman/Norm Heuer 123.2 (42 sacks) 20.4 3 9 Outback Bowl win over Florida; opponents score a record 34 touchdowns; recruits lost: Travis Johnson (Miami-FL), Ian Scott (FL), Kalen Thorton (Texas), Chris Frome (ND), Haloti Ngata (Oregon), Brian Pickryl (Texas), Julian Jenkins (Stanford), Travis Leitko (ND), Greg Jones (Tenn.), Brandon Greeson (Nebraska)
2001 Shawn Lazarus/Norm Heuer 89.1 (50 sacks) 19.8 4 20 MSU's T.J. Duckett runs for 211 yards as Spartans win 24-26; Jonathan Wells runs for 3 TDs for a 20-26 Buckeye win; Florida Citrus Bowl humiliation to Tennessee 17-45; we block 7 punts tying a record from 1950; we get Woods, Massey, David Spytek and Ofili, recruits lost include: Marquise Hill (LSU), Simon Fraser (OSU), Anttaj Hawthorne (Wisc.), Orien Harris (Miami-FL) and Sean Cody (USC)
2000 Shawn Lazarus/Eric Wilson/Dave Petruziello/Norm Heuer 147.1 (21 sacks) 19.1 3 11 Northwestern's Damien Anderson runs for 244 yards and Wilcats net 332 on the ground and 654 in total offense en rout to scoring 54 points (31 in 2nd half) with 31 first downs; Florida Citrus Bowl winner, Big Ten Co-Champs; we get Kashama, recruits lost include Will Smith (OSU), Darrell Lee (FL), Greg Pauley (ND), Kalen Thornton (Texas and Vince Wilfork (Miami-FL)
1999 Bob Renes/Eric Wilson/Josh Williams 120.8 (29 sacks) 20.6 2 5 Orange Bowl win; losses to MSU 31-34 with Bill Burke connecting for 400 yards, 255 to Plaxico Burress/Illinois 29-35;we recruited Boebert/Heuer and Bowman, recruits lost include Bernard Riley (USC), Jeff Womble (Fla.St.), Cedric Hilliard (ND)
1998 Bob Renes/Eric Wilson/Josh Williams 121.8 (37 sacks) 18.1 3 12 Losses to Notre Dame, Syracuse 28-38 (after being behind 7-38) and Ohio State 16-31 (only 2 first downs); Big Ten Co-Champs, Florida Citrus Bowl winner
1997 Bob Renes/Eric Wilson/Juaquin Feazell/Glenn Steele 89.0 9.5 0 1 Started calling MG=NT; Big Ten and National Champs 12-0
1996 Will Carr/Ben Huff 114.6 15.3 4 20 Outback Bowl loss
1995 Will Carr/Jason Horn/Juaquin Feazell 93.2 17.2 4 17 Lloyd Carr takes over in 1995 season; move from a 5-2 to 4-3 scheme; MG to NT
1994 Trent Zenkewicz/Tony Henderson/Jason Horn 124.2 22.3 4 12 Holiday Bowl Champs; Biakabutuka runs for 313 yards in win over Bucks
1993 Jason Horn/Ninef Aghakhan/Tony Henderson/Buster Stanley/Damon Denson/Steve Rekowski 108 13.3 4 21 Outback Bowl Champs
1992 Chris Hutchinson/Tony Henderson/Ninef Aghakhan/Gannon Dudlar 90.8 14.3 0 5 Big Ten & Rose Bowl Champs (3 ties, no losses)
1991 Chris Hutchinson/Tony Henderson/Ninef Aghakhan/Mike Evans 105.4 16.9 2 6 Big Ten Champs, Rose Bowl humiliation to Washington 14-34; Florida State wins 31-51
1990 T.J.Osman/Chris Hutchinson/Steve Rekowski/Alex Marshall 104.7 16.5 3 7 Gary Moeller takes over in 1990 season; Big Ten Co-Champs, win in Gator Bowl
1989 Chris Hutchinson/Mike Teeter/Mike Evans/Brent White 109.9 15.3 2 7 Big Ten Champs, Rose Bowl loss to USC; Rocket Ismail returns 2 kickoffs for TDs as Irish win
1988 Mark Messner/T.J. Osman/Brent White/John Herrmann/Mike Evans 129.7 13.9 2 4 Big Ten & Rose Bowl Champs
1987 Mark Messner/John Herrmann/Billy Harris/T.J. Osman 133.5 14.3 4 19 Hall of Fame Bowl Champs; Darrell Thompson nets 201 yards in Gopher win; Spartans win on 7 picks off Demetrius Brown and Lorenzo White's 185 yards rushing
1986 Mark Messner/Dave Folkertsma/Billy Harris 118.5 15.6 2 8 Big Ten Champs, Loss in Rose Bowl
1985 Mark Messner/Mike Hammerstein/Billy Harris 119.1 8.1 1 2 Fiesta Bowl Champs over Nebraska; Bob Golic has 26 tackles in Irish win
1984 Mike Hammerstein/Kevin Brooks/Al Sincich/Joe Gray/Nate Rogers/Dave Meredith 145.1 16.6 6 n/a Holiday Bowl loss to BYU; Iowa shuts us out 0-26; opponents combine for a record 45% 3rd down conversion percentage record
1983 Kevin Brooks/Al Sincich/Vince DeFelice/Mike Hammerstein 112.7 13.3 3 8 Sugar Bowl loss to Auburn
1982 Winfred Carraway/Al Sincich/Kevin Brooks/Dave Meredith/Mike Hammerstein 112.0 17.0 4 15 Big Ten Champs, Loss in Rose Bowl
1981 Tony Osbun/Cedric Coles/Winfred Carraway/Clay Miller/Doug James/Mike Hammerstein 128.1 13.5 3 12 Bluebonnet Bowl Champs
1980 Mike Trgovac/Jeff Shaw/Winfred Carraway/Cedric Coles/Dave Nicolau/Tony Kelsie 116.6 10.8 2 4 Big Ten & Rose Bowl Champs
1979 Curtis Greer/Dale Keitz/Mike Trgovac/Chris Godfrey 105.1 12.6 4 18 Gator Bowl loss
1978 Curtis Greer/Dale Keitz/Mike Trgovac/Chris Godfrey 114.5 8.8 2 5 Big Ten Champs, Loss in Rose Bowl
1977 Curtis Greer/Dale Keitz/Steve Graves/Chris Godfrey/William Jackson 120.9 10.3 2 9 Big Ten Champs, Loss in Rose Bowl; Michigan was shut out 0-16 by Gophers
1976 Greg Morton/John Hennessy/Bob Lang/Steve Graves 121.2 7.9 2 3 Big Ten Champs, Loss in Rose Bowl to USC; upset by Purdue after being ranked #1 all year
1975 Greg Morton/Jeff Perlinger/John Hennessy/Tim Davis/Rich Koschalk/Steve King 133.8 10.8 2 8 Orange Bowl loss to Oklahoma
1974 Greg Morton/Jeff Perlinger/John Hennessy/Tim Davis/Rich Koschalk 105.7 5.9 1 3 Big Ten Co-Champions
1973 Dave Gallagher/Doug Troszak/Jeff Perlinger/Tim Davis/Don Warner 97.7 6.2 0 6 Big Ten Co-Champions, vote to no bowl
1972 Dave Gallagher/Fred Grambeau/Greg Ellis/Walt Sexton/Tony Smith 130.9 5.2 1 6 Big Ten Co-Champions
1971 Fred Grambeau/Greg Ellis/Tom Kee/Tom Beckman/Curtis Tucker/Walt Sexton 65.8 6.9 1 6 Big Ten Champs, Loss in Rose Bowl
1970 Henry Hill/Pete Newell/Tom Beckman/Tony Smith/Ed Moore 105.1 9 1 9
1969 Henry Hill/Fred Grambeau/Pete Newell 168.3 13.5 3 9 Bo Schembechler takes over in 1969 season; upset of #1 Ohio State 24-12 (6 picks); highest turnover in UM history +29
1968 Henry Hill/Tom Goss/Dan Parks/Jerry Miklos 199.3 15.5 2 12 Final Days of linemen starting on both offense and defense; Michigan loses to Buckeyes 14-50, 421 yards rushing including Jim Otis' 4 TDs and Woody goes for "2"
1967 Dave Porter/Tom Goss/Dennis Morgan/Dennis Monthei/Dick Williamson 180.8 17.9 6 n/a
1966 Dave Porter/Tom Goss/Bob Mielke/Dick Williamson/William Hardy 159.6 13.8 4 n/a Final Days of 6 man front: LT/RT/LG/RG/LE/RE
1965 Bill Yearby/Bob Mielke/Ken Wright/Paul Johnson/Charles Ruzicka/Barry Dehlin 143.6 16.1 6 n/a
1964 Tom Mack/Charles Kines/David Butler/Tom Cecchini/Frank Nunley/John Marcum/Bill Yearby/Bill Keating/Bob Mielke/John Yanz/Arnold Simkus 78.1 7.6 1 4 Big Ten and Rose Bowl Champs
1963 Bill Yearby/Tom Keating/Joe O'Donnell/Brian Patchen/Tom Cecchini/Richard Hahn/John Marcum/John Houtman 139 14.1 4 n/a
1962 Tom Keating/Joe O'Donnell/John Minko/Bill Muir/Dave Kurtz/John Houtman/John Marcum/Bill Laskey/Jim Green 204.3 23.8 7 n/a Michigan only scores 70 points all season (10 TDs); losses to MSU 0-28, Purdue 0-37, Minnesota 0-17, Ohio State 0-28; David Francis gains 186 yards for the Bucks
1961 136.1 18.1 3 n/a Robert Ferguson scores 4 TDs for the Bucks
1960 137.6 9.3 4 n/a Bump Elliott takes over in 1959 season
Top Twenty Defensive Lineman at Michigan 1969 to 2005
1. Mark Messner
2. Curtis Greer
3. Greg "Mo" Morton
4. Glenn Steele
5. Henry Hill
6. Dave Gallagher
7. Mike Hammerstein
8. Chris Hutchinson
9. Tim Davis
10. Bob Renes
11. Jason Horn
12. Will Carr
13. Kevin Brooks
14. Josh Williams
15. Tom Beckman
16. Mike Evans
17. Buster Stanley
18. Fred Grambeau
19. Chris Godfrey
20. James Hall

Michigan Quarterbacks

Michigan Football Position Greats

Best Michigan Football Players By Jersey Number

Michigan Running Backs

Michigan Ends, Wide Recievers, Tight Ends and Wingbacks (Slots)

Michigan Offensive Line