Once again, the Big Ten bloggers' network has come through with another solid Q&A. This week Jeff Contizano of The Wolverine Blog. here are his answers to my questions, while mine will be posted later this week over there.
T-Mill: What is Michigan's plan if/when someone figures out that Denard Robinson is their sole offense?
Jeff: That's the million dollar question. Last weekend Michigan State blitzed 7 or 8 players and dared Robinson to throw it and.. nothing happened. He got injured. The coaches have started playing the backup quarterback, Devin Gardner, and while he's played well at times, mostly he's looked about the same (or worse) as Robinson.
Basically, Michigan is stuck in this weird spread/pro-style hybrid because Denard is too valuable to keep off the field, but he's holding back the offensive transition because he can't throw all that well.
T-Mill: What has changed this year to shore up an almost historically bad defense?
Well, for one, our athletic director went out an hired one of the top defensive coordinators out there in Greg Mattison. Yeah, he wasn't all responsible for the Ravens defense, but his track record is awesome (Texas A&M, Michigan, Florida). Mattison has got our players in the right position most of the time, and he's got them keeping everything in front of them (no big plays). The entire defensive coaching staff is very solid.
We're still extremely lacking talent and athleticism up front, but the coaches on defense have the players playing pretty well. Aside from our linebackers, who have been pretty awful, our secondary is aggressive and playing well, and the defensive line is playing alright.
T-Mill: Do you think that Michigan can do enough to win the Division if they get some help?
The finish would have to be pretty crazy. Nebraska would have to knock off Michigan State, then Michigan would have to beat the Huskers. Then there is still Iowa, who Michigan has played awful against the past few years, and Ohio State at the end of the year. I guess there is a very slim chance it could happen, but like I said it would have to shake out almost perfectly for it to happen.
I think most Michigan fans would be very pleased with an 8 or 9 win finish.
Thanks for the input, Jeff!