IU, Mike DeBord Preparing For Stout Michigan Defense

Jordan Wells, Staff Writer
The Hoosier
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Jordan Wells/TheHoosier.com

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Mike DeBord is ready for this week's challenge - or at least, preparing for it.

The IU offensive coordinator has a tall task looming this Saturday, trying to navigate the Hoosier's offense against a stout Michigan defense.

"When you look at them on tape, you see great players," DeBord said. "They've got great team speed.

"In the secondary, they're very simple in that they play a lot of man free, but up front is where they are very complex. Sometimes they'll be in a four-down front, as of late they've been more in a 3-3 front with blitzing the three linebackers. Again, I see a team with great speed that's got a complex front."

According to SBNation's advanced stats, Michigan ranks No. 1 in the country on defense in keeping teams behind the chains.

Offenses only are averaging a 26 percent "success rate" - a stat which marks a play successful or unsuccessful depending on if it keeps a drive on track - against Michigan, which gives the Wolverines the top mark in the country.

To reiterate, basically only one of every four plays teams run against Michigan helped keep a drive on track. Three of four are stopped essentially for little, zero or negative yardage.

Michigan also only allows 3.6 points per trip inside its 40-yard line, which ranks 23rd nationally. So they don't allow teams to drive methodically down the field often, and then when teams do get downfield, they do a good job not letting them finish the drive.

"I met with a couple of our coaches, right now we're formulating our own thoughts individually, and then we come together and put all those thoughts together," DeBord said. "I said this is a great challenge not only for our players, but us as coaches.

"You always like those challenges - that's one of the reasons you coach this game. All of us are taking on that challenge and we'll be ready for it."

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