As I continue my crusade to see more man coverage from the Michigan defense, I want to take a look at a specific play from the Indiana game on which Michigan was successful running it and why it was successful.
This is a perfect example of why Michigan needs to play more man coverage: it's not necessarily that it will be more effective than the zones that they currently play, but it will make Michigan's defense less predictable, forcing QBs to go through more reads and give the pass rush more time to deliver. Imagine if a team ran an I-formation halfback iso on every single play on offense. They do it over and over again, game after game, and defenses start to adjust to it. Despite opposing teams figuring out the play and stopping it effectively, the offense keeps running it. Suddenly they run a play action pass and catch the defense off guard. It's the same concept here, except surprising an offense with man coverage once every 8-10 plays isn't going to get a team very many stops, and it's not going to return the same kind of results that a play action pass might. If Michigan can commit to playing man coverage more frequently, I think you'll see the defensive performance spike despite not having the kind of elite-level talent teams need to play a significant amount of man coverage.