Michigan Football: Wolverines' Defense Major Concern After Alabama Debacle

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent ISeptember 3, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 01:  The Alabama defense swarms Denard Robinson #16 of Michigan during the  third quarter of the game at Cowboys Stadium on September 1, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. Alabama defeated Michigan 41-14.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Did head coach Brady Hoke forget to tell his defense that their season began on Saturday against No. 2 Alabama? Michigan fans should hope so otherwise they are in for a season of rooting for a team that was overvalued. 

Much of the talk concerning No. 8 Michigan's 41-14 loss to 'Bama has centered on the Wolverines' offensive failures, and Alabama's ability to make QB and Heisman hopeful Denard Robinson look pedestrian. 

However, there is no shame in that. Alabama's defense might be able to make Aaron Rodgers look pedestrian.

It was no surprise that Robinson, who thrives when breaking the pocket, struggled as Alabama tied him to that pocket. What is far more alarming is that Alabama racked up 41 points, and they made it look easy. 

The Crimson Tide rolled out 431 yards of total offense. They did so at 9.5 yards per pass attempt and 5.5 yards per rush. 

Alabama QB A.J. McCarron threw for 199 yards on 11 completions that went to eight different receivers. 

At the root of the problem was Michigan losing in the trenches. Alabama's offensive line was finding little problem manhandling Michigan's front. Alabama has one of the nation's best offensive lines, but Michigan needed a better showing than what they got.

This team was supposed to be led by their defense. 

Michigan finished last year ranked 17th in overall defense and sixth in scoring defense, and they just allowed Alabama to easily hang 41 on them.

The Tide scored more than that only four times last season. Elite defenses do not allow this kind of performance, and they didn't last year. The Wolverines season high in points allowed a year ago was 34. 

Michigan has some things to iron out on the offensive end, but none of that is going to matter if they can't quickly get this defense resembling the elite unit most expected.