Michigan's 41-14 loss to Alabama in the season-opening Cowboys Classic exposed some notable deficiencies the team must work to improve. Anthony Mammel of Maize 'N Brew has the defensive line near the top of that list:
The entire front seven looked bad, and at times the defensive line looked more impressive than the linebackers. The linebackers were supposed to be a strength on the defense but the loss of Martin and RVB has lead to an easy path to blocks on the second level for opposing lineman. The defensive line was controlled by the Alabama front and the linebackers just didn't make plays, taking poor pursuit angles and failing to shed any blocks whatsoever. Teams with big, experienced fronts will have success, and although it won't be to the same extent it will still force Michigan to move Kovacs into the box.
Mammel also noted that the pass rush did show potential to get better, however:
Jake Ryan's spin move was sweet, and big Will Campbell made a move on a stunt as well. The front created pressure on a handful of plays against the most talented line in college football, meaning teams that don't have five draft picks up front could give up a few sacks to these guys.