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The most improved defense in the country

Earlier today we saw a good article by Bruce Feldman that pointed out that Michigan's defense has moved up 100 spots in scoring defenses going from 108th in 2010 to 8th this season. Any time you improve 100 spots, that's newsworthy.

Greg Mattison's main focus this season has been on limiting missed tackles. The goal for the defense is to finish the game with less than eight missed tackles per game, and right now the defense is averaging about six. In their lone loss to Michigan State, the Wolverines had 18 missed tackles.

Mattison and the defensive staff have also clearly put an emphasis on turnovers this season as well. The Wolverines are tied at the top of the country in fumble recoveries, recovering 14 fumbles out of 16 loose balls. Michigan had 7 recoveries out of 12 loose ball opportunities all of last year.

Michigan's five remaining games are all against teams with winning records, starting on Saturday as they take on Purdue (4-3) in Ann Arbor.