ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- After the 2009 football season, when defensive end Brandon Graham left for the NFL, there was a massive hole left to fill in the D-line. And last season, no one filled it. Without Graham on the field and without someone to pick up where he left off, the Wolverines' first line of defense just didn't do its job.
So in 2011, with new defensive coordinator Greg Mattison looking at exactly the same personnel for an entirely new system, it seemed as if he would be fighting a losing battle. And on top of that, Michigan coach Brady Hoke, who started as a defensive line coach, had his stock in the D-line.
So at this point, where does the defensive line stand? What has it done well, and where is it struggling? How has the team adjusted to Mattison's system? WolverineNation takes a look.