- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Detroit Lions reporter
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan's last two games weren't the best, defensively, as injuries started to take their toll, and fatigue -- and in some cases lack of talent -- began to show.
But the Wolverines won their final two games of the season -- a 40-34 win over rival Ohio State and a 23-20 win over Virginia Tech in the Allstate Sugar Bowl -- so any last-minute questions about the much, much improved Michigan defense were put on hold.
Now, though, there are questions. Michigan will return a lot of starters for defensive coordinator Greg Mattison's second season -- as many as eight -- from this season's team, but the loss of three-fourths of the defensive line, led by Mike Martin and Ryan Van Bergen, leaves a gaping hole at what was the Wolverines' strongest spot.
In 2012, Michigan will have to replace some of its most reliable players due to graduation along the defensive line.