Key Pass Stats Defense:
No surprise as the nations number one overall pass defense in 2017 was Michigan and in this category they are also the top team. As discussed above when analyzing the returning starters analysis, Michigan has arguably the top two corners in the country, (Lavert Hill, and Davis Long). Michigan returns a pair of potential All American defensive ends who play opposite side of one another (Rashan Gary and Chase Winnovich). The linebackers are no slouches with Devin Bush JR and Viper Khaleke Hudson.
Michigan was dominant in 2017, but they can improve in a major way on defense by finishing games strong and not allowing opponents to climb back into games late. We discussed above how important the new strenght and conditiong coach would be to the Michigan defense in 2018 and it will be a key factor late in games. If Michigan wants to make its first trip to Indy for a Big Ten Title it will be on the shoulders of their defense.
The number two team is Clemson. They return the nations top defensive line in 2018 with two of their own preseason All American picks (DE Clelin Ferrell and DT Christian Wilkins). They also have teo more guys who are potential All American caliber players on the defensive front (Dexter Lawrence and Christian Bryant). There are four potential 2019 first round draft picks on one defensive line.
Here is a great breakdown with video from SB Nation that discusses the CLemson defense.
Key Rush Stats Defense:
The top Att/TFL ratio defense from 2017 was Michigan who forced a tackle for loss every 3.96 run plays.
Ohio State is number two in this category, and they are deep on the defensive line even after losing two guys to the NFL draft. The Buckeye's return preseason All American DE Nick Bosa and DT Dre'mont Jones. The Buckeyes forced 114 TFL in 2017 leading the nation in this category.