Sunday, September 24, 2006

Defense stuffs run, leads team to victory

Michigan's Defense, the #1 rushing defense in the NCAA entering the game, shut down the vaunted Wisconsin running game as the Wolverines' "D" held the Badgers to twelve (12) yards on 27 rushing attempts which is a 0.4 yard per carry average. The defense limited Wisconsin tailback P.J. Hill (who came into the game ranked #7 in the nation in averaging 138.3 yards per game) to 54 yards on 20 carries.

Most importantly, Coach English's "D" carried the team while the offense worked to get on track. Michigan went into halftime tied at 10 which is the first time this season they went into the half without the lead. The "D" came out and held Wisconsin to six (6) straight three-and-outs in the second half. Eventually, the offense got untracked and scored 17 second-half points to give Michigan a 27-10 lead before Wisconsin scored a meaningless field goal with just under 2 1/2 minutes to go in the game. Michigan's defense held Wisconsin scoreless in the third quarter which means that the defense has not yielded any points to its opponents during the 3rd quarter in any of its four games this season. Also, Michigan's defense extended its season-long streak of not yielding a rushing touchdown.

Although Michigan did not put Wisconsin away until the 4th quarter, fans did not seem worried as this defense inspires great confidence. People believe that Michigan can hold a lead with this defense which was not always the case last year. Although the defense did not record any turnovers for the first time this season they did register 4 quarterback sacks. Overall, it was another outstanding performance by the defense and another Michigan victory. Go Blue!

*Note: Photo of Def. Coordinator Ron English by John T. Greilick/The Detroit News

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