Sunday, October 29, 2006

Going backwards

In a dominating performance, Michigan's defense held Northwestern to minus 13 yards rushing for the game. The Wildcats offensive gearshift appeared to be stuck in reverse as the Wolverines held Northwestern to -13 yards rushing on 17 attempts (-0.8 avg.). This is the second team of the past three opponents (Penn State -14 rushing yards being the other) that the Wolverines' defense has held to negative rushing yards for the game.

In what has to be even more encouraging for Defensive Coordinator Ron English (pictured at right, chest bumping Jamar Adams) is the fact that the "D" forced 5 turnovers yesterday versus the Wildcats. That was something Coach "E" wanted to see because the defense had only forced 3 turnovers (2 int. vs. MSU, 1 fumble recovery vs. Iowa) in five Big Ten Conference games. Against the Wildcats, the defense tallied two fumble recoveries on Northwestern's first two offensive possessions of the game. In the second half, the Wolverines' defense picked off three passes one of which gave Michigan a short field that led to a six-play, 36-yard drive that ended with a touchdown to give Michigan a 17-3 lead.

Michigan's defense racked up twelve tackles for loss and three sacks against Northwestern (0-5, 2-7). The most spectacular play all afternoon came early from team co-Captain LaMarr Woodley. On the opening series of the game, Northwestern was moving the ball down the field when Woodley rushed the QB C.J. Bacher and knocked the ball out of his hands while tackling him. Woodley then recovered the loose ball and recorded a "hat trick" by scoring a sack, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery all on the same play. Now that is an All-America player. Woodley also recorded another sack in the fourth quarter of the game and now has eleven (11) on the season. Not to be outdone, CB Leon Hall registered an interception, a fumble recovery and multiple pass break-ups. Both Woodley and Hall are giving outstanding performances while spearheading an incredible defense. Go Blue!

*Note: Photo of Def. Coordinator Ron English and Jamar Adams (22) by John T. Greilick/The Detroit News


At 12:16 PM, Anonymous andy z said...

Nice write up. Another fine showing from the Blue D - but the offense will need to play at another level to beat the Buckeyes. OSU seems to blow away common opponents like the Gophers while MI offense plays down to the level of inferior teams. Go Blue!

At 9:34 PM, Blogger mzgoblue said...

Thanks for the kudos. Although it is true that the Buckeyes "blow away" their opponents (their avg. margin of victory per game is more than 4 tds.)I would not worry too much. As for Michigan's offense, always keep in mind the Coach Carr philosphy: protect the ball and the lead. He is not interested (unlike Coach Tressel of OSU) in running up the score. Michigan will open up the playbook against OSU and will move right down the field (assuming Mario Manningham is back at full strength). Thanks again and Go Blue!


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