Michigan has offense racked up 550 total yards on Saturday, 334 of which came on the ground, as the Wolverines defeated Western Michigan 47-14.
Cade McNamara, Hassan Haskins, and Blake Corum all had outstanding days, and there is reason to be optimistic about what this offense may do as the season continues.
On the opposite side of the ball, defense had a decent day, but there is always room for growth. Michigan only gave up 317 total yards, 191 passing yards, and 126 running yards according to the statistics. If you just want to look at the numbers, there isn’t much to discuss, but I’m going to go a little further.
Aidan Hutchinson and Vincent Gray both offered their views on the defense’s performance today, as well as what might be improved after the game.
Hutchinson said, “We still have a lot of things to work on. I mean, we have a lot of stuff to work on.” “I felt we played well in our first game. I’m still working on getting everything down, but I felt the defense did a nice job. “
Gray said, “That’s the major issue. We haven’t done anything yet.” “We have a lot of room for improvement; we made a lot of errors that will likely go undetected, but there are a lot of things that can be cleaned up and improved upon.”
After Gray ended, Hutchinson didn’t mince words.
“We haven’t done a darn thing,” Hutchinson said. “We’ve all moved on and are ready for Washington, as well as the future games,” he said. We’re not satisfied. “
Let’s have a look at the stats-based areas for improvement: Michigan had just one sack, no forced turnovers, and three tackles for loss.
Western Michigan drove down the field on the opening drive, thanks in part to an unsportsmanlike penalty,
but the Wolverines held their own for the remainder of the game, except for a late score in garbage time.
I agree with Hutchinson and Gray that the defense’s finest days are still to come, not that the defense looked awful on Saturday. These guys are eager, and the new coaches are obviously positioning them to succeed. We hear all the time how positive the culture is and how the new defensive system is assisting the players in producing at a better level. This squad looked better in one game this year than they did in any of their previous games.
You may argue all you want that it’s only Western Michigan, but keep in mind that WMU is a very strong MAC program,
and Kaleb Eleby had the third-best passer rating in the country last year. The Broncos aren’t exactly a household name.
When Michigan finds out how to put more pressure on the quarterback, chaos will ensue. We’ll find out whether that’s possible against a stronger opponent in Washington next week.