Against Minnesota, the Michigan defense extended its season-long streaks of (1) not allowing a rushing touchdown; and (2) not allowing an opponent to score during the 3rd quarter of a game. Although the defense yielded 108 rushing yards to the Golden Gophers, it should be kept in mind that Minnesota entered the game with the nation's 8th best rushing offense in terms of yardage. Despite the fact that Minnesota topped the century mark in rushing yardage the Michigan defense emerged from the game still ranked as the #1 rushing defense in the nation just ahead of the 2nd ranked defense in the nation of the Texas Longhorns.
Overall, through five (5) games, this is how the Michigan defense stacks up:
- Scoring Defense 14.4 avg.; 3rd in Big 10; 21st in NCAA
- Total Defense 238.2 avg.; 1st in Big 10; 8th in NCAA
- Rushing Defense 36.4 avg.; 1st in Big 10; 1st in NCAA
- Passing Defense 201.8 avg.; 8th in Big 10; 70th in NCAA
- Pass Efficiency 104.9 avg.; 4th in Big 10; 28th in NCAA
- Tackles for Loss 7.6 average; 2nd in Big 10; T12 in NCAA
- Sacks 3.2 average; Tied 2nd in Big 10; Tied 17th in NCAA
- Third Downs 22.2 avg.; 1st in Big 10; 3rd in NCAA
The Michigan defense is obviously among the best, if not THE best, in the nation. Nevertheless, I am slightly concerned with the fact that the defense failed to cause a turnover in the two Big Ten games (Wisconsin & Minnesota) it has played thus far this season. A further cause for pause is that the defense also failed to record a sack in the Minnesota game. Look for the Michigan "D" to rack up both sacks and turnovers against MSU as they prepare to make a push into the second-half of their 2006 schedule. Go Blue!