The Wolverine

October 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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26 THE WOLVERINE OCTOBER 2017 BY CHRIS BALAS T his was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Michigan defense, a season in which coordinator Don Brown was going to pull his hair out while figuring out how to replace 10 starters, many of them now playing in the NFL. The man they call Dr. Blitz, how- ever, didn't get the memo … or if he did, he crumpled it up and tossed it in the garbage. Brown insisted all summer he had plenty to work with, and that he'd be much more concerned if he had more experienced, less talented players than the greenhorns with immense potential on the roster. He once again proved why he's one of the best in the business, his defense dominant and among the best in the nation through two games, a 33-17 win over Florida and a 36-14 victory over Cincinnati. Head coach Jim Harbaugh has called this year's defense the fastest he's coached, and the eye test backs him up. Brown's group is quick to the ball at every position, has great clos- ing speed and forced five turnovers in the first two games. It had also scored three touchdowns, only one less than the Michigan offense. Brown's troops had allowed a mere 392 yards through two games, including just 79 on the ground — the school's lowest two-game totals since the 2006 squad that allowed 375 and 58, respectively, finished 11-2 and ranked first at the end of the year in rushing defense and 10th in yards al- lowed per game. If the offensive interceptions that resulted in 14 Florida points are sub- tracted from the points the team has given up, Michigan would enter week three tied for eighth nationally with a clip of just 8.5 points allowed per contest. In short, it's been a great start for Brown's defense. Here's a position- STILL STINGY Michigan's Defense Hasn't Missed A Beat Despite Losing 10 Starters Sophomore linebacker Devin Bush (pictured) and junior safety Tyree Kinnel have been Michigan's top two tacklers in each of the first two contests. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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