The Wolverine

November 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 22 of 83

NOVEMBER 2018 THE WOLVERINE 23 how do we prepare? How do we learn and study our opponent, and how do we finish the week? "You've got to push people, make them uncomfortable, and you've got to make them do stuff they really don't want to do. That comes with trust. "They have to trust that what you're doing and what you're telling them will make them better and help them be a better player and help our team be a better team. "Then you push them and chal- lenge them to do more than they've done in the past, do it better than they've done it in the past and you hold people accountable." It's paid off in a big way. U-M ranked third in the conference be- hind Ohio State and Penn State in scoring offense (38.1 points per game) through seven contests. DEFENSE Not surprisingly, defensive coordi- nator Don Brown's unit was ranked among the top groups nationally in a number of different categories through seven games. It was first in passing yards allowed per game (129.1), second in total yards allowed per game (238.0), and ninth in points allowed a contest (15.4) and first downs surrendered per outing (15.6). After a rough start, U-M's defense had also been getting off the field on third down. The Wolverines held Wisconsin to 2 of 11 on the money down to climb to 26th nationally (32.3 percent) in third-down conver- sion defense. "There's a lot of time invested, a lot of scheme, a lot of repetition," Brown said. "You're trying to squeeze out as much as you can. "If you do that, it gives you a bet- ter chance to win the football game. That's what counts. We're trying to win a football game and move on to the next week." His defense was a big reason why the Wolverines were ranked sixth na- tionally in the AP Poll and seventh according to the coaches through seven games, led by fifth-year senior defensive end Chase Winovich and junior linebacker Devin Bush Jr. The two All-America candidates had been as good as hoped (and then some) through seven games, dominating their positions. Winov- ich earned first-team Midseason All-

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