The Wolverine

March 2024

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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MARCH 2024 ❱ THE WOLVERINE 79 BY CLAYTON SAYFIE F or the 10th straight season, a for- mer Michigan Wolverines football player has won the Super Bowl. Start- ing defensive end Mike Danna and the Kansas City Chiefs knocked off the San Francisco 49ers, 25-22, in an overtime thriller at Allegiant Stadium in Las Ve- gas Feb. 11. Danna and Co. beat a 49ers team with three fellow Michigan products — rookie kicker Jake Moody, rookie wide receiver Ronnie Bell and third-year cornerback Ambry Thomas — in Super Bowl LVIII. Michigan was one of eight college programs with four or more players in the Super Bowl. Oklahoma led the way with six, while Georgia, Florida and Clemson had five. USC, TCU and Mid- dle Tennessee joined U-M with four. The Chiefs have now won three Su- per Bowls in the last five seasons, and Danna is a two-time champion with back-to-back titles. Danna, a fifth-round pick in 2020, spent one season at Michigan in 2019 after transferring in from Central Mich- igan. He recorded 48 tackles, 3 sacks and a forced fumble in his lone year with the Wolverines. The 6-foot-2, 257-pounder drew a holding call on first-team All-Pro and future first ballot Hall of Fame left tackle Trent Williams in the first quar- ter, putting his stamp on the game early. He finished with 3 tackles, including 1 solo stop. The former Michigan defen- sive end and his unit held San Francisco to 272 passing yards (7 yards per pass) and 2 touchdowns and 110 rushing yards on 31 carries (3.5 yards per attempt) Danna was also on the line of scrim- mage when the Chiefs blocked Moody's extra point that kept the 49ers' lead at 16-13 with 11:22 to go in the fourth quarter (instead of a four-point lead had he made it). "It was a season full of ups and downs, man, and we just continued to climb the mountain," Danna said after the Super Bowl victory. "We just kept our head down and kept grinding, and now we look up and we're on top of the mountain. "It was a four-quarter battle … five- quarter battle [with] overtime. You've got guys that are relentless, guys that want to win. You've got guys that are great. We've got a great group of guys, man. We've been through so much, and just to be back on top, you can't take nothing from us now." Moody made history, drilling a Super Bowl-record 55-yard field goal to open the scoring, putting San Francisco up 3-0 with 14:48 to go in the second quar- ter. Kansas City kicker Harrison But- ker then broke the record with a late- third-quarter 57-yard boot. The former Michigan kicker then came up clutch with a 53-yarder to give the 49ers a 19- 16 advantage with 1:53 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs marched down the field to tie the score with an- other three-pointer from Butker. Bell was inactive for the game, as he was the entire playoffs. Thomas did not start the game or register any statistics, but he did log eight total snaps, seven of which came on special teams. In Kansas City's three prior postsea- son games, Danna totaled 4 tackles and 2 quarterback hits, starting all three. The Chiefs won road games at Buffalo and Baltimore following a home vic- tory over Miami to advance to the Super Bowl. He registered 6.5 sacks, 7 tackles for loss, 13 quarterback hits and 3 pass breakups during the regular season. Danna will have options this offsea- son, and Pro Football Focus ranked him as the No. 102 overall free agent of this class. "Danna is the epitome of a solid, high-floor player who understands his role, controls his gap and makes plays when they come to him," the analytics ❱  MICHIGAN IN THE PROS Mike Danna Goes Back To Back Danna (51), a fourth-year pro, became a two-time Super Bowl champion when the Kansas City Chiefs won their second straight title Feb. 11. He finished with 3 tackles in the Chiefs' 25-22 over- time win against the San Francisco 49ers. PHOTO BY STEVE SANDERS/KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

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