The Wolverine

October 2014

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 35 of 147

BY CHRIS BALAS T wo games into the 2014 sea- son, there was still more that wasn't known about the Michigan secondary than what was. Heralded freshman nickel back Ja- brill Peppers had played only a few series before leaving with an ankle injury that sidelined him for the second half of the opener with Ap- palachian State, and he missed the entire Notre Dame game. Senior cor- nerback Raymon Taylor, coming off what head coach Brady Hoke called "maybe his best game" in a Michi- gan uniform in a 52-14 win over the Mountaineers, was headed to the locker room in South Bend with an apparent knee injury early in the first quarter, and he wouldn't return. Just like that, the Wolverines were down two of their top defensive backs, and Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly went to the air. Irish quar- terback Everett Golson was on the money, completing 23 of 34 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-0 win. The second drive was kept alive by two pass interference penalties on sophomore cornerback Jourdan Lewis, and the press cover- age many were clamoring for led to a second-quarter touchdown pass with only 34 seconds remaining in the half that made it 21-0. "It's about being more physical there, sliding your feet a little bit more," Hoke said. "Fundamentally, I think some guys reacted real well, and some didn't react as well as you'd like them to. But you've seen them do it so you have confidence in it." That goes for more than just the starters, he added. The cornerback position was supposed to be one of strength and depth this year, but it's still a work in progress. "Channing Stribling, every week he's running with the twos but also with the ones sometimes," Hoke said of the sophomore. "We have [redshirt sophomore] Terry Richardson and Jourdan, who we played [press] with a little more than the other two. It's competitive at every position, but he's played a lot more, had more reps." Following a 34-10 win over an overmatched Miami (Ohio) team, the Wolverines had grabbed just one interception on the season. They ranked 35th in the nation in pass- ing yardage allowed, giving up 176.5 yards per game through the air, but just 67th in pass efficiency defense, with a rating of 123.66. Sorting it out Injuries And Other Factors Keep The Secondary In Flux

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - October 2014