Team 136 Game Recap: Wolverine Defense Impressive in Victory

Michigan 28 – UNLV

The first half went the way it should have. The second half, not so much. After leading 21-0 at the break, Michigan’s offense stalled on numerous drives.

Establishing the running game was clearly the main focus. It was likely Coach Jim Harbaugh’s plan to not give too much away with a very worthy opponent coming in next week.

Rushing Offense vs UNLV

Michigan used 39 rushing attempts to wear down the UNLV defense and leaned on their offensive line to carry them to the finish line. The rushing attack gained 254 yards, averaging 6.5 yards per carry.

The running back depth chart is still unsettled. One week after seeing De’Veon Smith run for three touchdowns, he took a backseat to Ty Isaac. Isaac finished with only eight carries, but took full advantage of the opportunity.  With 114 yards and a touchdown, Isaac looked to be fighting for the number one spot on the depth chart. Isaac’s touchdown came as a result of a patient 76 yard run up the left sideline. Smith had 13 carries for 33 yards.

Two unlikely players added rushing scores. Wide receiver, Jehu Chesson, took a jet sweep 36 yards for a score.  Fullback, Sione Houma, added a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter to cap the day.  

Coming off of ACL surgery, Drake Johnson made his much anticipated return to the rotation. Carrying five times for 28 yards, he is working his way back to normal.

The offensive line deserves credit for being most improved this season. Last season, the rushing offense was nonexistent at times and even netted negative rushing yards. This year, there is a noticeable difference in both effort and drive. The unit is working hard and continues to prove their eagerness to be better.

Passing Offense vs UNLV

Still a work in progress, quarterback Jake Rudock passed for 123 yards and a touchdown. Rudock, however, can’t seem to get away from those pesky turnovers.  Throwing an interception in his third straight game, Rudock’s season total is now six.  

Running back, De’Veon Smith, scored the lone receiving touchdown on Rudock’s five-yard swing pass in the first quarter.

Amara Darboh was leading receiver, reeling in four catches for 34 yards. Tight end, Jake Butt, caught two passes for 14 yards.  

Harbaugh is limiting the number of passes thrown clearly in an attempt to minimize turnovers and establish a ground game. Can’t blame him, as he plays to strengths of his team until he gets the players to run his system.

Rushing Defense vs UNLV

The defensive line continues to demonstate its talent. The line held UNLV to 92 yards rushing.  

Defensive tackles, Ryan Glasgow and Matt Godin, joined Chris Wormley for the party in the UNLV backfield this week. Glasgow led the way with two tackles for loss. Godin and Wormley chipped in with one a piece.  

Captain Joe Bolden led the linebackers with six tackles. James Ross earned more playing time and finished with five tackles, including a tackle for loss.

Passing Defense vs UNLV

Wolverine defensive backs were due for a turnover—and they got two.

Channing Stribling is proving to Wolverine fans why he is one of the starting cornerbacks this season.  The junior intercepted UNLV quarterback, Blake Decker, on the first drive of the game, returning it 30 yards to set up the first touchdown.  

Jeremy Clark also continues to improve each week.  After switching from safety to cornerback, Clark managed his second interception in three games.

While Jourdan Lewis did not have an interception, he was the most impressive defensive back on the field. Lewis played blanket coverage and had four pass breakups on the day.  

The Michigan secondary allowed just 143 yards passing. UNLV netted 235 yards total on the day

Special Teams vs UNLV

There isn’t much to say about special teams this game, but Jabrill Peppers did ignite the crowd on a punt return. He made something out of nothing as he shaked and baked his way out of trouble for 24 yards.  

Punter, Blake O’Neill, remains consistent. O’Neill punted five times for an average of 38.6 yards, with a long of 59.


Next Week…

BYU comes to town after a wild start to the 2015 season. They bring with them a 2-1 record and a 22 year old freshmen quarterback that should be the 2nd best test of the season for the Wolverines.