There are three things in life that are guaranteed:
- Jabrill Peppers making an impact
Michigan’s athlete extraordinaire was everywhere on the field Saturday. On defense, Peppers had 3.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 9 tackles overall. Offensively, 2 rushes for 24 yards. And on kick-off/punt returns he had a combined 180 total yards and a punt return touchdown. Wow. Peppers leads the nation in tackles for loss with 9.5 and is No. 1 in punt return yards with 173.
Maize N Brew was on hand for Peppers press-conference. Here are highlights from the session:
Punt Return Touchdown
“Oh man, it was undescribable man. At the end I just laid there like, “finally man.” The guys did a great job of giving me a crease, trusting me enough to hit what I see and make something happen, I think that’s what I did.”
Was he relieved to finally get a return touchdown?
“It was definitely a sense of relief, man. I felt like a couple of those punts I could have had. I definitely could have taken one back. But they’re a great tackling team, they were shooting at the hip, wrapping up. But when you get a line drive and great blocking, man, if you don’t score then they gotta put somebody else back there! That’s just how I felt. The hole was wide open, they leave it upon me to make a couple miss and I felt as though I did that. I started cramping about the five, I was like there’s no way I’m not getting in this time! I was tired of being the almost kind of guy. So it definitely felt good to finally punch one in.”
Did the team panic being down 14-0 early?
“We’ve been down before, there’s no level of panic, it was just fight through a little adversity, that’s the biggest measurement of a team, how you bounce back when things aren’t going your way. We just had to dig deep, get back to our roots, start tackling better, covering a little better, and getting pressure on the quarterback.”
“Whenever you have one of the greats come back and talk to you, it definitely gives you a boost. We definitely felt what he told us in the locker room. It definitely honed in with us and we tried to go out there and play our best.”
Did Michigan need a hard-fought win?
“On a defensive stand-point we definitely needed that because the first two games we definitely beat ‘em up pretty badly on the defensive side of the ball early on. They came out here ready to go. We weren’t shocked, we were just surprised at how ready these guys were. They didn’t waste any time. They opened up the bag of tricks bright and early.”