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Mike McCray Named Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Week

Michigan’s linebacker is named the conference’s top defender in Week 1 after tallying 3.5 TFL, two sacks, and a forced fumble.

NCAA Football: Hawaii at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Some considered Michigan’s Mike McCray to be in store for a breakout season after being sidelined with an assortment of injuries that past two seasons. It took only one game for the redshirt junior linebacker to lend some credence to that consideration.

McCray was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for the team-leading nine tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, and forced fumble that he generated in Michigan’s 63-3 win over Hawaii in Week 1. McCray spearheaded a Michigan defense that was dominant against the Warriors as the Wolverines allowed only three points and 232 total yards. It wasn’t until just past the midway point of the second quarter that Hawaii was able to attain its first first down and stay on the positive side of total yards. And that was because McCray had a consistent presence in Hawaii’s backfield.

This is the first time that McCray has received a weekly Big Ten award, and it’s the first Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week given to a Wolverine since Jourdan Lewis took one home after he housed an interception against Northwestern last season.