Michigan blew the BYU Cougars right out of the Big House on Saturday afternoon by a score of 31-0. This was a game where many said we would learn what the Wolverines are and can be, and they executed almost perfectly in every phase of the game.
Here are some of my takeaways:
Buy Into The Hype on Defense
Michigan's defense has smothered a pair of opponents in Oregon State and UNLV the last few weeks, as they were expected to do. It was not until Saturday's performance against an explosive Cougar team that they showed what their potential is. The question now becomes if they can keep it going the next eight weeks.
Tanner Mangum, one of the stars of the college football world so far this season, was unable to get comfortable at all and the Wolverine pass rush had him running for his life all day. He completed only 12 of his 28 passes for 55 yards.
BYU only had 105 total yards of offense, period.
A question mark coming into this game is how the secondary would hold up against BYU's bigger, physical receivers. Well, they answered the call in a big way. Jourdan Lewis, Channing Stribling and company were great, and it is absolutely time to mention them as one of the top secondaries in college football.
The Run Game
What more is there to say here? Michigan again rushed for well over 200 yards on Saturday (274, to be exact) and ran the ball 51 times.The Wolverines want to be balanced offensively, but they will take that any day. The Cougars gave up almost 300 yards on the ground to UCLA last week, so the opportunity to produce was there.
De'Veon Smith went over 100 yards for the second time this season and had an highlight-reel 60-yard rush when he kept his legs churning in a pile and just kept rolling along. He did leave the game in the third quarter with a leg injury, but expects to play next week.
Derrick Green had a few carries this week and looked good when the chances were given to him. It will be interesting to see what his role is moving forward. Michigan has four backs in Smith, Green, Ty Isaac and Drake Johnson that all look like they can contribute.
The offensive line continues to improve each week and is starting to finish off blocks better and more consistently. They will not be looking ahead on the schedule, but we will see just how far they have come when Michigan State comes to Ann Arbor on Oct. 17.
Rudock Was What He Had to Be
Jake Rudock was not flashy this week. He never will be, but he played a clean game and did not turn over the football in a game for the first time this season. He still is missing wide open receivers, but at some point, we just need to realize that's who he is. When the run game is as good as it has been, the pressure is off of him.
He finished with 194 yards passing and hit on 14-of-25 of his throws with a touchdown pass to Amara Darboh. His ability to escape from pressure and make plays with his feet has been a pleasant surprise, as well. When his receivers were covered, he did a nice job of diagnosing a run lane and making plays on his own. He finished with 10 carries for 48 yards, making him the second-leading rusher in Saturday's game.
What did you take away from Michigan's win over BYU? Sound off in the comments below!