The Michigan Wolverines may not be ranked in the top 10 in the latest AP Poll, but they’re one of the best in the country when breaking down the stats.
Let’s just get right to it and break down where Michigan players and position units are ranked after five weeks of action.
1st — total defense allowing 232.6 yards per game
3rd — tackles for loss (47)
3rd- Chase Winovich for the most tackles for loss and leads the Big Ten (10.5)
4th — pass defense allowing (146.2 yards allowed per game)
4th — rush defense (146.2 rush yards per game)
7th — pass plays allowed over 10 yards (25)
10th — sacks (16)
11th — scoring defense (14.8 points allowed per game)
9th — Karan Higdon averaging 119.8 rushing yards per game
15th — Shea Patterson completion percentage (68.5 percent)
3rd — Will Hart’s average yards per punt (52.1 yards, leads the Big Ten with next closest being Blake Hayes from Illinois at 45.9)
14th — Yards allowed on kickoffs (15.75 yards)
Yup, @will_hart_4 continues to impress! He's our Special Teams Player of the Week! #GoBlue pic.twitter.com/jwAxojQAxS— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) October 2, 2018
Other Notable Rankings
29th — Field goal completion percentage (85.5 percent)
38th — Opponent third down conversion rate (33.3 percent)
40th — Rush plays of 10 yards or more (18 total)
44th — Kick return average (22.8 yards)
What does this all mean?
What we know is the physical defense for Michigan will give them a shot at winning any game on the schedule. It’s unknown, however, if this team is capable of putting together a complete game against ranked teams, especially on the road.
They cannot afford another 17-point deficit based on the remaining schedule, which will be more challenging than a mediocre Northwestern team.
We also know the special teams group has become one of the best in the country based on a punting average of nearly 10 yards longer than last year’s average. If they punt five or more times in a game, that’s more than 50 yards more for their opponents to make up against a top-ranked defense.
If the stats above can sustain themselves where they are, but also improve in a few areas of note, this could be a great season in the end for the Wolverines.
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