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)
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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