Michigan had a perfect opportunity on Saturday to knock off an undefeated top-15 ranked Big Ten team to prove they still have life in the conference. While it wasn’t a high scoring game, Michigan forced four turnovers, three interceptions and one fumble recovery creating many great defensive highlights.
The votes are in, so let’s break down who earned game balls in Saturday’s victory over No. 14 ranked Iowa.
The offense faced a top-five defense overall in Iowa and looked more like a lost puppy with only 267 total yards. Junior wide receiver Nico Collins gets the nod on offense with three catches for 63 yards. This was his highlight play from his performance with a down field bomb from Shea Patterson that went for 51 yards.
Part of the new duo that call themselves “salt and pepper,” junior defensive line Kwity Paye is becoming the player this defense needs and he shined on Saturday against Iowa. He was defensive player of the game against Rutgers. His day against Iowa included four tackles (three solo and one assist) along with 2.5 tackles for loss. He also has 4.5 total sacks on the season.
Kwity Paye with a great inside move— Due# (@JDue51) October 6, 2019
Helmet sticker pic.twitter.com/qDrlnt9AFz
Another up and coming star on defense is sophomore linebacker Cameron McGrone. We saw flashes of his athleticism against Rutgers last week, but he had sort of a coming out party against Iowa. He had six total tackles (four solo/two assists) and 1.5 tackles for loss on the day. He’s one of those players in this group that is likely one to fill the void of Devin Bush moving to the NFL and is one to keep an eye on as we move into the meat of the season.
There were plenty of positive performances on the defensive side, so most of the concern and frustration will remain on the offense to find their identity. They have a chance to do that when they play Illinois next Saturday at noon on ABC.