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UM defense buckles down after being nicked early

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor — Even after Michigan’s defense had been carved up by Oregon State the first series, there was no worry.

The Beavers drove 79 yards that culminated in a 21-yard touchdown reception to take a quick 7-0 lead last weekend. The Wolverines defense responded immediately, shutting out the Beavers the rest of the game in a 35-7 victory, holding them to four second-half yards.

“There wasn’t any panic,” defensive line coach Greg Mattison said. “You knew it was a breakdown here and there that caused it. You know that we were going to make the adjustments we had to on the sideline. We just got everybody together and said, ‘This is what happened. This is what we can’t let happen.’ And they adjusted to it.”

The Wolverines defense has worked consistently during practice on generating turnovers.

“He wants us to go after that ball,” defensive end Taco Charlton said of new coordinator D.J. Durkin. “He wants that ball back. We want three-plus turnovers a game. We want that ball back — we tell each other that. “

The defensive line, Charlton said, can be dominating.

Chris Wormley leads the team with six tackles for loss, and there is depth with Willie Henry, Ryan Glasgow, Maurice Hurst, Matt Godin and Mario Ojemudia.

No second thoughts

Coach Jim Harbaugh didn’t have much to say about his sideline fury after a roughing the kicker flag last weekend. Big Ten officials called him Monday and explained the call, and admitted it shouldn’t have been thrown.

But after the call, Harbaugh animatedly reacted, yelling at the referees and throwing his papers.

He was asked if he laughed at his display or thought, maybe I shouldn’t have done that.

“I don’t know,” Harbaugh said. “I haven’t really thought about it either way. I don’t characterize it.”

UNLV at Michigan

Kickoff: Noon Saturday, Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor

TV/radio: BTN/WWJ

Records: UNLV 0-2, Michigan 1-1

Line: Michigan by 34

Series: First meeting