UM ‘D’ ranks as nation’s best after stifling Purdue

Angelique S. Chengelis


With Michigan’s stingy defensive performance in the Big Ten opener at Purdue, the Wolverines are now the nation’s No. 1 defense.

Michigan was ranked No. 5 in total defense entering the game at Purdue, but held the Boilermakers to 189 yards, including 10 in the second half. The Wolverines, guided by defensive coordinator Don Brown, are now yielding a nation’s-best 203.3 yards.

Michigan defensive end Chase Winovich celebrates after sacking Purdue quarterback David Blough in the fourth quarter of Michigan's 28-10 win over the Boilermakers.

The Wolverines also are first in team sacks, averaging 4.5 a game, and second in defensive touchdowns.

Michigan is 4-0 overall, 1-0 Big Ten and is does not have a game this weekend. Michigan will face in-state rival Michigan State on Oct. 7 at Michigan Stadium.

Defensive end Chase Winovich led the team with three sacks in the 28-10 victory over the Boilermakers, and linebacker Devin Bush had another outstanding game with six tackles, including one for loss.

“(Winovich) had a great game,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said after the game. “Looked like he was in great shape. Looked easy for him, and it wasn’t. Tough elements and he played a great game. All the guys on the defensive line, they all did. Somebody else said earlier, what do you think of your ballclub? What’s the character of the team like? God a great glimpse of what it is. They dug deep and won the ball game.”

Michigan is ranked No. 4 against the run, allowing an average 69.3 yards and No. 8 in passing yards allowed (134.0). The Wolverines are 12th in scoring defense (13.5) and would be tied for fourth if two interceptions returned for touchdowns were not counted in the total. Michigan has allowed 54 points through four games.

Winovich honored

Winovich earned Walter Camp defensive Player of the Week national honors for his three-sack performance in the Wolverines’ Big Ten opener at Purdue. Winovich had six tackles, including four for loss to help the defense hold Purdue to 189 yards of offense.

He is the seventh Michigan player to earn Walter Camp National Player of the Week honors since 2004, and the third defensive honoree (Brandon Herron, LB, Sept. 4, 2011 and Jabrill Peppers, Sept. 18, 2016).