Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown talks about the challenges the Michigan State offense presents. Angelique S. Chengelis, Detroit News
Ann Arbor — With a bit of breathing room this week since Michigan does not have a game Saturday for which to prepare, defensive coordinator Don Brown has time to take a deep dive into Michigan State film.
Michigan plays again Oct. 7 in a night game at Michigan Stadium against in-state rival Michigan State. The Spartans face Iowa this weekend.
This is not the first time this season Brown has tuned into studying Michigan State, and he has a good feel for what the Spartans’ offense does well. He and his staff spent a significant amount of time Monday on MSU.
“Obviously, there’s a few games you watch tape throughout the year and you pay attention — this is one of those games,” Brown said Monday night to a small group of reporters. “Let’s face it, it’s an important game for Michigan football. Nobody loses sight of that fact.
“Just really grateful that we’ve gotten to this point healthy for the most part and playing at a very solid level and now we have two weeks to prepare for a very, very good Spartan football team.”
Michigan is 4-0 in large part because of Brown’s defense that currently is ranked No. 1, yielding an average 203.3 yards a game. Michigan State is 2-1 and coming off a loss to Notre Dame.
Brown said he’s impressed by the Spartans’ “physicality.”
“They’re gonna get in there with multiple tight ends, very similar approach to us,” he said. “They have a very good tailback (LJ Scott). They have a couple guys who run the ball really well. The quarterback’s (Brian Lewerke) got mobility. That’s obviously always a concern. He was 31 for 51 last week against Notre Dame. He has the ability to complete passes and hurt you with his arm as well as his feet. I would consider him a dual-threat challenge.”
The offensive line is physica,l and Brown said Monday night on the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show it will be the best his defense has faced so far this season.
“Very physical. They know what they’re doing,” Brown said after the show. “They’re well-coached. They run three, four different run schemes that they’re very good, so we have to be very good at defending them. And their protections are sound.”