Michigan Defense Carries Team to Win

By PHILLIP LUTZ, Sports Editor

On Saturday, the Michigan football team played their home opener at the Big House in Ann Arbor against the Cincinnati Bearcats. The team won the game 36-14 on the backs of their defense.

The Michigan defense held the Bearcats to 200 yards of total offense. The defensive line spent the game in the face of the Cincinnati quarterback, namely defensive end Rashan Gary and athlete Khaleke Hudson.

The Bearcats offense gained 68 yards rushing on 30 attempts and scored 1 touchdown. The Cincinnati team passed for 132 yards on 15 completions. They also scored a receiving touchdown.

In the first quarter, Michigan’s Junior defensive back Tyree Kinnel intercepted a pass from Cincinnati quarterback Hayden Moore and returned it for a 28 yard touchdown. In the fourth quarter, Michigan’s Sophomore defensive back Lavert Hill intercepted a pass and returned it for a 24 yard touchdown.

Along with his pick six, Tyree Kinnel had 8 solo tackles and recorded a sack. Linebacker Devin Bush had 5 solo tackles, assisted in 2 tackles, and recorded a sack. Viper back Khaleke Hudson recorded 4 solo tackles, assisted in 2 tackles and had 2 sacks on the day.

Defensive tackles Maurice Hurst and Gary spent seemingly every snap in the Cincinnati back field and were very disruptive. Hurst had assisted in 3 tackles and Gary had 1 solo tackle and assisted in 2 tackles.  

The Michigan defense has outscored their opponent’s offenses the past 2 games 21-17. They allowed only 3 points to the Florida Gators last week and 14 points to the Cincinnati Bearcats today. The Wolverines have already returned three interceptions back for touchdowns.

Coach Jim Harbaugh said after the game, “We are young and inexperienced but there is only one way to get that experience in the games.”  So far this season, they have played well but there is always room for improvement.

The season is early and this team will show us in the upcoming weeks who they really are. The Michigan defense will be a big part of how that story will play out.