The best defenses are in the Big Ten.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay ranked the nation’s best offenses and defenses in a Monday story, with two Big Ten defenses placing in the top 3: Michigan first and Wisconsin third.
Here’s McShay on Michigan:
The Wolverines have allowed 17 points total in their last three games (Penn State, Wisconsin, Rutgers). The addition of defensive coordinator Don Brown has taken this unit to a different level. Up front, Taco Charlton and Chris Wormley are tough to move off the ball (9.5 tackles for loss combined). Jabrill Peppers, who’s playing a hybrid LB/DB role, is one of the best all-around prospects in the country. And Jourdan Lewis is the top man-to-man cover corner in the country. Put it all together, and this unit overwhelms opponents on a weekly basis.
It’s hard to disagree, especially when using numbers. Michigan allows a nation-best 213 yards per game and only 10.3 points per game. Jourdan Lewis is one of the best defensive backs and Jabrill Peppers could be the best all-around player in the country.
On Wisconsin, McShay said the Badgers’ defense kept Wisconsin in every game this season despite the brutal schedule:
And I love the way this unit has responded to adversity: Vince Biegel goes down with a foot injury and Garret Dooley steps up. And T.J. Watt is an emerging star with 5.5 sacks and five QB hurries in six games.
He's played all over.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) October 12, 2016