At the start of each week, Land of 10 will break down the postseason implications, and projections, to come out of the Michigan Wolverines’ latest contest …
What happened: The Wolverines (2-0) raced past Cincinnati, 36-14, at the Big House on Saturday. But it took a dozen points in the fourth quarter from the special teams (a 24-yard field goal from super leg Quinn Nordin) and the defense (a safety and a pick-6) to really put the upstart Bearcats away. Defensive coordinator Don Brown’s unit picked up right where it left off in Arlington, Texas, limiting Cincinnati to 200 total yards and 13 first downs while turning a pair of turnovers into touchdowns. Ty Isaac was a bell cow at tailback again (133 rushing yards), but questions about the passing game, and specifically quarterback Wilton Speight (17 for 29 , 221 yards 2 touchdowns), continue to linger.
What it means: The kids are growing up quick. Despite new faces all over Brown’s unit, Michigan comes out of Week 2 leading the Big Ten in total defense (196 yards allowed per game), rushing defense (39.5 yards allowed per game) and sacks per game (5.0). Upcoming contests with Air Force (457 rushing yards in its opener), Purdue (451 total yards per game), Michigan State (461 total yards per game) and Indiana (league-best 308.5 passing yards per game) should make for an interesting run-up to the showdown at Penn State on Oct. 21.
Projected record: Massey Ratings — 10-2; TeamRankings.com — 9-3
Projected postseason destination: Outback Bowl, Jan. 1 in Tampa, Fla., vs. an SEC opponent.
Cheapest seat on TicketCity.com as of Sunday: $105
Up next: Air Force at the Big House on Saturday. The Falcons (1-0) were off after storming VMI 62-0 back on Sept. 2. Air Force quarterback Arion Worthman accounted for 205 total yards and 3 touchdowns — 1 rushing, 2 passing — in the opener. The Wolverines have won 25 out of their last 26 nonconference tests at home, and the Falcons’ scheme should prove to be a nice mental exam for a defense that’s passed its first two with flying colors.