Behind versatile defensive backs like Jabrill Peppers and Jourdan Lewis, it is no surprise that Michigan poses one of the most dominant pass defenses in the nation this year.
But, coach Jim Harbaugh likes to attribute much of the unit’s success to the Wolverines’ defensive line.
“That’s really been the backbone of our team, that’s gotten tremendous pressure on opposing quarterbacks, not just with sacks but also with hurries,” Harbaugh said on Nov. 1.
Michigan defensive lineman Maurice Hurst has been a critical part of that backbone this season, generating 26 pressures on the 113 passing downs, production that ranks first in the nation, according to Pro Football Focus.
Michigan's Maurice Hurst leads all interior defensive lineman in pass rush productivity. He's generated pressure on 26 of 113 passing downs. pic.twitter.com/uNt9F5ni6j
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) November 11, 2016
Hurst has compiled 21 tackles, eight tackles for loss and three sacks this season. His best performance came in Michigan’s 42-14 win over Penn State, a game in which Hurst recorded six tackles, three tackles for loss and one sack.
Hurst added to his sack total with two in the Wolverine’s most recent game against Maryland.
But, as displayed by Pro Football Focus, Hurst hasn’t needed to record a high sack total to have an impact.