ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Following Saturday night’s dominating performance in New Jersey, Michigan’s defensive line suddenly finds itself carrying a new superlative:
Best defensive line in the country.
“The guys up front, it was constant pressure and that field position we were playing on half the field,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said after the 78-0 shutout at Rutgers. “The spine of our team is that defensive front. (Defensive line coach) Greg Mattison does a great job coaching our guys, and they were fast. Our whole team was really fast. They were executing on a really high level. The pressure was tough to deal with.”
Michigan (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) held Rutgers to two first downs — both in the fourth quarter — and zero third-down conversions. Michigan’s defense gave up 39 yards (including 34 rushing yards) and sacked Rutgers quarterbacks Chris Laviano and Zach Allen 4 times.
Michigan currently fields the nation’s No. 1 defense, allowing 212.8 yards per game. Michigan is No. 13 in the country in rush defense (99.2 yards) and its 24 sacks are tied for second in the nation with Washington and Alabama, just one behind Ohio University. Michigan defensive linemen Taco Charlton and Chris Wormley each have a team-leading 4 sacks.
For a basis of comparison, here’s a look at how Michigan stacks up against the nation’s other top pass-rushing teams, as well as the Wolverines’ biggest rival, in a few defensive statistics:
|Team||Sacks||Total yards allowed||Rushing yards allowed|
|Ohio State (five games)||11||246.4||97.8|
(Source: NCAA statistics)
Does Michigan have the best defensive line in the country? Cast your vote: