Michigan football wins season opener against Western Michigan football

(Detroit Free Press)
(Detroit Free Press) /
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Michigan Football, Aidan Hutchinson
(Detroit Free Press) /

An analysis on the Michigan football’s defense

Western Michigan drove right down the field on their first drive of the game and all I could think was “different scheme, same result, this stinks.”

The Wolverines were very soft on coverage, giving the Broncos a lot of room to make plays. But after that drive, Michigan made adjustments and Western Michigan couldn’t move the ball.

Give a lot of credit to Michigan’s new defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald for making the adjustment, it is something that we never saw out of Don Brown.

Early on, the Michigan defensive line didn’t get much pressure in the Western Michigan backfield, but it was almost as if a switch flipped later on as Aidan Hutchinson and Josh Ross started to pummel the Broncos quarterback.

As far as the downfield coverage goes, Michigan started to play zone, which seemed to work. The Michigan defensive backs struggled when put into one-on-one situations, which is probably why Michigan was soft in coverage early on.

The biggest takeaway on the defensive side of the ball was that they made adjustments. After not being able to get off the field on third down early on, they started to get off the field later as Macdonald changed things up constantly.

The defense showed blitz packages, then backed off. They showed man coverage and turned it into a zone defense. There’s is still a lot for these players to learn, but this was a fantastic start.

Overall grade for today’s victory for Michigan football

More from Michigan Wolverines

Michigan did what they were supposed to today so I will give them an “A” for a grade. Ronnie Bell going down really puts the breaks on how overjoyed I would be about this win.

Regardless, Jim Harbaugh made it clear that they will not be satisfied with how they played, “there’s a lot to improve on.”

If you take a step back further, the future of this program is bright.

Seeing J.J. McCarthy on the field with A.J. Henning and true freshman running back Donovan Edwards should make every Michigan fan smile. Especially because they were all in there with the starting offensive line.

Next week, Michigan will have a big task, a chance to prove how good they are and a chance for Jim Harbaugh to show the country that the tide has changed in Ann Arbor.

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Michigan hosts Washington next Saturday at 7:30 pm (ET) on ABC.