Michigandefensive coordinator Greg Mattison was disappointed by the Wolverines’ technique and tackling following last week’s opening season loss toAlabama.
Mattison could not possibly be happy afterMichigan’s game against triple-option Air Force in the home opener at Michigan Stadium on Saturday.
But when the defense most needed a stop, it came through with less than five minutes left.
Cody Getz was stopped by Michigan’s Jibreel Black and James Ross on 4th down and 3, turning the ball over on downs at the U-M 43-yard line.
Air Force got the ball back one last time and on 4th and 16, Jake Ryan, who had 11 tackles, deflected a pass from Connor Dietz on fourth down to seal the game.
Both stops were highlights for a defense that struggled to contain Air Force all day.
Michiganrebounded from a first-week rout and is now 1-1 after beating the pesky Falcons 31-25.
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson put up impressive numbers.
Robinson threw for 208 yards and rushed for 218 yards, his third career game with 200 yards both rushing and throwing.
While Michigan did not have another answer in the running game – tailback Fitz Toussaint in his first start this season after sitting out last week had only seven yards on eight carries – the Wolverines got plenty of support in the receiving game with the two Devins.
Freshman tight end Devin Funchess had 106 yards on four catches, including a 30-yard touchdown reception, and Devin Gardner, who moved to receiver from quarterback this season, had 63 yards on five catches.
Michigancoach Brady Hoke and Mattison cautioned this week that defending Air Force’s triple-option is about technique-sound, disciplined defense.
Air Force had 417 total yards, including 290 rushing. Cody Getz had 130 yards rushing and three touchdowns.