The Michigan Wolverines defense is vastly improved from a year ago.
They may have just given up 24 points to Northwestern, but they held them scoreless in the second half. The Wolverines are giving up just 12.5 points to opponents, which is down from 32.5 points a year ago.
They also are forcing more turnovers. Michigan had 14 total last season. This season, they already have seven.
They are also limiting opponents to 202.5 passing yards per game and 134 rushing yards per game. This is down from last year, when they gave up 188.9 yards on the ground and 261.8 passing yards.
Michigan State is averaging 398 yards per game; 276 yards through the air and 128 yards on the ground.
To a passing offense, Michigan gave up 331 yards to Dan Persa. Michigan State has a better quarterback in Kirk Cousins.
Michigan allowed 107 on the ground to Northwestern last week.
However, Michigan is better in the secondary, and blitzes and puts more pressure on opposing quarterbacks this season.
The most important statistic for this Michigan defense is, in the second half, they have a 93-point differential between the points they have scored (114) and the points they have allowed (21). (Wolverine Nation).
It will all come down to this: Can they stop Kirk Cousins' aerial attack and the rushing duo of Edwin Baker and Le'Veon Bell?