Michigan enters its bye week ranked fifth in the AP poll, its highest dating back to 2016, when it was ranked second before losing at Iowa.
After their impressive defensive performance against Michigan State a week ago, the Wolverines head into their week off with perhaps the most momentum in the country, especially with the Wolverines jumping into the driver’s seat in the Big Ten East division race. After Purdue’s shocking performance against Ohio State, the Wolverines remain as the only team in the East division without a conference loss.
Going into the bye, Michigan currently ranks second in the nation in total defense. Although the Wolverines give up the least amount of yards per game in the country, they still sit behind Miami. Offensively, they rank 24th in total offense, but the steadily improving Michigan offense is looking to keep climbing the charts.
Running back Karan Higdon has almost silently rushed for 100 yards in six consecutive games, although he sat out week three against SMU. Some would say Higdon has been the breakout star within the Michigan offense this season, and those claims might just be true.
Higdon’s efforts running the ball are consistently opening up the passing game for quarterback Shea Patterson, and while the junior isn’t posting All-American numbers, he has definitely been one of the missing pieces from this offense a year ago.
Next up for the Wolverines will be a home slate against Penn State (5-2), who play host to an Iowa team that will certainly be a handful. Michigan will mark the second consecutive ranked team that the Nittany Lions will play against.
Last year’s meeting between the two teams was not fun to watch for Michigan fans. Saquon Barkley and the Lions managed to dominate the stout Michigan defense, and hung up a 42-13 against a deflated Wolverine squad.
“I still wake up everyday and think about it,” said Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown, when asked about the outcome of last year’s game at State College.
You’d better bet that he will have his defense ready to play come on Nov. 3, as the Wolverines will look to continue their revenge tour in style.
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