Wilson: Defense ‘Special’ in Final Season

Michigan senior safety Jarrod Wilson discusses the mentality of U-M’s highly touted defense.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Riding a three game win streak, Michigan’s No. 2 total ranked defense is flying to the ball leaving little room for opposing offenses to maneuver.

In fact, U-M has outscored its past three opponents 98-14, which included shutting out highly touted BYU 31-0 this past Saturday, holding the Cougars to only 105 total yards.

“Pretty much going through the game plan throughout the week and really honing in our technique and fundamentals,” said senior safety Jarrod Wilson. “And always playing hard and fast, and running to the football.”

Wilson, who has 15 tackles and one pass break up this season, has been a staple at the backend of defense the past three years. He has been part of some pretty good defenses, but when asked if this years group was his best yet? He wouldn’t’ go that far, noting there is still a lot of season to be played.

“It’s kind of hard to say,” said Wilson of the Wolverines defense that is giving up 203.8 total yards per game. “I kind of don’t want to speak too early about it. It’s still a long season ahead of us. But my last three years we’ve had pretty good defenses. This one is kind of special for me because this is my last season here.”

However, a big reason for U-M’s style of play this season is due to their aggressive style of play implanted by secondary coaches Mike Zordich and Greg Jackson, says Willson.

“Coach Zordich and Coach Jackson both bring their own kind of mentality,” Wilson said when asked about his secondary coaches. “They always want us to stamp our personality on how we play. They just want us to play aggressive, physical and they don’t mind aggressive penalties. So pass interference calls, obviously we don’t want them, but if you’re playing aggressive and you’re playing hard, you can always accept those.”

Michigan’s secondary is currently ranked No. 5 nationally in pass defense, holding opponents to 121.8 yards per game and two touchdowns total through the air this season.

But not all the credit goes to the defense says Wilson, who pointed out the lack of short field situations the defense has been put in compared to the past.

“It’s been pretty good as far this season. A lot of rest on the sidelines compared to years in the past, which is very different,” Wilson said. “It just feels good when you go out there an the opposing offense has along field to drive, which is pretty tough.”

No. 22 Michigan (3-1) next plays at Maryland (2-2) this Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.

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